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After seven years as pastor of Wesley Meadows Methodist Church near Hodgenville, Rev. Andrew Singh will be leaving this month to serve as associate pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Georgetown.
Singh, a native of India who was only 20 years old when he began his pastorate at Wesley Meadows, calls the church members there his family.
“These people raised me, fed me, loved me and sat through my boring sermons,” Singh said of the congregation of 70 members that not only helped him mature as a person, but also taught him the finer points of Kentuckians’ ways of talking.
He recalled how long-time church member Margaret Whitlock, in asking the church to pray for a fellow Wesley Meadows member, said, “He’s sick and not out of the woods yet.”
“I wondered when she said that, ‘If that person is sick, then what is he doing in the woods?’” said Singh with a laugh.
He also was somewhat puzzled with the response of people he would ask to his church.
Their reply, “We’ll be there, the Good Lord willing and the creek doesn’t rise,” left him wondering about which creek and where.
He has caught on to the dialect and idioms in the intervening years, however, to the point where he exclaimed, “People know me as the Indian who talks with a Southern accent and loves Southern Gospel music.”
His love for music (he sings, plays guitar and piano) led him to establish a youth praise band and singers, the Meadowlarks, at Wesley Meadows, and to add members from Levelwoods Methodist Church which he has pastored concurrently with Wesley Meadows since 2009.
He also instituted prayer time after Wednesday night Bible study at both churches and visitation at Sunrise Manor Nursing Home on Thursdays.
Singh’s close friend Rev. Barry Fields, pastor at Mt. Tabor Baptist Church, noted that Singh’s witnessing and his active Christian service, including a term as president of the LaRue County Ministerial Association, have made him well known and liked throughout LaRue County.
“People who have never set foot inside his church have been impacted by his ministry,” said Fields, who at 26 is only a year younger than his friend.
Their congregations, with Buffalo Baptist Church, hold joint services at Thanksgiving, which pleases both young ministers to see the different denominations worshiping together in harmony.
“He sprinkles, I dunk, and we’re still friends,” Fields declared.
Leaving here will be bittersweet for Singh and his wife Arpita, whom he married Dec. 30 at Wesley Meadows.
“I want to thank LaRue County for embracing Arpita and me with open hearts,” he said. “This place will always be in our hearts.”
His new home, located only five driving minutes from his church in Georgetown, will also make a shorter drive for his wife to Asbury Seminary where she’s working on her master’s degree in counseling.
Singh, who holds a master’s of divinity degree from Asbury, said his position at the 300-member church in Georgetown will include working with youth and young adults, visiting, preaching, as well as some evangelistic work.
“It will be a little different setting, a city setting, but I look forward to meeting the people there and to working with the pastor, Rev. Greg Gallaher,” said Singh.
His first Sunday as associate pastor in Georgetown is June 26, the same day that Wesley Meadows’ new pastor, Rev. Wallace Votaw, will hold his first service in LaRue County. Votaw comes to Wesley Meadows from Bethel Methodist Church in Mount Washington where he served as assistant pastor.
Singh is also looking forward to the year 2014 when he will be eligible for and will apply for United States citizenship.
Wesley Meadows will host a community-wide reception to honor Singh from 3-6 p.m. June 12.