Pulpit journey includes stop in Galva

Doug Boock
Ann Champion has begun duties as pastor of Galva First United Methodist Church.

Ann Champion felt called to ministry while in junior high school. Just one problem: she didn’t like the call.

“I didn’t want to do that. I really resisted,” Champion concedes now, over 30 years later.

Champion’s resistance was due partly to feeling unqualified. She didn’t think she was cut out for ministry ability-wise.

“I didn’t feel gifted for it and I didn’t have the faith at that time to believe that if God calls you to something, He will gift you for it,” Champion said July 10.

But that’s changed. Champion eventually entered ministry, and she’s now been enabled to do it for 22 years.

“God’s made it come together over the years,” she now says.

Beginning July 1, Champion’s ministry is in Galva. She became pastor of First United Methodist, replacing Martin Gutzmer, who retired in June.

Since entering the ministry in 1986, Champion has pastored eight United Methodist churches: Neponset, Morrisonville, Verona and Mazon (a two-church charge), Weldon, Warsaw and Basco (two-church charge), Carbondale (as associate pastor) and Chatsworth.

Champion said she’s excited to begin her ministry at Galva First United Methodist. She’s found congregation members to be gracious, too.

“They have been extremely welcoming and gone out of their way to meet me and introduce themselves and get acquainted,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to working with them because they seem to want to grow in their Christian witness.”

Asked to name a favorite Scripture verse, Champion said “That changes all the time. Right now, the one I am most connecting with is (2 Corinthians 5:17): ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all thing have become new.’”