BLOOMVILLE - A new pastor, Luigi Perez, has joined the congregation at Bloomville United Methodist Church. A native of Cuba, Perez and his family have lived in Willard for about three years. He was installed July 10 at the 9:30 a.m. service. The time had to be changed because Perez also is pastor for a church in Willard.
"I have been a Methodist my whole life," Perez said. "I felt a call to the ministry at about age 20 or 21."
Janis Weasner, member of the pastor/parish relations committee, said the church was established at the present location, 26 E. New Haven St., in 1867 and has about 60 members.
"Pastor Perez was appointed to our church by the conference following the departure of Pastor Virginia Park on June 30. Pastor Park was appointed to the charge at Kelleys Island. ... Pastor Park had been with us for two years," Weasner said.
Perez has been in ministry for about two years, passing his conference licensing class in June 2010. He plans to enter the seminary as soon as his undergraduate schooling is complete.
"I am a licensed local pastor. I am finishing my bachelor's degree," Perez said.
Although he plays piano and drums, he does not plan to get involved in music ministry at his churches.
He said being pastor is a leadership role that is important in developing other leaders. For now, he is working on getting more people into the pews.
"I would like to see the church grow. I want to see attendance double this year," Perez said. "I hope to start at least two small (study) groups."
The church does not offer vacation Bible school, but Bloomville UMC children can attend the Bible school at Bloomville United Church of Christ.