Coming back home: The Rev. Barron Willer's Cape Girardeau roots run deep

Sunday, July 25, 2010
Barron Willer is the Pastor at Maple United Methodist Church (Kristin Eberts)

The Rev. Barron Willer may be new to pastoring at Maple United Methodist Church, but his roots in Cape Girardeau run deep. He was born in Cape Girardeau and lived in Southeast Missouri until he was 13 when his family moved. Willer returned for college at Southeast Missouri State University, moved away again and recently returned to be the pastor at Maple United Methodist. Before that, he, his wife and two sons lived in Braymer, Mo. Willer said he enjoys the people of his church, who have lived up to their motto of being a place "where friends become family."

How long have you been involved with a church? I was raised in the church, so I have been around the church all my life.

How long have you been a member of your faith? I have been United Methodist my entire life.

What drew you to serve the church in a leadership role? I have a calling of God upon my life. God called me to ordained ministry, and I ran from that call at first before saying yes to God.

What education/background/studies did you go through to become a pastor? I received my bachelor's of science degree from Southeast Missouri State University, and I have master of divinity degree from Memphis Theological Seminary.

How many years have you served as a pastor? I started as a pastor in June 2000 in Ellington, Mo., so I have been in pastoral ministry for 10 years.

Were you involved with Maple United Methodist Church before becoming the pastor? No. I was serving the Braymer and Breckenridge United Methodist churches.

What do you think makes this church special? That is easy to answer: the people. The church has a saying that I believe to be true, "where friends become family." I have already seen that in action.

What's your favorite verse and why? Isaiah 40:27-31 in the Message Bible. "Why would you ever complain, oh Jacob, or whine, Isreal saying 'God has lost track of me. He doesn't care what happens to me. Don't you know anything?' Haven't you been listening? God doesn't come and go. God lasts. He is creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch his breath and he knows everything inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out. Young folk in their prime stumble and fall, but those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and sore like eagles. They run and don't get tired. They walk and don't lag behind." It gives me hope and encouragement that God is in control and offers help to those who seek it. That God is a loving patient God wants the best for his people.

What events or occasions does your church have coming up? We have a fish fry coming up on Friday that will be a wonderful time as our fish fries are well known. There are other events that will be coming later that people can check the paper to see that we will be having.

What is your favorite day of the week and why? Sunday's are my favorite for a couple of reason. First is worship at church is special and meaningful. Second, Sunday afternoon is a wonderful time to spend with family and friends or to take a good nap, or both.

What's your favorite part of being a pastor? Getting to know people and seeing how God works in people's lives.

What hobbies do you have? I have a lot of interests. I like sports, especially Cardinals baseball, I enjoy fishing, and some hunting, I like photography and I like to read.

What else do you do besides serve as pastor? Well, my first job is as a husband to my wonderful wife and father to my two sons.

Do you have prayer, psalm or verse you would like to give our readers for the day? Hebrews 10:25 from the NIV says, "Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching." It is important to let someone see you in worship each week, as God is watching and knows who is there and who is not. This verse reminds us of that and it tells us that we need to encourage one another in love for the sake of Jesus as the Day of his coming nears. Let someone see your smiling face in church today.

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