In 2009 Pastor Josh Doughty was fresh out of Asbury Theological Seminary school and had spent a year at a small church in central Minnesota before becoming the pastor at Faith United Methodist Church in Sleepy Eye.
Sunday, June 16, will be Josh's final sermon in Sleepy Eye before he moves on to Bethany United Methodist Church in Rochester.
Josh recalled his first year in Sleepy Eye was sometimes a challenge getting to know the culture of a rural farming community, as he had grown up in the Twin Cities metro area and lived in Lexington, Ky., while attending seminary. However, he noted what he will miss the most about Sleepy Eye is the slower pace and the hard-working, welcoming people of the community.
Josh wanted to stress that he is not leaving Sleepy Eye due to any dissatisfaction. The Methodist Church matches the needs of a church with the gifts of a pastor.
"Each pastor is appointed to a church for a mission or a reason," Josh explained. "If they see a church where I would fit the needs of that church they will move me."
Josh said his duties as pastor at Bethany United Methodist will remain largely the same, with the exception of more community evangelism and discipleship within the church.
"It's a younger community and one of the challenges I'm looking forward to is reaching out to a young crowd," Josh noted.
In addition, Josh said other challenges he is looking forward to is getting to know a new community all over again and having Starbucks and Caribou Coffee stores just a few minutes away.
All joking aside, Josh said with a new church comes new opportunities and that's exciting for him and his family.
"It will be a growth experience. With any job its all about personal and professional growth and I see Rochester as a place where I can continue that," Josh said "Its about where am I going to best serve and fulfill my calling."
John Mitchem, an associate pastor from Hastings, will be replacing Josh. He will begin his duties at Faith United Methodist in July.
Josh and his wife, Kristen, and their son, Brennon, plan to move June 27.