We are excited that Rev. John Stein has been appointed to our church. His first Sunday will be July 15th. We look forward to meeting and worshiping with him. Below is a bio about him.
Rev. John Stein begins his new assignment as pastor of Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church in Thomasville, NC, in July. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1961 to Rev. Neil & Carolyn Stein, John grew up in St. Louis.
He is a graduate of Central Methodist College in Fayette, Missouri, and received his Master of Divinity from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia. John has a wide range of experience in ministry and leadership. In the late 1990s, he served as Director of
Communications for the Missouri West Conference of the United Methodist Church. His tasks in that capacity included publishing the conference newspaper, external media relations, consulting with local churches on communications issues, and managing the conference Internet site. During his tenure in communications, Rev. Stein served as a primary spokesman for United Methodists in a 1998 statewide political campaign to defeat the expansion of casino gambling in Missouri. For three years, he was a part-time religion instructor for Central Methodist College.
He was ordained at the 1985 session of the Missouri East Annual Conference, and returned to St. Louis in 1986 to begin his first pastorate. John began serving the church during his youth. In 1979, at the age of 17, the Missouri East Annual Conference elected him the first lay delegate to the 1980 Southcentral Jurisdictional Conference in Little Rock. He also served as an alternate delegate during the 1980 General Conference in Indianapolis. He spent several years during the late 1990s as a member of the Board of Directors of the United Methodist Reporter in Dallas, Texas.
Through World Methodism, he has enjoyed opportunities to serve beyond his own country. In 1991 and again in 1996, he served as a member of the North American delegation to the World Methodist Conference and to the World Methodist Evangelism Convocation. In 2001 he served on the 500-member World Methodist Council that met in Brighton, England. In 1996, John was one of the initial members of World Methodist Evangelism’s new Order of the Flame.
He has served on the staff of several World Methodist Evangelism events, including the Sixth International Evangelism Seminar in 1997 and the International Christian Youth Conference in 1998. He has provided technical and computer support for Regional Evangelism Seminars as near as Atlanta and as far as Singapore. In 2011, John was a part of the regional seminar in Indonesia. While there, he preached at the Central Methodist Church, the oldest Methodist church in Jakarta. In 2007, Rev. Stein was fortunate to be cast in a feature film titled “Wesley,” about Methodism’s founder, John Wesley. He played the role of John White, an Oxford friend of John and Charles Wesley. Rev. Stein’s two sons were also cast in the project. Filming was completed in 2007 and the movie released in US theaters in 2010.
In recent years the desire to reach young people and their families – along with a great appreciation for sports – has sparked a deep desire in John to develop sports ministries through the local church. One vision in this arena would seek to equip coaches to combine excellence in Christian mentoring and in coaching in ways that would help young athletes find success both on and off the field. Several years ago, he piloted such a program with the support of area United Methodist churches, and in cooperation with the YMCA of Eden, North Carolina while coaching a 12U softball team.
While he enjoys many sports, baseball and softball are dearest to his heart. In recent years, as his daughter began playing softball, he focused more attention there, gaining coaching experience at recreational, travel, middle school, and high school levels. John is an Accredited Interscholastic Coach for softball and a private pitching instructor. He also enjoys table tennis, camping, occasionally dabbles with photography, and is a PADI-certified Advanced SCUBA diver. He was an active volunteer Scouter for more than 15 years, serving in a variety of roles including Den Leader, Unit Commissioner, and Troop Committee member. As a Boy Scout, John achieved the rank of Eagle in 1976.
John lays claim to three children.
- Hannah lives with her mother near Pittsboro, and is a high school junior. She is a gifted artist, an excellent student, and has a passion for softball. She is an All-State pitcher and has received several offers to play college softball.
- Caleb completed his Eagle rank in Boy Scouts, has been a BSA certified lifeguard, and has some proficiency in American Sign Language for the deaf. He recently enrolled at the International Dive Institute in Charleston, SC, where he will train this summer as a commercial diver.
- Josh, the oldest, also attained the rank of Eagle Scout. A graduate of High Point University, he is a former singer and stage actor who has given up the limelight. After two years as Music Director at Hickory Grove United Methodist Church in Charlotte, he is now teaching music and P.E. at Marvin Academy in Waxhaw, and is the part-time Youth Minister at Zion UMC in Monroe. Later this summer he will wed Heather Jones, a 1st gradeteacher in Fort Mill, SC.