New Pastor Wants To Strengthen Connections

Long Islander News photo/Janee Law Reverend Matthew Means, new minister of the Old First Presbyterian Church, said their mission is to strengthen its connections with the Huntington community.

Long Islander News photo/Janee Law
Reverend Matthew Means, new minister of the Old First Presbyterian Church, said their mission is to strengthen its connections with the Huntington community.

By Janee Law

jlaw@longislandergroup.com

After a process that began last August, the congregation of the Old First Presbyterian Church has named Rev. Matthew Means as the church’s next minister.

Moving from Macomb, Michigan, Means took his place at the pulpit May 15, taking over for interim minister, Rev. Anne Stewart Miller.

His role at Old First is to provide spiritual leadership, to lead worship services throughout the week, equip staff to do the work that God’s called them to do and to encourage people, Means said.

“This place has been around for almost 360 years and with a history that strong, it gives us a great foundation to build a future that’s stronger,” Means, now of Huntington, said. “What we’re really going to do is use the past and the present to springboard into a future where we’re reaching the community, we’re engaging people of all ages and we’re really growing in faith.

“If we do that, it’s going to be a great success.”

Means said he felt a calling to serve God through mission and service growing up in Michigan’s Shelby Township.

With 13 years in ministry, Means was ordained at 25 years old after completing his seminary at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Kentucky in 2005.

Since he was ordained, Means was with the Memorial United Presbyterian Church in Xenia, Ohio, and then with Celtic Cross Presbyterian Church in Warren, Michigan, before coming to Huntington.

Means earned a bachelor’s degree in special education from Michigan State University in 2002 before he went on to complete his seminary.

Married with three children, Means said that his family will be joining him in Huntington after the school year ends back in Michigan.

He added that the reason he chose Old First Church was because of its history and because it’s a place where his children could engage in the church.

“What we loved about this church was that they have a phenomenal music program for the children, a youth director who is caring for youth and children’s ministry,” he said. “There’s a lot happening for kids, for youth, for young families, which was very appealing to us.”