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Goodrich to missions

GUMC pastor leaves pulpit for missionary work

May 26, 2010 - By Meredith Mayberry

Staff Writer

Goodrich-Come the end of June, Pastor Karl Zeigler will no longer be the pastor of the Goodrich United Methodist Church.

After 46 years as a United Methodist pastor, 10 of which were spent in Goodrich, Zeigler, 64, is looking forward to new ways to spend his time.

"My wife and I have six grandchildren, and we're going to enjoy time with them," he said.

Zeigler and his wife, Carmen, are also looking forward to missionary work.

"I think we'll enjoy selecting mission opportunities in our country and around the world," Zeigler said.

The pastor said though he is leaving Goodrich, he isn't quitting his job completely.

"I'm going to work part-time at the Detroit Metropolitan Methodist Church," he said. "I can do member care and develop new members to the church."

Zeigler said his congregation wasn't surprised when they heard he was still going to be involved in the United Methodist community. Especially since his involvement throughout the past 46 years has been so expansive.

Zeigler was first assigned a church when he was 19-years-old and has served as pastor at six different churches.

"Goodrich is the farthest I've been away from metro Detroit," he said.

Throughout his career, Zeigler has served as president of the United Methodist Foundation, where he was a financial counselor and planned fundraising for Methodist churches. For two years, he was the president of Bethany Methodist Foundation, which focuses on heathcare.

Even though he is staying involved, Zeigler said there are things he will miss about being a pastor.

"The daily, regular contact with the groups of people," he said. "Being there for their joys and concerns, baptisms, funerals, weddings, celebrations. That's what I'll miss."

Still, there are some aspects of his job that he won't be sad to say goodbye to.

"Let's just say I'm not going to miss the meetings," he said.

Zeigler and his wife have recently purchased a home in Fraser, and will also be spending time in Caseville.

"I won't be around Goodrich just because I want it to be very clear that the new pastor is the new pastor," he said.

Pastor Jeremy Africa will be taking over for Zeigler on July 1.

"He already knows the ropes," Zeigler said. "He doesn't need my help."

Throughout his 10 years with the GUMC, Zeigler led and watched his congregation develop. Not only did they establish an active prayer ministry, but a $2 million 30,000 square foot addition to the church was completed under Zeigler's leadership.

"Attendance has increased, too," he said.

"Membership attendance increased 75 percent and worship attendance increased by 40 percent."

The church currently has almost 400 members. Despite all of these accomplishments under his belt, one of Zeigler's fondest memories in the Goodrich community was when he was a member of the Wednesday night golf club at the Goodrich Country Club.

"I didn't advertise what I did for a living, but there were times when people found out halfway through a round," he said.

"Suddenly, they changed their vocabularies and their scores went higher." On two occasions, Zeigler remembers winning the league championship for that reason.

"I know I have a lot of wonderful memories from Goodrich, but that's one of my favorites," he said.

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