Meet Our Pastor

Pastor Dale Austin

Pastor Dale Austin

I was born June 30, 1954, and raised in Southern Lewis County, the second of nine boys.  We attended the Glenfield Methodist Church (United Methodist after 1968), where I was active in the church Sunday School, Choir and Youth Group.  I also attended Vacation Bible School annually, moving into a teaching position during high school.  My “call” to ministry occurred very gradually, and as a surprise to me, through the churches of this charge, as I found myself often leading worship in all three churches during my Christmas and summer breaks from college, when our pastor would ask me to take over.  In addition, we attended Vacation Bible School each year, through eighth grade, at the Pine Grove Mennonite Church, where I received much of my early biblical grounding.

 Following graduation from South Lewis Central School, I enrolled at Houghton College, pursuing a B. Music degree in Vocal Music Education, graduating cum laude.  I then attended Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., where I received my M. Divinity degree with honors in biblical studies.  During my final year of seminary, I served as pastor of three small churches on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  Following seminary, I have served churches along the north shore of Oneida Lake, on the St. Lawrence Seaway, and in Tompkins and Wayne Counties.  Most of my career has been spent in small towns or with rural congregations.  More recently, I was enrolled in a Doctor of Ministry program through McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario.  The program was terminated before I was able to complete my degree, but I was awarded a M. Theology degree.

Tammy and I with our daughter Erienne at her wedding.

Tammy and I with our daughter Erienne at her wedding.

I have received specialized training in Spiritual Direction and in Conflict Management.  I have also attended several training workshops for Conference Secretaries, having served as Secretary for the North Central New York Annual Conference from 1991 to 2010, and the creation of the Upper New York Annual Conference.  In addition to the above, I served for twelve years as a Chaplain in the US Army Reserve, receiving an Honorable Discharge in 1994, with the rank of Major.

Our "kids" at Greg's wedding - Mike and Erienne,  Greg and Sarah, Marty and Jonathan

Our “kids” at Greg’s wedding – Mike and Erienne, Greg and Sarah, Marty and Jonathan

During my career, in addition to serving as Conference Secretary, I have also served on various District  Committees (Superintendency, Church Location and Building, Ordained Ministry) often serving as the secretary or de facto chair.  Previously, I also served on and chaired the Northern New York Conference Camping Committee.  In my capacity as Conference Secretary, I have served on the Conference Council/Board of Stewards and on the Conference Sessions Committee.

 When I have free time, I enjoy long walks with our dog (Miniature Pinscher), music (primarily Oldies and Classical), cooking, and spending time at our family camp on Sand Pond in the western Adirondack foothills.  I enjoy singing in the church choirs and, prior to coming to Park Terrace, served for three years as the director of the Freeville UMC choir, where we managed to perform some incredible music in spite of our small size.  Finally, my favorite location for spiritual renewal is at Camp Aldersgate, where I usually like to spend a week serving as their Camp Chaplain each summer.

Our newest family member!

Our newest family member!

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