Showing love of God

AT WORK

`I like talking to people about faith and how it applies to their life,' Baptist pastor says

December 26, 2007|By Nancy Jones-Bonbrest | Nancy Jones-Bonbrest,Special to The Sun

Fred Weimert

Pastor

Calvary Baptist Church, Towson

Salary: --$68,000

Age: --61

Years on the job: --31

How he got started: --After graduating with a degree in economics, Weimert joined the Navy and stayed there for five years. When he got out, he wanted to go back to school to get a degree in teaching. Instead his pastor at the time suggested seminary. After graduating from the three-year program at what is now the Palmer Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Weimert began work at Calvary Baptist as the minister to youth and young adults. Four years later he took over as pastor of the church. Weimert later went to St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore, graduating with a master's in theology.

Typical day: --Weimert said much of his work is administrative, answering e-mail and phone calls. He is usually in the office Tuesday through Saturday, with a Sunday service at 11 a.m. He performs services twice a month at Francis X Gallagher Center, a Catholic Charities program for people with developmental disabilities. And once a month, Weimert holds services at Mays Chapel North, a retirement community. He also regularly makes visits to area hospitals to visit patients.

Homeless help: --Weimert and the Calvary Baptist congregation regularly offer assistance to area shelters. They spend once a month baking cakes for Our Daily Bread and they provide soup dinners for Sarah's Hope Outreach Center and the West Side Shelter. The Assistance Center of Towson Churches, which provides emergency assistance to poor and needy families, is also housed on church property.

The congregation: --It's considered small, with about 200 members. As at many churches throughout the country, membership has been declining. To help minimize those losses, Weimert encourages members who no longer participate to become active in the church again, and he is trying to attract younger members. "We also try to work with the [members] we have to encourage them to reach out beyond themselves."

Sermons: --They take about eight to 10 hours to write, Weimert said. But he adds that he is always thinking about what he will say throughout the week, usually writing it on Friday and Saturday.

Future of the church: --"A lot of bad things have happened in church communities. So many young people don't go to church anymore or want anything to do with it," said Weimert, who views the church as an opportunity to reach out and help those in need beyond. "For many, church is just a place where people come together and support them through all of life."

Weddings: --Because Calvary Baptist is across the street from the Baltimore County Circuit Court, Weimert performs marriage ceremonies on a regular basis.

The good: --"I like being with people. I like talking to people about faith and how it applies to their life."

The bad: --"Having been here so long, the hardest thing I do is funerals for friends. Also, being with people who have lost significant [others] at times of year like this."

Philosophy on the job: --"Try to show the love of God to people."

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