Message from John Wellslager July 2023: “The Wesleyan Way”

With Pastor Jeff’s retirement occurring on June 30, 2023, it’s now time for us to lovingly welcome our new pastor to our community and First Methodist Church of Clewiston. Pastor Jonathan Singleton and his family have now moved into our parsonage and his first service here at First Methodist will be at 11:00 am on July 2, 2023.

Jonathan has been a United Methodist pastor, clergy and ordained elder for over 33 years, with his transfer to the Global Methodist Church effective on July 1, 2023. He has served at ten United Methodist churches in the state of Illinois over that time with his last appointment being at Calvary United Methodist Church in Stockton, IL. His service at Calvary spanned from 2014 to June 2023, Nine years. Sound familiar? No doubt, God is at work.

Stockton, IL is a small village in western central Illinois with a population of just under 2,000 people. The small farming community has only one red light, so Jonathan will need to get used to our metropolis with a whopping 7 red lights, however our farming roots and friendly small town residents will certainly make him feel right at home. For sure, God is always at work.

Jonathan and his wife, Caroline, have been married for over 39 years and have been blessed with 5 daughters along with 5 grandchildren. Their two youngest daughters were adopted from China and have made the move along with Jonathan and Caroline to America’s Sweetest Town. His 3 other daughters and grandchildren live in Florida as well, in the Clermont and surrounding areas. Jonathan and his family enjoy traveling and camping for recreation in their RV, with a clergy tour of Israel and three trips to China highlighting trips abroad he and his wife have made over the years. Jonathan is also a trained and talented musician and can skillfully play both the trumpet as well as the flute. He played with the United States Navy Atlantic Fleet Band while in the service and was honorably discharged in 1983. Thank you for your service Jonathan!

As you are aware, Pastor Jonathan will also be pastoring the Moore Haven Methodist congregation along with us here at FMCC as he begins his ministry in the Glades area. A coincidence? I think not. Our church along with the Moore Haven church are both steeped in history from our humble beginnings nearly 8 decades ago to this very moment in time. A Moore Haven pastor in the early to mid-1940’s thought the town of Clewiston would be the perfect place for a Methodist church to be born, and the rest is history. With a hardworking, rolled up sleeve work ethic, the Clewiston residents and founders of our Methodist church raised funding for the construction of the sanctuary. The sanctuary was eventually built, and our church was originally chartered in 1945. Now, 78 years later our church is beginning another chapter in our history as we have joined the Global Methodist Church. It seems so fitting that our new beginning in the GMC would yet again knit our community together with our neighbors in Moore Haven with the common thread being our new pastor, Jonathan Singleton. Absolutely, God’s work and impeccable timing are always perfect. Praise be to God.

Please welcome Pastor Jonathan and his family to Clewiston with open arms, open hearts and welcoming Clewiston love.

John Wellslager
Staff Parish Relations
First Methodist Church of Clewiston

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *