History, West draw interim minister
Posted: Tuesday, Jun 26th, 2012
The lure of the Old West and the abundance of visible history in the Guernsey area is a natural attraction for many tourists who come through each year. But those very things have also played a part in attracting those who also relocate and choose to call Guernsey home.
Such is the case for Beth Wilson, the new interim minister serving the United Presbyterian churches in Guernsey and Fort Laramie.
Wilson says she’s always been interested in history and Guernsey was a great opportunity to learn more about the West and the Oregon Trail.
Wilson came to Guernsey from Greenville, South Carolina in late February and has settled in to the small town routine.
Self-described as a “second career minister,” Wilson worked for IBM in sales prior to attending seminary at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, just outside Atlanta, receiving her degree in 1999.
She served as the main pastor at a 300-year old colonial church in Greenwich, NJ for four years and also worked as an associate pastor for four years in South Carolina. She spent a year working as a supply minister after returning to Greenville to take care of her mother, who was dealing with health issues.
Working on her doctorate, Wilson also had an opportunity to spend some time in Edinborough, Scotland at St. Giles Cathedral, considered the mother church of the Presbyterian faith.
Very much a “people person” who believes in giving back, Wilson said a big factor in her choice to pursue the ministry came while volunteering at St. Jude Hospital in Memphis, the facility founded by Danny Thomas to treat children with life-threatening illnesses. The defining moment came after visiting a six-year old who was facing serious cancer surgery. As his parents could not hide the emotions of their concern for their son, the young boy tried to reassure them, saying that he had learned that when one sheep is lost, Jesus will find it and bring it back home. Seeing the impact of her visit pushed Wilson to make the decision to become a minister. “I realized that I could use my skills to help people. I love to teach and make a difference,” said Wilson. “I resigned my position and started the process of enrolling for seminary.”
Wilson will serve the Guernsey and Fort Laramie churches as they move through the steps of calling a new, permanent minister.
Aside from those duties, she enjoys travel, walking and seeing new places.
She is single and one of three siblings with two brothers and also has one nephew. She has two cocker spaniels, Texas and Tucker, who are certified trained therapy dogs that may be used to interact with hospital and nursing home patients.