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Greensburg's Christ Church welcomes new pastor

| Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
The Rev. Jeff Wylie

The Rev. Jeff Wylie refers to the calling of God as “subtle, but persistent.”

He heard it many years ago, even after he left a Roman Catholic seminary and worked in various professions before being called back to the priesthood.

And he heard it again recently as he began his journey to Christ Church in Greensburg as their new pastor.

“I filled in as a guest priest and fell in love with the people and their spirit,” said Wylie, 45. “I hope to bring the love of Jesus Christ and continue what they have started in being a Bible-central church enriched with Anglican traditions. I'm a pretty high-energy person and I hope to bring the love Christ has given me to share with them.”

After a year of searching with interim pastor Dan Crawford, many in the congregation are excited to have Father Wylie and his enthusiasm on board.

Senior Warden Tim Moore, who was heavily involved in the process, said the church used a search committee made up of young and old parishioners who interviewed each applicant thoroughly.

“People liked his personality, his energy is outstanding, and he really hit the ground running,” Moore said. “I think he's going to breathe new life into our church.”

Vestry member Tom Kott couldn't agree more.

“He seems very down-to-earth, easy to talk to. You can connect with him right away,” Kott said. “I think many of our parishioners will feel the same way.”

Wylie previously served as the chaplain at Three Rivers Hospice in North Versailles. Ordained two years ago, he also worked at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Templeton, Armstrong County.

“I was blessed for 10 years as the hospice chaplain praying with people as they go to the Lord and working with families after they've lost their loved one,” he said.

Wylie attributes his family's support as paramount in the work that he does. He and his wife, Jessica, have been married for 10 years and they have adopted two children, Kellen, 8, and Leona, 2.

In his free time, Wylie enjoys going to the park, camping or vacationing with his family. “I love to eat,” he joked.

He is grateful for the reception he's received by the congregation at Christ Church, which marked its 190th anniversary this year.

“(Everybody's) been warm, inviting,” he said. “I've been near tears at how loving everybody has been. I am blessed.”

Michele Stewardson is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.