Lower Burrell’s Trinity United Christian Church pastor pens ‘The Call’
The printed word will be there for future generations.
“I wanted a written record of this church, a first-hand account of the history here,” says the Rev. Cletus L. Hull III, pastor of Trinity United Christian Church in Lower Burrell since Jan. 1, 1996.
Hull penned the 189-page “The Call,” a book about his time at the worship site. He says the publication is the culmination of “a lifetime of serving the church in mission for the Lord.”
“God has called me to the local church and I dedicated my life to this endeavor,” he says. “There is some struggle and angst in the book which I and the congregation worked through. This book is many years in the making. It certainly would not have been possible without the many God- moments I have experienced since I began my service as a pastor in the Christian community.”
He began at Christian Church in Marianna, and then First Christian in Washington, Pa., before leading Trinity United Christian Church. It is a merger of Trinity United Church of Christ and First Christian Church and will celebrate 125 years in 2020.
“I would not trade anything for the experiences and friendships of my years at Trinity United Christian Church,” Hull says, which is why he wanted to write the book.
Hull got the idea to record these words from watching a C-SPAN program that compared two ministers. The message, he says, was if you want to be remembered, write down what you do. If you want to be a celebrity, then talk about what you do.
It took about a year to write the book. It is his second. He is also author of “The Wisdom of the Cross and the Power of the Spirit in the Corinthian Church.” Hull also serves as chaplain at Torrance State Hospital in Derry Township.
When Hull brought the work to Word Association Publishers in Tarentum for consideration, it was welcomed, says Francine Costello, co-owner with husband Tom.
“It was so clean and you could tell that pastor Hull is a meticulous person,” Francine Costello says. “This is a solid piece of writing, with so much research done on the history of the church. He put his heart and soul into this book. He has a message in this book, one that he is so passionate about.”
She says they plan to put the book out to Christian book distributors and in libraries where Hull can do talks, and the publisher also will work with Hull on other ways to market the book, she says.
Divided by three
“The Call” has three parts: background of the church and surrounding communities, evangelism and discipleship for church growth and a strategic methodology and implementation. He writes about evangelism and discipleship – “Jesus says to come and follow me. Come is evangelism and follow me is discipleship,” he says.
Hull discusses core values as the way things should be. They reflect the vision and mission of the church, he says. Those values are worship, spiritual development, stewardship and missions.
“These values are central to the life of the church,” Hull says in the book. “They are convictions based on principles which direct our programs, sermons and lay ministry. Trinity United Christian Church’s clear philosphy of minstry has provided a clear sense of direction for the future of our church.”
Where to get the book
The book costs $16.95. It’s available at the church, on Amazon and at The Last Word bookstore in Lower Burrell, which will host a discussion by Hull from 1-3 p.m. June 1.
On the bookstore’s Facebook page, it says “in the book you’ll find insights into the challenges of leading a church into uncharted waters, through the biblical teaching of effective evangelism and discipleship. ‘The Call’ will encourage your congregation regardless of your size. ‘The Call’ encourages us to build a church on the foundation of scripture and address her specific needs.”
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, [email protected] or via Twitter .