DELPHOS — This past March, Wesleyan Church voted in its newest senior pastor, the Rev. Rodney Shade, who has been the interim pastor for the church since June 2012.
He was saved in October 1974 and was sanctified in the Wesleyan Church in Bradford in 1975.
Throughout his 30 years of ministry, Rev. Shade has remained in Ohio. He began his ministry in 1982 in Troy, where in his five-year tenure with the church, the congregation doubled in attendance. Five years later, Shade became the assistant pastor in New Miami, where he led a congregation of 120 people, was in charge of the church Christian School and created a program of how to minister to those not attending the church’s services.
“It’s kinda like PR (Public Relations) in sales,” Shade mused.
Shade experienced a short tenure in New Miami due to the senior pastor’s resignation, which required him to resign his assistant pastor position. In 1988 while in Sidney, Shade’s ministry went really well. In 13 years, the church tripled in attendance, quadrupled in finances and led to the building of a 4,400-square-foot parsonage.
In 1992, Shade was appointed to Greenville Bethel Long, the first inter-racial community in Ohio with ties to the Underground Railroad.
“It was the best church I’ve been at because of the people,” he said.
Forwarding to today, Shade is utilizing two assistant pastors and “re-formatting” the ministry. The goal is to train and equip people to grow their gifts and skills.
“This is a goldmine and has the opportunity to double or triple in size,” Shade said enthusiastically. “The community is accepting. We just have to fine tune some things.”
Since his district appointment in June 2012, the church membership has grown by a third. Shade said that during Sunday services, the sanctuary is very crowded with the nearly 70 members. He is anticipating the congregation’s continued expansion.
“Within the year, I could see having to have a second service on Sunday,” he said.
Shade and his wife Beth have been married for over 40 years. Their family includes five children and 18 grandchildren. In addition, the Shades live with and care for their older adult mothers in their home.
The church is looking forward to hosting community events; a Community Day and Open House.
For more information on services, groups and events, call Rev. Shade at 937-397-4459.