Couple to lead FUMC in Clanton as co-pastors

Published 9:52 am Friday, June 30, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Wes and Meghan Kelley are the new pastoral team at Clanton First United Methodist Church.

Their first day on the job is July 1, but their first Sunday preaching will be July 9.

They have previously served as associate pastors in separate churches. Most recently, Meghan Kelley was the associate pastor at Ozark FUMC for the past five years, while Wes was the associate pastor at Dothan FUMC for the past six years.

“Now, we are coming together as co-pastors with equal responsibility,” Wes Kelley said.

“We will share the leadership and responsibility in the life of the church,” Meghan Kelley said.

The couple said they are patterning this leadership style after the example given in Acts of Priscilla and Aquila.

“They were evidently a married couple that were leading a church there in their community and they exhibited that leadership,” Wes Kelley said.

Wes Kelley said they are both planners, so their styles will work well together.

“Meghan’s great at visioning the worship experience. I really enjoy the details of Bible study,” Wes said.

“We are also really excited to be in worship together and have our boys with us. In the past the boys have just come with me where I have been at,” Meghan said.

She called the new position an answer to prayer.

“We have felt called to serve together for a very long time, so we are very excited to have this opportunity,” Meghan Kelley said.

Even before the pastors started work, members of the congregation were introducing themselves.

“They were so gracious. They came to our house and helped us with all kinds of things, unpacking and cleaning,” Meghan Kelley said.

Wes said church members of all ages stopped by.

The couple has two sons, Myles, age 3, and Parker, age 1.

The bishop of the Alabama West Florida Conference, of which Chilton County is a part, appointed the Keeleys to Clanton FUMC. Wes Kelley said pastors are sent based on the needs of the churches and who would be the best fit for those needs.

Wes and Meghan met while attending Duke Divinity School in North Carolina. They have been serving as pastors in separate churches for the past eight years.

Wes grew up in Elba, Alabama, while Meghan grew up in Orlando, Florida.

Wes said Clanton reminds him a lot of the town he grew up in.

Meghan said she began to feel called to be a pastor in high school after participating in some missions trips. She said it became more evident in college while working with Methodist campus ministries at Florida State university. Wes said he was 17 when while studying the Bible “I felt like I was being pushed out the door to do something” by God. ┬áHe said he decided to follow the example of Isaiah and volunteer. As a part of this, he began teaching a Bible Study at his home church.