Next week’s Sunday service (June 18th) will be the last time PJ (Pamela Jean) Stewart, the pastor of the Hennessey First United Methodist Church, will lead the Hennessey congregation. PJ said, “I am now 72 years old and our denomination requires me to retire from being a full-time pastor.” Another factor is the Methodist Church has been known to keep pastors in place approximately 5 or 6 years and assigns them based on need.  PJ said, “I arrived in 2016 so I have been here 6 years.”  PJ is moving to Newkirk for a new assignment she described as a ¾ position.  PJ said, “I’m not full-time, not fully retired. I just can’t remain a full-time pastor.”

PJ grew up in El Dorado, Arkansas in the southern part of the state. Her family moved to Springdale when she was in 11th grade. After school, PJ and her husband made Tulsa their home for many years. This is where most of her family lives to date. PJ was a music teacher before entering the ministry.  She said, “Serving in the ministry was my second career.” In her first church PJ served as Associate Pastor pastor at Christ United Methodist Church in Tulsa, with Sr. Pastor, Dr. Bob Pierson (who served as a student Pastor in Hennessey while going to seminary!     

Hennessey was the 5th church PJ has pastored in the 30+ years of being a pastor and for more years on staff as Christian Education Director, Youth Director, children youth, and choir director.

PJ has been very active in the Hennessey community while here. She served on the Friends of the Library board, is active in the Ministerial Alliance, and has been active with the Salvation Army in Kingfisher.

PJ is also an avid NASCAR fan and has traveled to many tracks around the country to see races.  She is also a Mickey Mouse fan, and they made it the theme of her departing party last Sunday after Church. 

The new pastor, Sandy Shepherd, and her husband Mark arrive on June 25th. The Shepherds are coming from Prague and Arlington where she has been serving both churches. 

PJ said that she will always consider Hennessey her home and hopes to come to visit again in the future!