Keith Weekly Accepts Call to Augusta First Christian

The First Christian Church of Augusta has called Keith Weekley as its new pastor. He comes from the Federated Church of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, where he served as interim pastor for two years.

Keith went to Massachusetts in 2005 to serve as a professional interim for the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ (MACUCC). He served as interim for a year at Christ Church United in Lowell, where the church recovered from internal conflict and called a settled pastor who has built an active downtown ministry to the poor and homeless. Keith’s second interim was at the Allin Congregational Church in Dedham, where he stayed for two years. Allin is the birthplace of Unitarianism, led by its pastor, Jonathan Edwards. The church was established in 1638.

Christ Church United in Dracut, MA, called in 2008 and Keith became their interim for two and one-half years. Once CCU Dracut called a Disciples minister as their pastor, Keith moved to China for a year, only to be called back to minister to the Federated Church. Federated was in the middle of conflict following the early termination of its pastor. After the completion of a series of small healing groups, the church came together, held a service of reconciliation and announced a day of new beginnings. They called a dynamic pastor and are in the process of advancement of ministries in their communities.

The UCC looks at interim ministry in somewhat an unusual manner. Once a church calls an interim, that person enters into covenant with the church and the conference for the church not to seek out the interim as a settled pastor and the interim not to seek the pulpit. In that way, both church and interim pastor can focus on the tasks of the interim period.

First Christian, Augusta is the second oldest Disciples’ congregation in Georgia, being established in 1835. It is home to a beautiful sanctuary which the congregation has spent over a million dollars in the past ten years to keep in pristine condition. Dr. C. Don Manning came to Augusta First after “retirement” from Winder, First Christian. He served as the church’s interim for nineteen years, providing wise leadership to the church in restoration of the building. As Dr. Manning approaches his 90th birthday, he is still a vigorous and beloved member of the church.

Keith began his ministry on June 1, and was installed on June 15, by Regional Minister Dr. Denise Bell. The church anticipates continuing and growing its several ministries under Keith’s leadership.

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