...about Pastor Doug Stockton
Science, especially physics. It’s a lot like Christianity. Laws of physics, once proven, always have the same results and consequences. Laws like the Law of Gravity or the Law of Conservation of Energy never change. Well, God’s laws work much the same way. For instance, in Romans 8:2, the Apostle Paul refers to two spiritual laws. The first, the law of sin and death, derives from the Biblical notion that the consequence of sin is death. But praise be to God, the second law that Paul speaks of, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, is unchanging and is always able to set us free from sin and death through faith in Jesus Christ.
Pizza, especially my home-town pizza, La Rosa’s Pizza, in the Cincinnati area. It is so good that I don’t even need to order any extra ingredients, just the plain cheese pizza. If you’ve ever eaten pizza at King’s Island in Cincinnati, you’ve eaten La Rosa’s pizza. But, even without La Rosa’s, I’ve never really found a pizza I didn’t like. For me, pizza is kind of like God and prayer. For me, there’s no such thing as too much pizza or too much God or too much prayer.
Sport or game?
My favorite sport is football. I was an Honorable Mention All-State defensive end in high school. One of the things I like most about football is its fast-paced action. While I like baseball, I’m just not able to sit through an entire 9-inning game. It just seems to drag on. But, football keeps my attention. My favorite college team Ohio State, even though my college alma mater is Miami of Ohio. My favorite pro football team, despite their down year this year, is the Cincinnati Bengals. I guess I just look at them the way God looks at me; through eyes of unconditional love.
My favorite movie isn’t a classic. It isn’t a blockbuster. It doesn’t even get two thumbs up from the movie reviewers. My favorite all-time movie is a film called “Sandlot.” It’s about a group of boys who play baseball all summer long on the local sandlot field. I’ve nearly worn out my VHS cope of “Sandlot.” Even though I’ve viewed the movie dozens of times, it never ceases to take me back to my own childhood. I still laugh out loud as the boys battle the beast (a huge dog) that has captured their treasured baseball (one that has been autographed by Babe Ruth). And I still cry heartfelt tears when the movie ends as one of the boys, now grown up and announcing Dodgers games, cheers on one of his old Sandlot buddies, also now grown up and playing professional baseball. It reminds me that we must all become as little children in order to inherit the kingdom of God.
Several years ago, I went white-water rafting for the first time. Our grown kids talked my wife Linda and I into spending a Saturday going rafting down the New River in West Virginia. I’m not the strongest swimmer, so I was a little hesitant at first. In fact, I almost backed out of the trip completely. But, I’m really glad I went. I had a great time and overcame my own fears. I believe God wants us to try new things, to take risks, and not give into our fears and worries. Maybe, that’s why the Bible tells us that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but rather a spirit of power, and love, and self-discipline.
Greetings in the Lord,
As you may already know, I am being appointed as the new Senior Pastor of Bethel United Methodist Church on July 1, 2017. I am writing because I thought you might like to know a little more about me and to help you fulfill the Apostle Paul’s advice in I Thessalonians 5:12, “We beseech you, brethren to know them that labor among you and are over you in the Lord.”
First of all, I love God and I love people. This is at the heart of my pastoral calling, which flows out of my relationship with Christ. Starting in 1985 as a student pastor and having been ordained an elder in 1990, I am currently serving in my 7th year as pastor of Arlington United Methodist Church in Arlington, Ohio. I am in my 32nd year in pastoral ministry within the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Being a second career minister, I also have prior vocational experience in machine shop work, retail management, and foundry administration. I have a B.S. Degree in Business from Miami of Ohio and a Master’s Degree in Divinity from United Theological Seminary in Dayton. The areas of ministry that I feel most passionate about are preaching, teaching, evangelism, discipleship, and family ministries.
In fact, my wife Linda and I enjoy co-leading marriage enrichment seminars aimed at strengthening families. Linda is a Christian Counselor and runs her own private practice, Inner Peace Counseling. We have five grown children, Sonja, Julie, Ben, David, and Jordan, as well as seven grandchildren.
Linda and I are excited about our move to Bethel. For me, it will be like moving back to my old stomping grounds. I was born and raised in Clermont County and the surrounding area. I lived in Amelia until age 4 when my parents moved our family to Milford. I attended school in Milford up through my freshman year when our family moved to Blanchester where I graduated in 1975. After college, I attended church at Mt. Pisgah UM Church near Amelia, where I received Jesus Christ as my Savior and answered His call to ministry. My first church appointment after seminary was Batavia Faith UM Church where I served for seven years. It was during this time while attending our county clergy cluster meetings in Batavia that I got to know Pastor Lowell Crabtree very well. We younger pastors all looked up to him. Getting to know him, I felt like I also got to know Bethel UM Church. Even then, your church was well known in the county as a strong, growing, evangelical church.
So, you can see why I am excited about being your pastor. Linda and I are looking forward to getting to know our new church family and can’t wait to move to Bethel.
We Serve Christ Together, Pastor Doug Stockton