On Sunday, November 22, Kingstree United Methodist Church welcomed to the pulpit The Reverend Tom Pietila, who will be serving as their Interim Pastor during Pastor Katherine Haselden Crimm’s 12-week maternity leave. Introduced to the congregation by Tom Thompson, Rev. Pietila’s sermon was “I Do Not Cease to Give Thanks,” and was preceded by Stan Williamson’s solo “Give Thanks” accompanied by Ellerbe Ackerman on the organ.
“I have long been familiar with beautiful Kingstree United Methodist Church and have been long-time friends of the Haselden family, having been their pastor at Socastee at the time of Katherine’s birth! I am pleased to have been selected by our District Superintendent to serve here and look forward to getting to know the members and celebrating with them during the Advent Season, Christmas, and the beginning of the New Year,” Rev. Pietila stated.
Before she began her leave, Pastor Katherine prepared Advent Devotional Booklets for each KUMC family with her wish for a meaningful Advent/Christmas for all. The spiral-bound booklets became available for pickup and/or delivery beginning on her last Sunday in the pulpit, November 15.
Reverend Pietila has been an elder in the SC Annual Conference since 1977. A graduate of Hiram College and Duke Divinity School, he has served United Methodist Churches across South Carolina and has participated on a number of boards and agencies in the Conference. He retired in 2010 from Central United Methodist in Florence after eleven years and is now their Pastor Emeritus. Following his retirement from Central, Rev. Pietila was the Director of Pastoral Services at McLeod Health until his retirement in 2017.
Married for 46 years, he and his wife Lindy have two adult daughters and three grandsons. The Pietilas have traveled extensively in Palestine and Israel, and they reside in Florence.
KUMC welcomes members and visitors at both the 11 a.m. traditional (socially distanced and masked) Sunday service in the sanctuary and the live-stream Facebook service at 11 a.m. (available any time after that).