Longtime Pastor To Retire From CMA Church
The Rev. Wayne Eppehimer of the Jamestown Christian & Missionary Alliance Church is retiring at the beginning of September after 39 years of ministry.
Thirty of his years were spent in Jamestown, while his first nine years as a pastor were at Circle Drive Alliance in Sidney, N.Y.
Originally from Meadville, Pa., Eppehimer knew that he was called to the pastoral ministry as a young child when he cut up his mother’s tablecloth for his homemade pulpit in their home.
“It was for a good cause,” his mother said, “so I couldn’t get mad.”
Later, Eppehimer attended Geneva College and the Alliance Theological Seminary, where he met his wife, Joan. He began his ministry in 1980 as an interim pastor at Circle Drive Alliance Church, following which he became their lead pastor for nine years. In January 1990, the family moved to Jamestown where they raised their two daughters.
Some of the highlights of Eppehimer’s career include serving on the board of directors and two other committees at the national level for the C&MA denomination, long tenures on the Licensing and Ordaining Council and the District Executive Committee for the Northeastern District and several appearances as a guest speaker at venues such as Delta Lake and Edinboro family camps and Houghton College, Nyack College, and ATS.
In Sidney, he oversaw the construction of a new church building in 1982, and in Jamestown four large projects were completed during his ministry, including the addition of a liftivator, and renovations of the sanctuary, children’s area and cafe area.
Eppehimer is beloved by his church community, engaging with people inside and outside the context of church events. He has participated in several church plays, Vacation Bible Schools and celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Jamestown C&MA Church in June of this year.
Throughout his tenure in Jamestown, he has enjoyed hosting people at the parsonage for Labor Day picnics and other events, supporting the church softball team, being part of his namesake fundraiser — the annual Eppehimer Open golf tournament and gathering regularly with other area pastors to pray together.
He has also been involved in the wider Jamestown community, participating with a float in the Memorial Day parade for two years, leading the opening prayer at many City Council meetings, and countless other activities.
Church members have commented that they have appreciated his personal involvement in their lives, such as visitation in the hospital.
“I was so touched that he came to visit me when I was in Erie,” one member said, expressing gratitude for his thoughtfulness. The best part of serving as a pastor, according to Eppehimer, is the people he has worked with and served.
“I love preaching,” the member said, “and it is a delight to see the impact that the Bible has upon the lives of the listeners. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to serve God and the church.”
Upon his retirement, Eppehimer and his wife plan to stay in the Jamestown community, the place which has become their home.
The public is invited to a farewell/retirement open house on Saturday from 3-7 p.m. at Hillcrest Baptist Church. For more information, please call the C&MA Church office at 488-3015.