Gartman appointed as pastor of FUMC Atmore

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 10, 2019

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Andy Gartman has been appointed the new pastor of First United Methodist Church Atmore.

Gartman’s first Sunday in Atmore was July 7. He replaces Brennan Peacock, who was appointed to serve as pastor at First United Methodist Church of Andalusia.

Gartman’s ministry began in 1987, while in college at the University of Mobile. He served as pastor of Irvington United Methodist Church.

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“From there, I got an appointment to what’s called the Lee Circuit,” he said, adding that the circuit comprises of three smaller churches. “While I was in that appointment, I was in seminary fulltime at Emory University in Atlanta (Ga.).”

Gartman has a master’s degree in divinity from Emory, and his first appointment after seminary was as an associate pastor at Auburn United Methodist Church, where he served for three years.

After his stint in Auburn, he served at a few churches before ending up at his most-recent appointment at Hartford United Methodist Church.

“I was there for three years as well, and nobody really expected I would move this year,” Gartman said. “Not me, not the church and not my district superintendent initially. There were some circumstances that came up that one of our senior pastors found out late that he had bad cancer. I was a part of that late round of appointments.

“I couldn’t be happier to be in Atmore, and to be pastor of this church,” he said.

The call to ministry is a different road for all.

Gartman served in the U.S. Navy in the branch’s nuclear power program on submarines. He said when he went back home to Mobile County, the Wilmer native thought he was going to get a degree in chemical engineering, and said, “as a married man with two children, trying to do that in a co-op setting wasn’t doable.”

“So, I got a job and it was not long after I got that job and in some conversations with my pastor at the time, I began to feel God’s call to ordained ministry,” he said. “That wound up carrying the day.”

Gartman said he went to UM and majored in religion and minored in English. Then, he went to seminary in Atlanta.

Gartman is married to Patricia, and the couple had two children. Drew, the oldest, died almost 11 years ago, and Kurt lives with his wife in Milton, Fla.

When asked why he thinks he was called to ministry, Gartman said he believes that there is a use for him in the kingdom.

“It’s really hard for me to say — the whys of God, but if I were to answer I would say it was because in God’s providence, that God knew that I could somehow be useful in the kingdom,” he said. “And, I hope that that’s been true.”