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Chester Methodists bid farewell to 'Pastor Faye' Farewell.

Byline: Jim Beers Contributing writer

Just four years ago this month Pastor Faye Edmiaston of Bethalto was assigned by the Bishop of the First United Methodist Church to serve as pastor at the First United Methodist in Chester.

It is customary in the Methodist Church to rotate pastors every four to six years in order to keep the pulpit fresh and diverse. Pastor Faye replaced Rev. Zoila Marty who served at Chester for three years from 2013 till 2015.

Now, Pastor Jim Oppedal of Belleville will be the new Pastor at Chester FUMC and he anxiously awaits his new position.

Edmiaston was the church secretary at Bethalto United Methodist Church for many years when she says she was "called" to take her service to a higher level. When Marty was transferred, Edmiaston decided she would take the challenge to become a Methodist pastor. Her assignment began at FUMC Chester on July 1, 2015.

Edmiaston was a certified lay minister in the Methodist Church, but did not attend seminary to become an ordained minister. Throughout her time at Chester, Pastor Faye took classes, studied hard, deepened her knowledge of Methodist practices, and earned an official license to preach.

Prior to getting her license, Pastor Faye was mentored and supervised by an ordained minister. Once she had the license, she was able to conduct all matters of the church and she really blossomed during her final years at FUMC Chester.

Even as she preached in Chester, Pastor Faye continued as church secretary in Bethalto. She was required to be at FUMC in Chester only to preach on

Sunday mornings, however, she elected to make the 1 hour and 45 minute drive to Chester any time there was an important issue, meeting, illness, social activity or other event.

Pastor Faye initiated a fifth Sunday event titled, "Donut Sunday" in which the congregation had church service in the Fellowship Hall, ate doughnuts, drank coffee, and worshipped in a more relaxed atmosphere of fellowship.

Edmiaston was instrumental in getting FUMC involved in the Ministerial Alliance monthly Prayer Breakfast. Under her leadership Chester Methodists now join in the rotation with First Baptist Church and Family Worship Center to host the monthly Prayer Breakfast which includes a half-hour of prayer followed by a delicious Saturday morning breakfast and social networking with fellow Christians in Chester.

Pastor Faye also held Confirmation Class and performed the Confirmation Ceremony for eight new Methodist youth this past year. She has also baptized three babies.

Pastor Faye loved the Chester Citywide Halloween candy distribution and each Halloween and always had a great time as the Methodist Church participated with a candy giveaway. Her favorite costume is Mickey Mouse and she loved getting dressed for the occasion.

Pastor Faye was also very diligent in visiting the sick and homebound. She also took communion to those who were unable to attend church on Communion Sundays. A not-so-favorite duty was presiding over the funerals of parishioners, notably the recent funerals of Mary and Manley Limbaugh.

In the past year Pastor Edmiaston has experienced several medical issues and she has always been under the persuasion of her relatives and family to return to Bethalto on a permanent basis. At the ripe "young" age of her seventh decade, family also did not like Pastor Faye making the long drive to Chester each Sunday and for other special activities.

After much painstaking discussion with the Bishop and District Superintendent, as well as the FUMC Administrative Council, friends and church members, Pastor Edmiaston made the decision after the first of the year to heed the advice of family and friends and return to Bethalto.

"I really love everyone in Chester. I love the people at FUMC and I just love the community," Edmiaston said. "I really don't want to leave, but after much consideration and prayer, I believe my health and the wishes of my family for me to return to Bethalto dictate that I am making the right decision. I will deeply miss everyone and thank you all for your love, support and prayers!"

Faye's pastor at Bethalto intends to use her to serve her church periodically speaking from the pulpit and she is eligible to travel closer to home to fill various pulpits as needed. The First United Methodist Church in Chester will deeply miss Pastor Faye, but wishes her the best of luck with her duties at Bethalto.
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Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 10, 2019
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