By Portia Williams
After 14 years, Dr. Wayne Young is coming home. Young has retired from Ironton First United Methodist Church (UMC) and will begin serving at Cornerstone United Methodist Church (UMC) on July 1, 2015.
After Young graduated from seminary, he continued on to obtain his Doctor of Medicine degree and practiced medicine in Portsmouth for several years. In 2001, he answered God’s calling into full-time ministry as a pastor and was appointed to Ironton First UMC.
Young’s return will be met with familiarity as well as the unfamiliar.
“There will be a lot of folks that I didn’t know before. My wife and I, and our children attended Wesley United Methodist Church which was one of the churches that went into Cornerstone,” he said. “While I was there I was very blessed to be able to teach a Sunday School class that had between 60 and 80 people, and so I know all of the folks from the Wesley Church that is at Cornerstone. I know some of the folks from the other churches that came to Cornerstone as well because I preach in those other churches. There will still be a whole group of people, or a generation at Cornerstone that I don’t know yet.”
He said he has been blessed with a wonderful family, his wife Judy who passed away five years ago, a daughter and a son.
“My wife’s name is Judy. She was from New Boston and she passed away in 2010. She had been Miss Portsmouth, and was such a beautiful lady,” he said. “Our daughter Kristin went to Portsmouth High School and she is now a nurse and works up at SOMC. Our son is Ray Matthew, and went to Notre Dame and is an optometrist in the Columbus area.”
He said his work as director of Spiritual Formation is about helping church membership in the area of spiritual growth and development.
“The capacity which I will be serving in is director of Spiritual Formation. What it amounts to is really, spiritual growth,” Young said. “Many people are attracted to Christ, and attracted to church membership, but for some that is the end of it. They confess their faith, they join the church, and get baptized and so forth, but the Christian life is a life of depth. One of my tasks there at Cornerstone will be to help people along their path with understanding of their faith and the implementation of their faith so that as time passes they will become more involved in their relationship with God.”
When asked, Young said he is both excited, and a little nervous, but looks forward to sharing what he has learned since he was away.
“I am excited, but a little bit nervous but you realize they are all family, but some you just haven’t met yet,” he said. “I am really looking forward to it , because during the time that I was away from the Portsmouth area, I always lived in Wheelersburg, but I was directed to the Ironton direction many times I had an opportunity to participate in the Academy of Spiritual Formation, and I hope to be able to share many of the things that I learned there with the folks at Cornerstone.”
He said the problems and struggles are the same, but have been given new names.
“It is true that the names of problems change, but the basic problem remains the same. The basic problem is the same problem that we had back in the garden, and it’s called selfishness and pride. We as a people, and biblically speaking, the biblical analysis of us is that we are all sinners, and the center of sin is selfishness,” he said.
He said God is the only solution to the selfishness of human kind.
“The thing that needs to be communicated is that God, and the relationship with God is something that will defeat selfishness, ego, and pride,” he said. “God can defeat all of these problems, bigotry, hatred, addiction all of these things can be defeated with a relationship with God.”
Tim Roth, senior pastor at Cornerstone UMC, said they are delighted about having Wayne to come back to the Cornerstone congregation.
“We are really excited about having him back. I was not at Cornerstone yet when he left, but I am really looking forward to working with him,” Roth said. “Wayne had a huge impact on the Ironton community helping cast a vision to build a food pantry that feeds thousands of people each year. He is a sports fan and enjoys cheering for the Cincinnati Reds and the Ohio State University, as well as Ohio University, where he played basketball in college.”
He said Young will be preaching on July 5. The message will be What If?
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.