CITY OF WESTERN – The pastor appointments committee and session of the First Presbyterian Church in Westernville called Donna Schonewetter on July 1 to be its permanent part-time pastor.
Pastor Schonewetter is an Honorary Graduate of the Utica Rectory Lay Academy and a Former Mandate Leader (CRE) of the Presbyterian Church in the United States. In addition, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Christian Education from Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee, and a Master of Science in Adolescent Education from Utica College.
Over the years, Pastor Schonewetter has worked with the Westernville congregation and provided chairs. They assigned her to preach and perform baptisms and communion in June 2015, while they were looking for a new full-time pastor.
Shortly after Pastor Schonewetter’s appointment, the July 8 tornado destroyed the church steeple and caused enormous damage to the roofs and interior of the church building. Restorations have started, but worship takes place in the West Fire Hall every Sunday at 10 a.m. until the repairs are complete.
Pastor Schonewetter and her husband, Dennis, moved to Westernville Rectory to be part of the community.