Pastor Mary Brown and Carl have fallen in love with the Montague/White Lake area and especially Montague United Methodist Church.
Their journey began at Alcona Community High School, (between Alpena and Oscoda). Mary had completed her first year of college when Carl was discharged from the military Aug., 1971. Carl never thought he would be married to a Pastor back on Oct. 21, 1972. Of course, neither of them thought they would be hit head-on by a drunk driver on Monday, Sept 25th, 1972. Their wedding invitation indicated they were to be married Sept. 30th, 1972.
Mary’s folks gave the new married couple an acre of their farm to build their first home. The family soon grew to three with the birth of their son Aaron and approximately 3 years later they were a family of four with the birth of their daughter Marcie. In fact it seemed a day didn’t go by but 2 little towheads were walking through the hayfield to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s.
Prior to Seminary, Carl worked some twenty years for his father-in-law in the logging industry, while Mary held positions such as: a school bus driver for over fifteen years, church secretary and custodian at Harrisville UMC, and caring for an individual suffering with dementia.
Mary Completed her BA in Sociology/Psychology from Saginaw Valley University, Dec. 1990. The spring of 1991 Mary and Carl packed up what they thought might squeeze into a 2-bedroom student duplex and headed for Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY. Mary graduated the spring of 1995 and with Carl’s help and God’s direction the journey of full time Christian Service began.
Carl worked for a Utility Company while they lived in Kentucky and Mary was on staff at Asbury, as the Paint Crew Chief. Carl has since retired from Traverse City Area Public Schools as a School Bus Mechanic.
Their son, Aaron, and wife Stacy, live in nearby Cedar Springs. And their daughter, Marcie, husband Kevin and granddaughter Lindzey, live, in the not so nearby Lancaster, KY. Mary’s Dad, Dick Rickert, and her two sisters and spouses continue to live in Alcona County.
Prior to arrival as Montague UMC’s Pastor, Mary served God, the West Michigan Conference and Grand Traverse District for eighteen years in appointments at the following churches: Baldwin-Luther, Bellaire, Kewadin-Traverse City Christ, and Grawn, (southwest side of Traverse City) United Methodist Churches.
Mary has served the Grand Traverse District as a member of the District Committee on Ministry, Bishop’s Day and Evangelism Committees, etc. She has also served the West Michigan Conference as a member of the Board of Finance and Administration, Board of Ordained Ministry and currently as a Consultant and Directive Coach through the Vital Church Initiative (VCI).
Highlights of Mary’s preparation for Ordained Ministry: Her Great Aunt asking her to substitute teach the nursery Sunday School Class, singing special music with her sisters while their Mom played the piano, (in the little white-clad Sunnyside Methodist Church in Curran, MI), Lake Louise Church Camp (where she first felt God’s tug on her heart to serve Him in Ministry), her parents who gathered the family at the breakfast bar each morning to share the Upper Room, her Grandmas and Great Aunts, UMYF, A Near-Death Experience the week Carl and she were to be married, the confirmation of her call by even those outside of the church, God’s audible call on her life while cooking at a golf and country club, excellent mentors, Carl’s unending support for the ministry God has called her to, Carl and she each taking their Emmaus Walk week-ends during their time in Kentucky and her relationship with Maxie and Jerry Dunnam.
Mary was Ordained Deacon in the Detroit Annual Conference June 8, 1994 and Elder in the West Michigan Conference June 12, 1997.
Some of Mary’s Hobbies: Fly fishing, fishing, tying flies, quilting and Casual Biking
Carl & Mary were delivered by the same Country Doctor 1 year apart, December 5th