Montgomery, Taylor have been ministers for 50 and 45 years

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Bill Taylor, and Bruce Montgomery, pastors for 45 and 50 years, finish up their time with Pleasant Home United Methodist Church on Monday, June 30.

After a half-century and nearly half a century, pastors Bruce Montgomery and William “Bill” Taylor of Pleasant Home United Methodist Church are stepping down from the pulpit.

But as the duo points out, pastors never truly retire. “We get retread,” Montgomery joked.

A celebration honoring the ordination anniversaries of both pastors was held at the church Sunday, June 8, 50 years (Montgomery) and 45 years (Taylor) after they became ministers.

At the service of recognition, the Rev. Dr. Lowell Greathouse, the Columbia District superintendent of the Oregon/Idaho Conference of the United Methodist Church, gave a sermon titled “Witnesses Post on Faithbook All the Time.”

Among the other special guests were Judy Alley, executive director of SnowCap Community Charities; Jason Macpherson, director of field services for Cascade Pacific Council Boy Scouts of America; the Rev. Aleida Jernigan of the Casades Presbytery Executive North, PC; and the Rev. Miriam Mendez, associate executive minister of America Baptist Churches for the Central Pacific Coast.

An East County native who attended Rose City Park Elementary School, Montgomery was ordained June 19, 1964, at First Baptist Church of Portland.

After 41 years of active service, Montgomery actually retired in 2005, but he has served as the calling pastor at Pleasant Home and continues to serve as interim pastor at Pleasant Valley Community Baptist Church.

“This was like coming home,” Montgomery said of his East County congregations. During his career, Montgomery has served at congregations in Oregon, Washington, California and Idaho, also serving as a YMCA executive during his first 16 years of ministry.

“I’ve always believed a pastor should be involved in their communities.” Montgomery said, noting that he aimed to spend 25 percent of his time out in the community. “There’s a smaller sense of community here, like family.”

For Taylor, too, the church has always been about the people.

Born and raised in Minnesota, he attended the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, becoming ordained May 25, 1969.

Throughout his career, Taylor has served at congregations in Texas, Iowa, Washington and Oregon. He officially retired March 31, 2006, after 31 years as pastor of Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Portland, but continued as an interim and part-time pastor in the Portland area.

Taylor came to Pleasant Home in July 2010, and has been an active supporter of SnowCap Community Charities and Alton Collins Retreat Center.

Taylor said he has loved the history of the Pleasant Home community and its church, which is home to 80 congregants.

Both Montgomery and Taylor have worked tirelessly in community ministries, with involvement in nonprofit and civic organizations — activities they will continue into “retirement.”

“Where did these years go?” Taylor quipped. “It was just yesterday we were ordained!”

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