French Creek UMC Pastor Killingsworth announces retirement

FRENCH CREEK – Pastor Nancy Killingsworth will preach her last sermon to the congregation of the French Creek United Methodist Church June 30 and then she will step away from the pulpit, a platform she has faithfully and diligently occupied since her appointment nearly twenty years ago.

Killingsworth, 76, is retiring after more than two decades as a Methodist minister.

“I felt so led by the Lord and his calling me into the ministry that I finally acquiesced in 1998,” said Killingsworth. “It was the hardest, but indeed it was the best decision, I have ever made to follow the will of the Lord and to work in the building of His kingdom.”

After being called into the ministry, Killingsworth served at the Ten Mile United Methodist Church for two years and in 2000, she was re-assigned to the Adrian Charge and assumed the pastoral responsibilities of the Adrian UMC, Laurel Fork UMC and the French Creek UMC.

Killingworth, a West Virginia native, was born and raised in the Harrison County community of Adamston. She is a 1959 graduate of Victory High School and in 1963 she graduated from Fairmont State.

A renowned and distinguished educator for thirty-five years, Killingsworth began her professional career working in the Harrison County public school system. For fifteen years, she taught at Morgan Elementary, Chestnut Hills Elementary and Alta Vista Elementary before relocating to

Upshur County where she taught at the Buckhannon-Upshur Intermediate School for twenty more years.

“Standing by my side throughout all these years has been my husband, Don, who has been my biggest and loudest cheerleader,” Killingsworth proudly boasted. “We were united in marriage way back on August 3, 1963, and there is no way I could have ever accomplished any of these professional goals without him. He truly is a saint sent to me from God.”

The Killingsworth have two children, Diana Elaine (Killingsworth) Visarriagus and Don Kevin Killingsworth and two grandchildren.

“We knew this day would eventually come and Pastor Nancy would retire, again,” said long-time parishioner Beverly Davis. “Throughout the years, she has been a genuine mentor to me and the spiritual growth I have achieved under her has been enormous. Also, I am public school teacher and she has been so inspirational to me over the years, and I will greatly miss seeing her every Sunday and the words of wisdom she imparted to me to remain strong in the education profession!”

Davis echoes the sentiments of every other church member.

“Nancy has been one of the most loyal friends to my wife and me,” remarked church member Ted Turner. “To not have her in the pulpit on Sunday morning will take a long time in adjusting. Nancy was such a stellar figure here for our church family; to say that we will miss her is an understatement.”

To honor Killingsworth’s years of service, the congregation of the French Creek UMC will hold a covered dish dinner along with a retirement party on Tuesday, June 11 beginning at 6:00 the church’s fellowship hall. Everyone in the community is encouraged to attend and bring along a covered dish.

Killingworth and her husband will continue to reside in the Buckhannon, a place they have called home for forty years.

The Methodist conference has named Pastor David Fisher as Killingsworth’s replacement and he will officially deliver his first sermon on Sunday, July 7.

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