Amid the pandemic and uncertainty of the times, the Church acted in bold faith to ordain Vicar Richard Neely Owen to the Office of the Holy Ministry and to install him as Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church, Hopkinsville, KY. The ordination had been planned for several months — long before the changes to our life together and the challenges to the Church were pressed upon us by the corona virus. When the Governor of Kentucky prevented Faith from hosting the ordination, the service was moved to Grace Lutheran Church, Clarksville, TN. A little more than 50 years ago, Grace had daughtered Faith Lutheran Church and the two parishes have had a long and close history.
The Rev. Larry A. Peters, senior pastor of Grace, was the vacancy pastor of Faith and the supervising pastor for Vicar Owen and he served as ordinator in place of District President Roger Paavola who could not be there.
Participating in the ordination and installation were the Rev. Daniel Ulrich, associate pastor of Grace, the Rev. David Appold, pastor of St. Paul, Paducah, KY, and the Rev. Gregory Bauch, pastor of Ascension, Madison, TN. Dr. Jonathan Rudy, Cantor of Grace, was the organist, and Rachel Crook was the flutist.
Forty people, most of them from Faith, Hopkinsville, were in attendance to the ordination and installation. Both congregations rejoiced that the Lord provided a pastor to shepherd the good people of Faith Lutheran Church through the uncertainties and changing circumstances unfolding for all of us. The Rev. Larry A. Peters served as preacher for the ordination and installation and presented the Rev. Neely Owen with a staff as sign and symbol of the ministry conferred upon him and the call of God to faithfully shepherd the flock entrusted to his care. The service was livestreamed via Facebook and was videoed by Gene Wilken and is available on his YouTube channel, the Flaneur Record.
— Rev. Larry A. Peters
Senior Pastor, Grace Lutheran Church