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LUMC has new pastoral leadership

                             Photo by Christy Porter
Rev. Bob McQueen, new pastor at LUMC.
By Christy Porter
Managing Editor

Reverend Robert (Bob) McQueen is the new pastor at Licking United Methodist Church; the congregation welcomed him on Sunday, June 28.
COVID-19 has created a unique situation for McQueen while joining his new church. Pre-pandemic, having coffee, visiting in members’ homes and more social gatherings at the church would have provided the opportunity to meet his congregation, but because of social distancing, that has been greatly curtailed.
For the past three years he served at New Madrid, in the Missouri Bootheel, where his home actually sat on the New Madrid Seismic Zone or Fault Line; now that is faith!
He grew up in Sedalia with a pastoral legacy, his father and an older brother also being in the ministry. The family moved to Mountain Grove his senior year of high school.
Rev. McQueen graduated from Southwest Missouri State and then received his graduate degree from St. Paul Seminary in 1992. He met his wife, Lori, at his first church in Lamar. They married in 1995 and have two daughters.
When younger he didn’t consider the ministry as he was the proverbial “preacher’s son.” He chose grocery store management, but still felt in his heart he did have a calling to join the ministry, and after a time he followed that calling, even while saying, “God, I’m not sure about this.” In doing so, he ventured to the east side of the state to remove himself from what he calls his family’s familiarity in the ministry on the west side. He also took a nine-year hiatus from the ministry when his children were young to provide them stability and continuity while growing up; during that time he continued helping people as a social worker. He returned to the ministry in 2017.
Lori is a pharmacist with the Mtn. Grove Walmart. They have had what he references as a “farmette” since 2003, when Rev. McQueen was pastoring at Trinity UMC in Mtn. Grove. The couple has had to maintain separate living arrangements as McQueen has been reassigned within the Methodist affiliation. Reassignment is often done every two – four years with the UMC.
While at Trinity, Rev. McQueen had the pleasure of knowing Rev. Gary Carter and also, while in New Madrid, he became friends with Rev. Robb Webster, both previous pastors in Licking.
Rev. McQueen considers the Ozarks his home and himself an Ozarkian. His parents are originally from Cassville and he grew up with nature, especially at Roaring River State Park. He says of Licking, “This area is one of the most naturally beautiful areas that I’ve seen in all of my life.” He is enjoying some fishing and pleasure time at Montauk State Park, reacquainting himself with the area since the late 1970s and 80s.
Their daughters were raised with a love of nature and that is evident in their current academic choices. Both daughters have chosen to pursue careers in biology; Emma is studying marine oceanography in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Danielle is studying Nature Conservation at Central Methodist in Fayette.
Rev. McQueen is looking forward to many years of ministry here, getting to know and enjoy the people, the church facility, the community and the natural offerings the area has to offer.

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