The Richmond Register

September 22, 2012

Goehrig, Swartzentruber leaving First Christian

Special to the Register

RICHMOND — Richmond’s First Christian Church will be hosting a “fond farewell” Sunday for its pastor, the Rev. Dr. Betsy Goehrig.

A reception for Goehrig and her family will follow First Christian’s 10:40 a.m. worship service, according to the church’s website.

“Come share your warm memories and heart-felt goodbyes with Betsy, Kevin and Kerri,” it says. “A basket of cards and notes will be collected for them to read and remember FCC.”

In a pastoral letter dated Sept. 19 and posted on the website,, Goehrig said her last day with the church will be Monday, Sept. 24.

The Goehrigs will be moving to Florida to be closer to their children, grandchildren and Kevin Goehrig’s mother, according to the letter.

“I thank God for you and for these three and a half years God has called me to be your senior minister,” Goehrig said in the letter.

“It is my hope and desire to do what is best for our church in all things. Please accept my resignation with the confidence that God has many good things in store for you, as well as for me and my family. And I trust that this good work that has begun will be carried on and completed for the glory of God through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Also on Sept. 19, First Christian’s associate minister for the past 18 months, the Rev. Michael Swartzentruber, announced he will be leaving the church Nov. 18 after Sunday services.

“We have much to celebrate as a church,” Swartzentruber said in a pastoral letter posted on

“Still, Rebecca and I feel called to depart from Richmond at this stage of our life. Know that we cherish the opportunities provided for us to learn, grow and serve alongside you.”

Thanks to the efforts of countless lay leaders. “New ministries have been birthed” during his tenure and “great ideas are finding expression,” Swartzentruber said.

“These ministries will continue to grow    beyond my time as minister here, just as all good ministries live beyond the role of any one minister.”

A farewell for Swartzentruber will be announced later, according to the church’s website.