Small but mighty: The Rev. James William Woeltje believes power is not always in the number

Sunday, August 22, 2010
The Rev. Jim Woeltje is pastor of Illmo United Methodist Church in Scott City. (Fred Lynch)

The Rev. James William Woeltje of the Illmo United Methodist Church in Scott City believes that power is not always in the numbers. He admits the church he pastors might be small in numbers with only 24 members, but he said what they might lack in membership they make up for with the love and sharing they illustrate not just in their church but out in the community. When he is not pastoring, Woeltje enjoys watching sports, reading books and walking. He has been involved with a church for more than 29 years and came to the Illmo church in 1996.

How long have you been a member of your faith? I have been practicing the United Methodist faith for 49 years.

What drew you to serve the church in a leadership role? In my earlier years of church service I enjoyed serving as a lay speaker and liturgist. Those two positions gave me a chance to share God's word.

What education/background/studies did you go through to become a pastor? I received my education from a church that had established courses of studies that trained pastors in their Christian beliefs and policies of the church.

How many years have you served as a pastor? I have been serving as pastor for over 14 years now.

Where are you from and when/why did you move to Cape Girardeau/Jackson area? I am from Jackson, and I currently reside there.

What do you think makes this church special? I believe that some of the things that make my church special is the loving and caring support the membership shares with each other and me. These gifts reach beyond the church into the community. We are an older-aged church with only 24 members, and with those 24 members we have about 14 active members. And this church has been established since 1905.

What's your favorite verse and why? My favorite verse is Philippians 4:4-7. To me, when you read that verse it encourages a person to not give up, but to trust God and hand over their burdens over to him. In generally I love this verse because I want to pound in the message that people whether young or old have to trust God in any situation that they might face.

What program have you done with your church that you are proud of and why? I would have to say that helping support groups beyond the local church that have special needs. It is very satisfying to share the love of Jesus with others. Our church also loves to go to the Scott City food pantry and donate our food and sometimes monetary items to help feed more into our neighborhoods.

What events or occasions does your church have coming up? Quarterly dinners of the United Methodist conference; our next one is coming up in September, and our fall festival of sharing will be taking place in October.

What's your favorite day of the week and why? Monday because it offers a challenge to start a week not knowing what one will encounter. This is a great chance to act in faith.

What's your favorite part of being a pastor? Sharing Jesus Christ life and teachings through worship and personal contact in visits to those with special needs

What else do you do besides serve as pastor? I sometimes substitute teach.

Do you have a prayer, psalm or verse you would like to give our readers for the day? For a prayer I will have to say the serenity prayer, for a psalm, Psalms 23 and for a daily verse I will reference Matthew 25:31-40.

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