Bandera UMC pastor retiring
By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer
Bandera United Methodist Church will bid farewell to their pastor, the Rev. Dr. Ken Dahlberg, this month. Dahlberg will lead his final service for the church Sunday, June 22.
Dahlberg has served the local congregation for the past four years, coming to the Hill Country after serving for 12 years as an associate pastor at Sierra Vista UMC in San Angelo. He plans to return to San Angelo and looks forward to discovering where God wants him to serve next. "I'm retiring as a full-time pastor," he said, "but I will continue to find ways to serve in the pastoral ministry."
Dahlberg came relatively late to pastoral leadership, having completed a tour in the Army followed by 26 years as a trial lawyer before enrolling in seminary.
"It's a God thing," he said, explaining the turn around in his life. "The law just got to be unfun!"
Dahlberg's mother, a Presbyterian, raised him in that denomination. However, he married a Methodist and "Methodist theology really resonated with me."
Dahlberg said he has always been a better teacher than a preacher and members of his congregation say they will miss his scholarly background. "He is proficient in all the languages pertinent to the Bible, and we have learned [from him] the nuances of translating the Word, correctly and in context," said one member.
"I have tried to say 'here's the scripture, now how does that work in today's world?'" said Dahlberg. He has also made a point of teaching his congregation about the history and traditions of Methodism and its founder, John Wesley, as well as about other notable carriers of the faith and the denomination's traditions.
During Dahlberg's tenure here, Bandera UMC has expanded its budget, enclosed a large patio area to expand the fellowship hall and expanded the church's youth programs.
The church has hired Kendra Glass as its youth director and her Wednesday program is growing in popularity with Bandera's teens. Other programs include Kid's Kingdom, a twice weekly half day program for 3- to 4-year-olds led by Susie Lewis, a Mother's Day Out program led by Susie Cammack, and the Kids for Christ program for kinder through fifth grade on Wednesdays under the direction of Shawn Morrison.
Dahlberg admits that one of the biggest challenges for him in being a full-time pastor was the realization that "Sunday comes every couple of days!"
His service in Bandera has been a positive experience for both him and for the congregation. "This church is filled with loving people ready to work for good," he said. "I will miss them."
Dahlberg's replacement, the Rev. Larry McRory, will begin his service to the Bandera church on Sunday, June 22.