God is good. I would never have predicted that this is where I would be at this point in my life. It has been a great journey (most of the time) and it is amazing how God has blessed us. This is an introduction for Stitzer and a reintroduction for Fennimore.
It seems like yesterday it was January 1st and now we are entering March. Wow, and in between, we have had a Polar Vortex and A LOT of snow. We have also had Stitzer and Fennimore growing through Jesus together. It is an exciting time as we get to know each other and engage in spreading the Good News in our communities and beyond. As we move forward in ministry, please be patient as this is a work in progress and this realignment is new to all of us.
God has led me through quite a journey, so here is some basic information. I was born in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin; lived in Vesper, Wisconsin; and then moved to Thorp, Wisconsin where I grew up and graduated from Thorp High School (the mighty Cardinals). My mom lives in Thorp (my Dad who raised me passed away in 1995) and my biological father and step-mom live in Wisconsin Rapids. I have one brother and four sisters (they will tell you I am the wisest and best looking).
I received my Bachelor of Arts Degree from UW-Eau Claire, my North Carolina teaching certificate from North Carolina Central University and my Master of Divinity Degree from Duke University. I was ordained in the United Methodist Church in 2000. Before I became a pastor, I was a high school history, English and drama teacher and football and softball coach. I love hunting (especially bow hunting for turkey), fishing, the outdoors in general, gardening, and reading (especially history and J.R.R. Toilken (and am a Hobbit at heart), C.S. Lewis and Louis L’Amour). I also have a large Hobbit and Lord of the Rings collection and a bobblehead collection. I love cheering for Wisconsin, Duke, Milwaukee Brewers, Washington Nationals, St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals, Nashville Predators, and THEE Minnesota Vikings! Probably the coolest thing I have ever done (other than accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior) was visiting Easter Island. An incredible experience.
My wife, Lori, works in the IT department for Revlon. She is originally from Appleton, Wisconsin.
We have two daughters, Angela (Eric) Robertson and Brianne Budzinski. Angela and Eric live in Bethesda, Maryland and work in Washington, DC. Angela is a Communications Specialist for the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center, Smithsonian. Eric works with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Brianne is a Junior/Senior at Western
Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina and is majoring in Hospitality and Tourism.
I have served at Plank Chapel UMC in Kittrell, NC for 6 years; Salem UMC in Bushy Fork, NC for 8 years; Faith UMC in Burlington, NC for 5 years; and then after 25 years in North Carolina, God called us back to Wisconsin where I have served Fennimore UMC for 3 ½ years and now pastor Fennimore and Stitzer UMC. I look forward to serving both churches, the communities, and beyond. God is good and I am thankful that y’all are part of this next journey. God bless.