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A calling to Warrensburg

WARRENSBURG - Pastor Steve's calling to do God's work came about 30 years ago when he had small children, but it wasn't quite time to make the leap and become a full-time pastor at the Methodist Church.

"God said, 'I gave you these kids to raise. We'll talk later,'" said Pastor Steve, whose full name is Stephen Andrews.

Those two children are all raised now, 36-year-old daughter Julie living in New Hampshire and 34-year-old Todd living in his parents' former home in Hudson Falls.

Pastor Steve and his wife, Susan, moved to the parsonage behind the First United Methodist Church in Warrensburg in August 2010. That was a month before Pastor Steve retired from his day job at age 62, a laboratory information systems (LIS) coordinator for Saratoga Hospital.

In recent years, Pastor Steve's calling had become stronger.

"I missed it," he said. "I felt I was not happy unless I was preaching."

The First United Methodist Church in Warrensburg had been without a pastor for about 13 months when Pastor Steve moved here. The previous pastor, Dawn Robbins, left for another pastorship, and the Warrensburg church had some lay leaders take over the administrative duties. Pastor Steve became the church's lay supply pastor in November 2009.

"Which basically means I brought the message here on Sunday," he said.

Pastor Steve graduated from the Local Pastor's Licensing School at the Upper New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in May 2010. A few months later, he and his wife moved from Hudson Falls to Warrensburg.

"God has a sense of humor," Pastor Steve said. "He took Dawn Robbins and put her in Hudson Falls."

Pastor Steve now works 3/4 time for the church, yet when you carry God's message everywhere, it's hard to limit compassion and preaching to 32 hours. It's more like a full-time job, he said. In addition to duties at the church, Pastor Steve spends a lot of his time now visiting people in hospitals and nursing homes and has about a dozen people on his "shut-in" list.

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