REEDSVILLE - After several years of able supply pastors, an interim pastor and lay speakers, the members of the East Kishacoquillas Presbyterian Church have accepted a new full-time pastor.
The Rev. Dr. Pat Roller has been delivering sermons from the pulpit of the stone church in Reedsville since August.
Roller's talents in ministry extend beyond inspiring sermons from the pulpit.
Hailing from southern Indiana, she graduated from the University of Virginia at Wise with a major in English and a minor in education. She began teaching in Virginia and later in El Salvador and Puerto Rico.
Her knowledge of several languages took her to a variety of careers. Roller's calling to the ministry came as she was serving in Puerto Rico as head mistress of a church school.
When her term there ended, the pastor said, she debated whether to continue ministering to children on a volunteer basis or to make a career out of it.
Her decision made, she returned to the U.S. to attend the Southeastern Theological Seminary where she received a Master of Divinity in Christian education and later a Doctor of Ministry from the Erskine Seminary.
After graduating from seminary, Roller held positions in several churches as the director of Christian education. Her positions included planning Sunday school, youth activities, retreats and special events for children and youth. She has written Sunday school programs for various ages, and she obtained a grant to create and field test a curriculum for small churches by combining learning stations with teacher-led lessons.
Her ministry to children continues in Reedsville. Since she began her position at East Kish, Roller said she has worked to integrate children into the weekly worship services by taking up the offering or serving as acolyte.
Recently, a youth Sunday school class also committed to buying an ark of animals at a cost of $5,000 through the Heifer International, and the congregation will support their efforts, she said.
The church also hosted an area-wide Presbyterian youth event last week, and it plans to continue with more events open to children in the whole community, Roller said.
An imaginative person, Roller said she wants to lead the congregation to use all of the arts as ways to express love and faith in Christ, especially through engaging community youth.
One of her ideas for the summer is to host community day camps for art, music, journaling and more.
"We just want to reach the children in our community," Roller said.
The pastor said she looks forward to becoming active in the community, providing activities for the children of Reedsville and helping the church meet the needs of the community.
Roller said she hopes East Kishacoquillas "will continue to grow in faith and numbers, leading others to a living relationship with Christ." She said she wants the church to be seen as a safe place for those who are hurting, lonely or feel left out.