After serving the congregation of Graceway Church for 15 years, Pastor Dwight Pulsfus has retired — sort of.
“I’m 69 years old. It seemed like it was time,” Pulsfus said of his decision to retire. “There was no big chain of events leading up to it, just time marching on and a desire to have a younger staff bring their ideas.”
Although he will no longer be working in an official capacity for the church, Pulsfus isn’t actually going anywhere. He said the change shouldn’t affect the parishioners too much, as he has always led as a partnership.
“I’ll still be there, taking some pastoral jobs but not getting paid,” Pulsfus said. “I still plan to be active. I enjoy working with people.”
Although Pulsfus has always been active and involved in church, he didn’t become a pastor until his later years. He has been a parishioner with Graceway for 40 years and began serving as a pastor in 2003. That’s why when a position opened up at the church. Pulsfus said the decision to become a pastor was an easy one.
“Our church determined a need for an associate pastor,” Pulsfus said. “I saw the opening, and thought it was a good fit for me.”
Pulsfus said a lot of what he does as an attorney and municipal judge is similar to being a pastor.
“In essence, you are caring for people, listening to them and wanting to help,” Pulsfus said.
Pulsfus said the idea of church has changed a lot since he became a pastor.
“Nationally fewer people are making church a part of their lives,” Pulsfus said. “Weekly attendance has gone down. The challenge is keeping younger people involved and interested. And people’s lives are much busier than they used to be.”
Pulsfus said the goal of Graceway is to be relevant. “We hope a person’s faith is as active and exciting as they want it to be,” Pulsfus said. “We can’t force that. They have to want it.”
Pastor Bryan Brotherton said he’s glad Pulsfus will still be active with the congregation. “The things we have all come to rely on about him will continue,” Brotherton said. “But I think what will be missed is the daily access we have to him. I’m glad he has the clarity of thought of taking care of people and his teaching; those things will continue. We just won’t get to bump into him every day for that.”