Editor’s note: People of Faith is an occasional question-and-answer feature highlighting various leaders in the local faith community.
She told her husband she had just chatted briefly with a neighbor in the yard of their Petersville home when he posed what seemed like a logical question — especially given that they form a clergy couple.
“Did you invite her to church?” he asked.
“Are you kidding?” she asked incredulously.
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In a secular world in which church can scare some people away from God, the Rev. Stormy Scherer-Berry is adamant that evangelism is best done by building relationships during a period of perhaps nine months before extending spiritual invitations.
The 50-year-old leader recently assumed the pastorate of Petersville United Methodist Church, among the area’s smaller, more rural churches — a faith element that she is passionate about. This marks her 11th move in 27 years in a system that regularly changes its leaders to keep followers looking to Jesus and not pastors.
Scherer-Berry arrives acutely aware of the church’s personal history that includes the fact that members sold tomatoes from a farm field to build the structure in 1963.
“They had a vision — and they followed that,” she said.
She mentioned that she is too happy to plant herself here to serve.
“I know a ton of people (in United Methodist churches) who have been here over the years. And they all say it’s a great place to be. And they are absolutely right.”
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Family: Husband Edward, a semi-retired, part-time United Methodist minister for the past two years after full-time ministry. Children Ryan, 34, in South Bend; Doug, 31, in Evansville; Michal, 20, of Columbus; Kezia, 18, of Columbus.
Role: New pastor at Petersville United Methodist Church, 2781 N. County Road 500E.
In ministry since: 1987. Began in children’s ministry in Alexandria.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in special education from Anderson University; master’s degree in the field from Ball State University. Also, a master’s of divinity degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, where she and Edward met.
Came to Columbus: late June.
Hobbies: Flower and vegetable gardening and landscaping; following the arts; watching sports.