Dawn Truax, custodian
Steve Johnson, pianist
The Rev. Caleb McGregor
Pastor Caleb, 31, has been serving the Edinburg and Stonington communities since July of 2016. He has been in ministry since 2013. He received his Masters of Divinity (with a certification in Congregational Leadership) from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. He is a 2012 graduate of Eastern Illinois University, where he received a Bachelors of Music (Piano Performance and Music Composition). He grew up in Mt. Carmel, Illinois and involved himself in everything musical or theatrical. He was ordained an Elder in June of 2019 under Bishop Frank J. Beard. He is a member of an order which focuses on liturgical renewal and the centrality of the Sacraments called “The Order of Saint Luke.” He is the newest member of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference’s Board of Ordained Ministry and the Sangamon River District Committee on Ministry, serves on the Young Adult Committee of the Conference, and is a member of the local Stonington Lions Club where he serves as the district chaplain. He is also active in the Edinburg Ministerial Alliance. His ministry is all about the transformed life made possible through Jesus Christ. He lives in Stonington, IL.
Pastor's Beliefs and Ministry
The Christian life is lived out in community, not in isolation. There is no such thing as a “stand-alone” Christian who can live apart from the family of God. I value strong community relationship which keeps us on the journey of “working out our own salvation” (Philippians 2:12). As the Proverbs say, “A dear friend will love you no matter what, and a family sticks together through all kinds of trouble” (Proverbs 17:17). The Good News Message of Jesus Christ is about the challenge for us to love deeper, wider, and longer than we first thought: “love one another deeper from the heart” (1 Peter 1:22). In complicated issues, we always “err” on the side of grace and love: “Where sin increases, grace abounds all the more” (Romans 5:20). We do not have to “change” the essence of who we are for God but to grow more into the person God created us to be–the fullest expressions of ourselves: “All who are in Christ are new creations!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
“All day long God is working for good in the world.” All the division, destruction, hatred, and violence we experience today are real and horrific and they are hindrances to God’s will for this world. We are called to take specific actions to address systemic harm. Meanwhile, though, God’s goodness always prevails (through us and, sometimes, despite us). God is at work transforming the evils we perpetuate around us and makes them bend toward goodness and redemption and the full renewal of the whole creation. We have a high calling as Christians to participate in God’s to renew the world and transform it into the kingdom of heaven, where “the powerful are brought down from their thrones, and the lowly are lifted up; where the hungry are filled with good things, and the rich are sent away empty” (Luke 1:52-53).
The Christian life is a lifelong journey of salvation involving inward transformation and outward action: “What does the Lord require of you? Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God!” (Micah 6:8). The Church is the Body of Christ which stretches beyond time and place, including Christians of all walks of life and tradition. In community, we find the accountability and support we need to keep on the “straight-and-narrow.”
Worship is an experience of the Risen Christ where the individual gathers weekly with the family of God in an receptive attitude, anticipating to be transformed by the Spirit of God degree-by-degree. Worship is necessarily participatory with the Sacraments of Baptism and Communion as two pillars for our lifelong discipleship. Weekly worship alongside daily devotions and regular participation in a small group are the key to a vital life in Christ.
Rev. Dr. Frank J. Beard
Illinois Great Rivers Conference Episcopal Leader
The United Methodist Church is divided into regional units called “annual conferences,” so named because its clergy and lay people meet annually. Each annual conference is led by a bishop. We are in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference, which covers all of central and southern Illinois (south of I-80).
Bishop Frank J. Beard was elected to the episcopal office in 2016 and assigned to IGRC that year. Prior to his election he served as an ordained Elder in the Indiana annual conference. Bishop Beard is a gifted preacher and teacher. He has a passion for Jesus Christ that is contagious. His primary focus is encouraging churches to be “on fire for Jesus.” His life quote is, “I want to be so full of Jesus that when a mosquito bites me it will fly away humming ‘there is power in the blood’!”
Bishop Beard is married to Melissa and has two adults daughters: Eleanor and Emily, and three grandchildren: Maya, Elijah, and Stanton. Bishop Beard is an avid fisherman and loves to tell stories about his fishing adventures.
Our District Superintendent
Rev. Bradley Watkins
Sangamon River District (Springfield area) Presiding Elder
Every annual conference is subdivided into districts. Our Illinois Great Rivers Conference has 10. Each district is overseen by a presiding Elder. We are in the Sangamon River District based in Springfield.
D.S. Bradley Watkins II was appointed by Bishop Beard to the SRD effective January 1, 2020.
A native of Peoria, IL, Watkins is the son of retired pastor, the Rev. Bradley F. Watkins, who served as the Champaign-area District Superintendent from 1991 to 1998. He is a graduate of Wiley College, a historically black college and Gammon Theological Seminary. He was commissioned as a probationary member in 1987 and ordained an Elder in the former Central Illinois Conference in 1991.
In addition to serving several churches, Watkins also served four years at Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House in East St. Louis.
“Watkins has been an effective bridge builder everywhere he has served and I am confident in his leadership skills and ability and know him as a godly man and servant of Christ and the Church,” says Bishop Beard.
Our Leadership Roster - 2021
The Church Council
representing the functions of: Trustees / Staff-Parish Relations (partial) / Finance
Pastor: Rev. Caleb McGregor
Council Chair: Steve (1)
Trustees Chair: John (1)
Finance Chair: Max (3)
Staff-Parish Relations Chair: Max (3)
Church Treasurer: Bernadine (1)
Financial Secretary: Maggie (2)
Council Secretary: Janell (1)
Leadership Development/Nominations: Carlotta (1)
Lay Leader: Janell (1)
Ministry Team (N.O.W.)
N.urturing Coordinator: Bonnie
Pastor: Rev. Caleb
O.utreach Coordinator: Sandy
Lay Leader: Janell
W.itness Coordinator: Debbie
Pastor: Rev. Caleb
Lay Leader/Liturgist/Singer: Janell
Leadership Development and Nominations
FINAL YEAR (2021) (1)
Vice Chair: Carlotta
FINAL YEAR (2022) (2)
Lay Leader: Janell
FINAL YEAR (2023) (3)
Pastor: Rev. Caleb
Combined Staff-Parish Relations Committee
1. S-PRC Chair: Max (1)
2. S-PRC Vice Chair: Bonnie (2)
3. Lay Leader: Janell (1)
4. At-large: Glenn (3)
1. S-PRC Chair: Rebecca
2. S-PRC Vice Chair: Leslie
3. Lay Leader: Rita
4. At-large: Cynthia
Other Important Leaders
S-PRC Vice Chair: Bonnie (2)
Trustees Vice Chair: Margaret (3)
Finance Vice Chair: Margaret (3)
Council Vice Chair: Maggie (1)
Trustees Treasurer: Sandy (3)
UMW President: Debbie
UMM President: Randy, contact (3)
Funeral Dinner Coordinator: Maggie
Memorial Fund: Maggie (1)
Church Auditing: Margaret (1) / Carlotta (1)
Historians: Treva (3) / Josie (2)
Prayer Coordinator: __________________
Membership Secretary: Maggie (1)
Benevolence Fund: Sandy, contact (3) / Maggie (2)
Communion Stewardess: Sharon (1)
Recording Secretary for Charge Conf.: Carlotta (1)
Lay Member to Annual Conference: Janell (1)
Alternate Lay Member to A.C.: Jeannine (SUMC) (1)
Church School Coordinator: Nancy (3)
Child Advocate: Debbie (3)
Camping Coordinator: Josie (2)
Offering Counters: Bernadine (1) / Maggie (2) /
Margaret (3) / Carlotta (3)