FUMC welcomes pastor Dan Rhodes
By By Janet Little Cooper
Rev. Dan Rhodes and his wife Cheryl were the guests of honor Sunday afternoon at a reception hosted by their new church family, First United Methodist Church of Atmore.
Rhodes, who has pastored churches in the Alabama-West Florida Conference for the past 35 years, was appointed to Atmore from the Methodist church in Port St. Joe, Fla., that he had been serving in for the past 10 years.
"It is nice to be back in Alabama after being in Florida for the last 10 years," Rhodes said. "This area is not a total surprise in change because we have lived in Brewton before and are familiar with the area. We like what we have seen so far. Everyone is just so friendly."
Alabama is actually home to the new pastor. He was raised in his childhood home on Lake Martin near Dadeville and his wife is from Opelika.
Rhodes graduated from Union High in Dadeville; received his undergraduate degree from Auburn University and his Master of Divinity degree from Emory's Candler School of Theology.
He and his wife have three daughters, who also make their home in Alabama, Melissa Gibson of Brewton, Melinda Boyett and and Milene Pearson of Phenix City. They also have five granddaughters and one grandson.
"We have had contacts here in Atmore over the years through friends and family," Rhodes said. "We have never lived here before, but after meeting everyone it is like we are coming home."
Rhodes accepted God's call in life to serve in pastoral ministry at the young age of 23. He is excited about being a part of First United Methodist and the prospects for the future with them.
"I know how this community rallied together after the storms," Rhodes said. "During trials of life one can either become weakened or become stronger as a result of their faith and in the case of Atmore, I see this community and church as coming out stronger. I believe that FUMC will be a stronger church because of the trials they have gone through. This experience gives the church a great opportunity to minister to people. FUMC has some wonderful people in it who are not only leaders in the church but in the community as well."
When Rhodes is not in his office studying the Bible or behind the pulpit at First United Methodist preaching you may find him involved in a few other activities that he enjoys in his spare time such as watching the Atlanta Braves or Auburn Football. He also likes music, reading, history and traveling. He has traveled extensively, having been on work teams to Costa Rica, led groups to Israel and Egypt six times and has been to Mexico, England, Greece, Italy, Sicily, Malta and Honduras.
Rhodes first Sunday at the church was on Father's Day, June 18, which was followed by a reception on June 25.