The Rev. Tom Wood has led the congregation at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Shorter Avenue since 2010. After 37 years of ministry, mostly in New Jersey, Wood will preach his last sermon on Sunday.
“We have had a wonderful time,” Wood said in an interview this week.
Before coming to Westminster, Wood pastored a small church in New Jersey. “I am from Florida,” Wood said. “I went to college in North Carolina and to Princeton in New Jersey.”
Wood and his family had been vacationing in Georgia at Lake Lanier since 1980.
When his wife received an opportunity to work in Gainesville, the family headed south in 2007.
He served as an interim pastor at a church in Canton before receiving a call to serve as an interim pastor at Westminster.
“When I got here, the church had just finished the new West Center,” Wood said, referring to the church’s multi purpose building that acts as a fellowship hall and where Wednesday night suppers are served.
The church was in the process of incorporating when Wood arrived and he helped write the bylaws.
But West, a former teacher, was also able to return to his first love — teaching.
He taught classes on Sunday morning and during Vacation Bible School as well as in other areas.
Wood’s final sermon will be “Beginning to End” and it will be followed by a reception in the West Center.
The church has called a new pastor. The Rev. Greg Lund from Oregon will be taking the helm of the church in the next few weeks.