Pastor Carl and Ruth Stoldt look forward to new adventures

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter
Pastor Carl Stoldt and his wife Ruth will be heading to Swansea on March 31.

Pastor Carl Stoldt has a boatload of memories from his stint at College Avenue Presbyterian. He's not one to count up the number of weddings and baptisms he's performed in the past 11 years, but rather looks to the people of Aledo as bringing out his best ministry. "I pastored many wonderful people," he said.

Pastor Carl was ordained as a United Presbyterian/USA minister at Calvin Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Ky. His first pastorate was in Tennessee, but he also served in North Dakota, Iowa, West Virginia and Belleville, Ill before landing in Aledo, where he had his longest ministry.

"College Avenue has been the most wonderful for me," he said.

He has some pride in several accomplishments of the church, thanks to the generosity of the congregation. "For the last eight years we've paid for summer camp registration for our kids' church camp," he said.

He said the church has also sent 18 senior high students to Presbyterian Youth Triennium, which is a five-day Christian adventure at Purdue University held every three years. "It's a worldwide event for all Presbyterian senior high youth."

In addition the church has sponsored a summer music festival. "For the last seven years our church has commissioned Derek Bertelsen to write musicals for our youth," he said.

"One thing that makes me feel the deepest pride and satisfaction is for my members to grow in grace, grow in faith and grow in love."

"The people of College Avenue Presbyterian have supported Ruth and I throughout our entire ministry. They are indeed a loving people."

He pointed to one particular event that touched him deeply. "This is the only congregation that, on Pastor Appreciation Day recognized both Ruth and   me. That means so much to me."

He explained that Ruth too had her ministry. "She is my minister. She offers me encouragement when I need it and is willing to kick me when I need it as well."

Pastors typically visit their congregation members while they are hospitalized. "I've made visits to church members in 20 different hospitals, which is a record." he said. That number beat out his previous record of 17 hospitals at another pastorate.