SIDNEY — Arnold Collett knew he wanted to be a pastor … he just didn’t know when that goal would be achieved.
The Tipp City native fulfilled his goal on Sept. 1 when he was named the pastor at Trinity church of the Brethren, 2220 N. Main Ave., Sidney. He had been the interim pastor for 15 months.
“I was a member of the Troy Church of the Brethren and they supported me in becoming a pastor,” said Collett. He is a licensed minister and is continuing his education with the Bethany Seminary in Richmond.
The first time I felt the calling I was in junior high school,” said Collett, “but I didn’t pursue it. I answered a later in life calling (to become a pastor). I always felt like I should be a pastor, but I didn’t know when.”
Three years ago, he said, he started to develop “a desire and passion to preach. I felt this was my strongest gift. I felt like I could do more for the church as a pastor.”
Collett said his wife of 29 years, Sherri, was supportive of his decision.
“Before we were married and were dating, I told her I was going to be a pastor. I just didn’t know when. She’s been very supportive through the whole process.”
Collett has set several goals for the church.
“I’d like to first and foremost help the community around us in Sidney,” he said. “I’d also like the members to grow in their faith and knowledge of the Bible. I’d also like to see the congregation grow. Right now we have around 30 active members and 30 inactive members who come to church on and off.”
He said the church will continue to grow its outreach programs in the community.
“We recently held a garage sale and opened it up to the community around us. We told them they could use our parking lot to set up their items. That was very well received,” Collett said.
He’d also like to see community meals and family movie nights added as outreach programs.
“We hold traditional services every Sunday at 10:25 a.m.,” said Collett. “We going through a process right now for myself and the congregation to work together to get things done.
“New members are always welcome to attend the service,” he said. “They’re welcome to come visit to see what we do.”
Sunday school is held at 9:15 a.m., he said.
On Sunday, Oct. 15, an installation service for the new pastor will be held during the 10:25 a.m. service. The district executive from the Southern Ohio District will install Collett as pastor.
Collett is a bi-vocational pastor — he has a full-time job in addition to being the church’s pastor.
“I do work for the church one day a week and then I’m here on the weekends,” said Collett.
He said more and more churches are using bi-vocational pastors.
“The size of congregations for many churches are getting smaller,” he said. “It’s less of a burden on the congregation if the pastor has a full-time job.”
He is currently the property manager for Hawke Apartment Rentals, a position he’s held for 14 years. He had been employed at Hobart Brothers in Troy for 11 years prior to that.
When Collett graduated from Tipp City High School, he joined the U.S. Marines and was in the first Gulf War.
“The battalion I was with was stationed in northern Iraq and was on a humanitarian mission,” he said. “Our church (Brethren) is a peace church. I’m blessed that I didn’t have to fire my weapon during the war. I was a lay reader while in the Marine Corps. I’ve done small things my entire life that kept pushing me in this direction (to be a pastor).”
Collett said he’s ready for the new responsibilities as the church’s pastor.
“It’s very nice to have my own church,” he said. “I feel this is my own calling. I’ve always been willing to help in the church and this gives me a wonderful opportunity to continue to help.”
He said the congregation has been welcoming, loving and supportive to him as he begins his carer with the church.
“I have more life experience than pastoral experience right now,” he said.
He and his wife and the parents of one son and daughter-in-law, Wiley and Allison.
Reach the writer at (937) 538-4822.