THOUGH REV. ANDY WOOD has been pastor of the St. Paul First Baptist Church for over a year, he had been performing most of his ministerial duties from a distance and via video until this summer.
Originally scheduled for retirement from the U. S. Navy in June of 2020, a shortage of available personnel resulted in the postponement of Rev. Andy’s separation from service. He was sent to Wisconsin to train Navy recruits. Meanwhile, his wife and children came to St. Paul and established the Wood family in the church parsonage. Dania Wood, a seasoned Navy wife and career educator, handled the transition like a champ – a reminder that families of our military personnel ALSO SERVE.
The phrase, “Join the Navy and see the world,” certainly applies to Rev. Andy’s career. A second-generation Navy man, he has been stationed in diverse locations. In some of those locations he was exposed to armed violence and life-threatening situations. Like many military personnel, he carries painful memories of what he saw and experienced. BUT he has two powerful allies on his side. And now one of those allies has led him to this place…
With the exception of daughter Nicole (age 20) and a student at James Madison University, the Wood family are together and at home on Gray Hill, having purchased the former Fugate house. The Wood’s son, Reagan (soon to be 15) is a student at Eastside High School. Daughter Mary (age 13) is a student at St. Paul Middle School, and daughter Lucy (age 7) is a student at St. Paul Elementary School.
When asked about his hobbies, Rev. Andy said that reading tops the list. He doesn’t have much time to read for pleasure, though. Preparing his weekly message for his congregation requires a lot of research. Though the military kept him too busy for other hobbies, he hopes to broaden his horizons in civilian life.
It’s easy to see that Rev. Andy could have made a strong imprint on the corporate world with his energy, positivism, and “can do” attitude. Instead, he chose the armed forces of the United states and focused on helping build a strong country. That was an important task, and for it we are grateful to him for the choice he made. Another important task lies ahead in 2022, when Rev. Andy will help lead the St. Paul First Baptist Church into it second century.
It is my wish, and I’m sure it is your wish, that Southwest Virginia will be a place of security and happiness for the Wood family. Welcome home!