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OUMC welcomes new pastor



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June 22, 2011 - Ortonville- Jeremy Benton will preach his first sermon as the pastor of Ortonville United Methodist Church, 93 Church St., at 10 a.m., July 10.

Members of the community can welcome Benton at the 10 a.m., July 3 service, at which he and his wife Rachel will be present.

"I am excited about the new opportunities that lay ahead for me as an ordained minister in the conference and to learn a little more about what makes the community tick," said Benton, who was ordained as an elder in Michigan last month at the UMC general conference meeting.

He was appointed to serve at OUMC by the bishop of the Detroit Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and replaces Tim Dibble, who has received an appointment in Ypsilanti.

A 2001 graduate of Oxford High School, Benton said he is familiar with life in a more rural setting. He received his bachelor's degree in psychology and religious studies from Albion College in 2005, then attended the Divinity School of Duke University, where he earned his master of divinity degree in 2008.

Benton has served as a hospital chaplain in Honolulu and has also ministered in a rural parish in North Carolina, as well as served a large South Carolina congregation. Since July 2008, he has simultaneously served as the pastor of Bancroft, Morrice and Pittsburg United Methodist Churches here in Michigan.

"Having served in small communities, I have the skills to meet the needs of small community churches," Benton said. "In terms of ministering in general, God is calling the church to more fully embody the Kingdom of God in daily living. I think that is lived out by the church going out in the community and sharing glimpses of God's love and samplings of God's mercy and justice."

Benton can be reached by e-mail at pastor.jeremy.benton@gmail.com.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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