By: Dezaray Barr
Jeffery Jahn graduated from McKendree University in 1972 and from the Christian Theological Seminary in 1981. He is now the pastor of Temple Congregational Church in Marion, Indiana. Jahn said, “In college I had a great time singing, not only in the choir, but especially with a traveling group of Christians singing our way through churches, church camps, coffee houses, revivals and a Billy Graham crusade.”
Jahn said that he was called to ministry late one night. “I was dreaming one night and the thought came to me: If I spend my life professionally playing and instrument, what would I end up with?” he explained. “On the other hand, if I spent my life serving God in ministry, what would I end up with? That clinched it for me.”
Arriving in Marion at Temple Church was a bit of an unusual journey for Jahn. “I came about serving this church in a most unusual way. Five years ago, I was called to serve the Westminster Presbyterian Church, which a year ago voted to close. In the process of that discernment, I chose to serve them half-time the final year. Four blocks away, a friend who was serving Temple Church half-time as a final step toward his retirement, recommended me to replace him,” Jahn said. “We talked, and I began serving them half-time. Both churches adjusted their worship times a half hour, and it worked well. Westminster closed last fall and 80 percent of the congregation began attending Temple Church… who found it necessary to call me to full-time service. The two congregations have worked together very well this first year together.”
Jahn said that the most difficult task in this journey has been he and his wife dealing with her disability for 28 years, alongside raising their children and serving in ministry. He explained, “We’ve learned to manage those responsibilities in a more fruitful way, but in our late 60’s the challenges are changing. But God has helped us through the journey and more importantly helped us enjoy the journey. We both agree that we didn’t sign up for ‘easy,’ which has made all the difference.”
Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a senior Strategic Communication, Journalism and Honors Humanities triple major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.