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Freehold Methodists Welcome New Pastor July 6

The Rev. Loraine Priestley-Smith has served United Methodist congregations in South River and Quinton, New Jersey

Rev. Loraine Priestley-Smith
Rev. Loraine Priestley-Smith
The Rev. Loraine Priestley-Smith (Pastor Loraine) will be installed as pastor of First United Methodist Church on Sunday, July 6, at the 10:00 worship service. The community is invited to help welcome the new pastor at the service and the welcoming reception to immediately follow.
     
The church is located at 91 West Main Street, Freehold, New Jersey, between Manalapan and Yard Avenues. 
     
Pastor Loraine graduated from New Brunswick Theological Seminary in 2007 and has served United Methodist congregations in South River and Quinton, New Jersey.  She will bring her own special gifts to the First United Methodist Church in Freehold, which has been serving the central Monmouth County area for over 180 years.  
     
The congregation’s service to the community includes the Amistad after-school program for younger elementary students and their families, the “Pick-Up Sticks” knitting/crocheting ministry, “A Future with Home” Superstorm Sandy relief efforts, “In-School Outfits” collection for Borough children’s school uniforms, support of Open Door Food Pantry, Crop Walk, and other local projects. The church sponsored the community ecumenical “Sonrise at the Pond” Easter service this year, as well as regularly participating in events organized by the Freehold Area Clergy Association including the Crop Walk, Mid-Week Lenten Luncheons/Services and Interfaith Thanksgiving Service.  
     
In addition to the numerous activities and fellowship events, the congregation shares its facility with the New Canaan United Methodist Church (Brazilian congregation), Monmouth Literacy Volunteers, Sanctuary breakfast program, the AAUW Book Sale, Acelero Head Start ESL program and various support and social groups.  The church recently underwent a major renovation of its Fellowship Hall and numerous other facility improvements. 
     
The congregation brings cultural richness to the community via numerous concerts presented by professional musicians as well as church-based initiatives such as a multi-church presentation of Handel’s Messiah (Christmas portions) held at the Bethel AME Church, hosting the Appassionata Arts Concert Series, and a very popular “Spooktacular” silent film event for Halloween.  The church itself is known for its diverse and high-quality music (from traditional choral pieces and hymns to contemporary Christian) with an excellent choir (under the direction of Brittany Montoro) and popular “Joyful Noise” praise band (which recently performed at Olde Freehold Day).  A free community youth chorus will be organized in the fall to enhance the music opportunities of local children.  The church hosted Monmouth Council of Boy Scouts members for their first “Ten Commandments Hike” and was a stop on the Freehold Borough Historic Preservation Commission’s Historic Church Tour in December.  
     
The First United Methodist Church looks forward to welcoming Pastor Loraine and her husband Leeroy, and hope to soon meet their two grown sons, Michael and Darrell.  

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