By: Dezaray Barr
Tim Helm currently serves as the Senior Pastor of Hanfield United Methodist Church in Marion, Indiana. He graduated from Asbury College in 1979 and from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1982.
During Helm’s time in school, Bible classes deepened his love for God’s Word. “These classes taught me how to study the scriptures, how to research, and what to look for in a passage,” Helm explained. “My speech and homiletic classes taught me communication techniques and how to craft sermons. But mostly, I’d say my college and seminary classes gave me a love for learning.”
It wasn’t until Helm was pastoring a church that he completely understood God’s calling on his life to be a pastor. “A few weeks after my appointment to Hanfield I was sitting in my office, ready to start another days’ work. I remember thinking, ‘I can’t believe they pay me to do this!’ It just seemed that God made me for ministry,” Helm said.
Helm has witnessed his church’s love for the word, and their love for the word encourages him and his work. He explained, “Several years ago, we were putting together a multi-media presentation. The person putting this together wanted to get a picture of some ‘Hanfieldites’ listening to the sermon. She took a picture of the front row of parishioners. The photo revealed that everyone had their Bibles out on their laps, taking notes. She went to the next row and noticed the same thing; then the next; and then the next. Everyone seemingly was intent on learning from the scriptures. Seeing this love for God’s Word in my people blessed me beyond description.”
Hanfield is a missional church. “A few years ago, we had the opportunity to ‘adopt’ a smaller United Methodist congregation in Marion,” Helm explained. “As our extension campus, they relocated to the ‘Bend of the River Neighborhood’ in Marion to become our BORN campus. Our aim is to become Jesus in northeast Marion, while building relationships and being a daily witness through projects, acts of kindness, and through our presence in the community.”
If Helm could encourage IWU students to do one thing, he would tell them, “enjoy chapel. You get to hear some of the finest preachers in the Wesleyan movement. Also, get the most of your classes. Sitting in a class with world-class instructors may never be experienced again.”
Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU, Dezaray runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.