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Delaware

Calling brings minister to Milford’s First Presbyterian

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MILFORD, Del. – The new minister of the First Presbyterian Church of Milford knew from a younger age that he needed to be a worship chief.

In his hometown of Frankfort, the Kentucky capital, Rick Upchurch was the one baby of a single mom who served as a deacon in his household’s church. He virtually grew up within the constructing.

“We were always there when the doors were open,” mentioned the 42-year-old Rev. Upchurch.

His mom would take him to church conferences, and whereas she was busy he would go to the sanctuary, the place he would take the pulpit and preach to a mock congregation.

True to his final title and since he was an lively member of his church from a younger age, he served as an usher alongside his mom and assumed growing management roles as he grew older.

He recalled volunteering as an acolyte one Sunday, an individual who lights and extinguishes candles for worship. He then moved ahead with different church leaders. The assistant pastor nudged him and requested, “Who put you through this?”

“No one. I wanted it,” replied the younger Rev. Upchurch. Years later, he mentioned, he nonetheless remembered the person’s smile in response.

“My church has been a place to fit in, a place to belong, a place to be me, you know, and fully included, welcomed and accepted,” the reverend mentioned.

He hopes to instill the identical sentiment within the younger individuals in his new neighborhood.

“If church doesn’t matter to a 14-year-old, how is it supposed to matter to a 50-year-old or something?” he mentioned. “So that’s where my passion came from, my calling.”

Rev. Upchurch stayed in Kentucky on his method to minister. For his bachelor’s diploma, he studied theater at Western Kentucky University – his pastor on the time suggested him that there could be loads of time for faith in a while. He later attended seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

Coming to Milford, he mentioned, was considered one of many “strokes of good fortune” he is had in his life, a chance he believes God gave him. A longtime Kentucky minister buddy acquired a heat welcome at a Wilmington church years in the past, and the Rev. Upchurch was in search of a congregation in Delaware earlier this 12 months.

He discovered that the First Presbyterian Church of Milford wanted a minister within the spring. The church was one of some matches he acquired from what he known as the “Presbyterian Matchmaking Service” — a nationwide system operated by the biggest Presbyterian denomination to join congregations and spiritual leaders.

In May, Rev. Upchurch acquired a name from Ken Naegeli, chairman of the First Presbyterian’s Minister Search Committee. He was supplied the place in September after preaching a trial sermon for his parishioners.

But it wasn’t till October 23, the date of the minister’s very first sermon, that all of it felt actual to him. He mentioned he felt instantly welcomed by the neighborhood.

“That’s when this whole process peaked, probably around age 14,” he mentioned, his voice rising with emotion. “It felt so amazing and real and true and right and fitting.”

He needs different worshipers to really feel the identical method. “(Church) is a place of comfort and refuge and a place to go when you need to make sense and meaning of everything.”

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