This year, Rev. Kevin Richardson and his wife, Samantha Richardson left the St. Paul area so Samantha (a nurse practitioner) could accept a job opportunity in another state. Our readers will recall that Rev. Kevin and Samantha were recipients of the 2020 Clinch Valley Times Community Volunteer of the Year Award. We will miss them.
Rev. Pam Sutherland was selected to lead the congregations of Fort Gibson United Methodist Church and the St. Paul United Methodist Church. She and her husband, Lyndon Sutherland, are now living in the church parsonage on Gray Hill in St. Paul. Pam (she chided me for addressing her as “Rev. Pam”) is now keeping regular office hours at each of her two pastorates:
Fort Gibson United Methodist on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. until noon.
St. Paul United Methodist on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. until noon.
When interviewed by the CVT, Pam told us she grew up in Alexandria, Virginia. Her previous employment is quite diverse. She has been a waitress, has worked in a hair salon and in retail sales, and in air transport in Washington, DC.
Since entering the ministry 10 years ago, Pam has pastored a church in Carroll County (3.5 years); a church in Giles County (6 years), and was lead pastor via video at fourteen churches during the pandemic. Now and for the foreseeable future, local weekly services will continue to be recorded at Fort Gibson and broadcast on the Fort Gibson UMC Church Facebook page for the benefit of those who are unable to attend in-person services.
Lyndon Sutherland was born and raised in Grayson County, Virginia. He has been a contractor for most of his working years, and has also taken an active role at the churches at which Pam has served as pastor. Lyndon has a fine singing voice – and the church members will attest to this.
Between them, the Sutherlands have 5 grown children: Becky, Jared, Lacey, Lance, and Brittany. They also have 8 grandchildren – just ask, they’ll tell you.
When asked about her ministry, Pam said her goal is to help people develop an active relationship with the God who created us and loves us. She described empathy, love, and compassion as key elements in this relationship. Do not be misled by her modest demeanor – Pam is a person of powerful spiritual convictions.
The Sutherlands love the beauty of this area and have been spending some of their free time exploring back roads. Pam said, “We are very happy to be here. Everyone has been welcoming and we feel like it’s home already.” So…if you see Lyndon and Pam out an about in the community….introduce yourself to them. They are good people – and my valued friends.