Tags: Religion | pastors | westvirginia | religion

In Rural West Va., Circuit-Riding Pastors Keep Sermons Alive

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By    |   Tuesday, 24 September 2019 05:15 PM

A husband and wife duo serve together as the pastors of five churches in rural West Virginia, attempting to make Sunday church services happen despite shrinking budgets and attendance. Their work as circuit preachers is reminiscent of the old-fashioned frontier preachers who traveled by wagon, horseback or foot to preach the Gospel, lead Bible studies and officiate at baptisms, weddings and funerals, reports The Washington Post.

“The circuit rider in a lot of ways was lost,” Rev. Jason Felici told the Post. “This is, in some way, the model of the future.”

Jess and Jason Felici are pastors in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a liberal-leaning mainline church with about 4 million members across the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Mainline denominations are on a decline, with the number of mainline Protestants in the United States dropping by about 5 million people from 2007 to 2014, according to Pew Research.

Churches are facing a tough uphill climb, even more so in rural places like the area the Felici’s cover.

The pair drive long distances across their 75-mile-wide parish to make sure they get to everyone.

“Out here, the church is the last social organization left,” said Jason. “The local post office is closed. The local social hall is closed. The local general store is closed.”

“When you age out of the volunteer firefighters or EMT, the church is the one place you have contact with people socially,” said Jess.

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A husband and wife duo serve together as the pastors of five churches in rural West Virginia, attempting to make Sunday church services happen despite shrinking budgets and attendance....
pastors, westvirginia, religion
243
2019-15-24
Tuesday, 24 September 2019 05:15 PM
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