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Computers in past for Elmwood pastor

Pastor Michael Weaver paused to be interviewed in his office at United Methodist Church in Elmwood Wednesday. Weaver succeeded the retired Pastor Charles DeMaris at the Elmwood and Rock Elm United Methodist churches this summer. (Herald photo by Bill Kirk).

ELMWOOD—A veteran of the computer field, it might be said Michael Weaver decided to reboot.

Weaver had a career in computers for nearly a quarter century before entering the ministry. In July, his latest pastor appointment occurred at the United Methodist churches in Elmwood and Rock Elm, where he succeeded Charles DeMaris, who retired.

“I felt a calling,” he said Wednesday about contemplating the career switch approximately 25 years ago, though he wasn’t absolutely sure at that time he should make the change.

A member of a United Methodist Church, Weaver said he had an inclination strong enough to prompt him to explore that denomination. Soon, he took some part-time schooling on the side, still holding one of his computer-related jobs. He first served at a small 12-member rural Withee church while in training and became determined to “make a break.”

“It was a good way to get started,” he said, remembering he preached on weekends.

Weaver’s a licensed pastor, he said, explaining that’s possible in his church when a course of study is undertaken over time. It can even be realized during ongoing studies. There are ordained pastors in the denomination, too, and they’re usually licensed at some point.

Once licensed, the then-new pastor was sent by the bishop to a charge at Stanley and Thorp, he said. Later, a third church in Cadott was added, bringing the total number among the three congregations to around 100, he estimated.

“We covered two counties and three school districts,” he recalled of his tenure there from 1998 to 2004.

An early lesson for him from his Stanley-Thorp-Cadott experience is to go in and learn as much about the people as possible before trying to help them with their futures, Weaver said. He found there are “cultures within cultures,” often based on families. He was assisted in the geographically large ministry by lay leadership and operated a youth program.

In ’04, the pastor encountered some personal issues leading to a leave of absence, he said. When he returned after four years, the bishop had him go to a church in St. Croix Falls, along with a country church at Wolf Creek.

For more please read the Oct. 30 print version of the Herald. 

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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