West to retire from Clanton United Methodist Church

Published 9:39 am Wednesday, June 7, 2017

By EMILY REED / Special to the Advertiser

Clanton First United Methodist Church Senior Pastor Rob West is retiring from the ministry in June.

A special retirement celebration will be held on June 11 at 2 p.m. at the church for anyone in the community to come and visit with the pastor and his wife, Doris.

West has been at CFUMC for four years after previously serving at a church in Enterprise.

“Clanton has always been my home so it was exciting to be sent by the Bishop to be able to be the senior pastor at my home church,” West said. “It is rare to be sent by the Bishop to your home church. We did not necessarily intend to retire quite this soon, but then there were other plans that God had for us, and we recognized that he was calling us to less than full-time ministry.”

West has been involved in ministry for 24 years, after he was called to serve at the age of 41.

“I have learned throughout my time in ministry that God’s people are loving everywhere,” West said. “Every location the Bishop has appointed us to, the people have received us with open and loving arms and made our ministry a complete joy.”

West grew up attending CFUMC, with his grandparents joining the church in 1939.

“My father was in the navy so my family lived all over the country,” West said. “We moved back to Chilton County in 1969, so I attended the church during that time.”

West said his wife, Doris, has supported him throughout his time in the ministry, and he is thankful for her willingness to serve alongside him at the various churches he has been involved in.

“She has supported me and my call to the ministry,” West said. “We uprooted our family and moved, and it was very sacrificial of her. To me, it was an indication that she felt my call to ministry was not only real, but it was important, and all along the way at every stop she has been involved in the ministry with all of the people as well I as I have. Serving in the various locations has always been such a joy for her.”

West plans to spend his retirement in Chilton County near his mother, wife, children and grandchildren.

“I am going to miss the willingness of the people to be in missions and ministry,” West said. “I have been very blessed, and am thankful for my time of serving in Clanton.”

Husband and wife, Wes and Meghan Kelley from the Dothan/Ozark area will be arriving in July to serve at CFUMC.

Clanton First United Methodist Church is located at 207 Eighth St. N. in Clanton.

For more information, contact (205) 755-0490.