Pastor John Weber retires

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

The congregation of Christ Our Shepherd Lutheran Church in Peachtree City is dealing with joy and sorrow as their senior pastor, the Rev. John Martin Weber, 62, retires from 34 years of service to the community, both through the church and through Peachtree City’s fire and police departments as chaplain. He is believed to have the longest tenure among clergy in Peachtree City.

When Weber announced his plans late last year he indicated that he was looking forward to serving on the request of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – “churchwide,” as parishioners call the national church body. He has developed programs, such as small group ministries, that he will share in seminars and workshops with other large parishes.

The congregation of Christ Our Shepherd plans several events to celebrate Weber’s time here. The first is a picnic at Shakerag Knoll in Peachtree City, so that church members – current and former – and friends of the congregation may come to wish the Webers well. The picnic runs from 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday afternoon, June 15 – rain or shine. Bring a chair.

[An article in last weekend’s edition of The Citizen indicated the community picnic was last Sunday. The correct date is this coming Sunday, June 15.]

A banquet/roast will honor the Webers on Friday, June 27, at 6:30 p.m. at the Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center. The Rev. Julian Gordy, bishop of the Southeastern Synod of the ELCA, will participate.

Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis to church members as well as to the public. They may be purchased at the church office, 101 Peachtree Pkwy, before and after services and during workdays.

The women of the church are planning an informal luncheon for Ginnie Weber at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 19, at Flat Creek Club. Tickets are limited but may still be available. Call Martha Ann Elrod at 770-487-8809 for information.

Weber’s last worship service as pastor of Christ Our Shepherd will take place Sunday, July 27, at 10 a.m., at Starr’s Mill High School just south of Peachtree City. The public is invited.

In 1974, the Division of Missions of the ELCA sent Weber, a 29-year-old associate pastor in Milwaukee, Wis. to Peachtree City to develop a congregation in Georgia’s new planned community. He arrived in September, 1974, with his wife Ginnie and two young children, and began canvassing the city to invite people to worship and, often, to introduce Lutheran precepts to a largely Southern Baptist population.

The mission’s first worship service took place Dec. 30, 1974, at the Glenloch Recreation Center in Peachtree City. About 80 persons attended. Ninety-seven adults and 62 children attended the official organization service at First Presbyterian Church on June 8, 1975.

The congregation called Weber to become its first pastor. Today the church has grown to approximately 1,700 members.

An interim pastor will work with the congregation while a search committee begins the task of finding a new senior pastor. The associate pastor, the Rev. Miriam Beecher, and David Beecher, Minister of Music, will continue to serve the congregation while the search goes on.

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