Westernville church names permanent pastor

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TOWN OF WESTERN — The Pastor Nominating Committee and the Session of the First Presbyterian Church of Westernville called Donna Schonewetter on July 1 to be its permanent, part-time pastor.

Pastor Schonewetter is an honor graduate of the Utica Presbytery Lay Academy and a Commissioned Ruling Elder (CRE) in the Presbyterian Church USA. In addition, she holds a bachelor’s of arts degree in English and Christian Education from Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn., and a master’s of science degree in Adolescence Education from Utica College.

Over the years, Pastor Schonewetter worked with the Westernville congregation and provided pulpit supply. They commissioned her to preach and perform baptisms and communion in June 2015 when they were in search of a new, full-time pastor.

Shortly after Pastor Schonewetter’s appointment, the July 8 tornado took down the church steeple and caused massive damage to the roofs and interiors of the church building. Restorations have begun, but worship is being held in the Western Fire Hall every Sunday at 10 a.m. until repairs are completed.

Pastor Schonewetter and her husband, Dennis, moved to the church manse in Westernville to become part of the community. 

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