People’s United Methodist Church Welcomes New Pastor

Pleased to be sharing in the community of People’s United Methodist Church in Baileyville are (left to right) Pastor Nick Guay, Cheryl Guay, and son Joseph Guay. Pastor Nick took over the duties of retiring pastor Randy Chretien on July 1st. (Submitted photo)

For some in the community, the church is nothing less than its heart: it is the place where life’s greatest joys and greatest sufferings are shared and reconciled, it is a place to gather with your friends and loved ones for regular events and it is where, generation after generation, the stories of local families have been shaped. For the devoted congregation of People’s United Methodist Church in Baileyville, the church represents all of these things –  thus, having a suitable pastor in place is paramount to keep the community tradition intact. Happily, the congregation has received what it needs in the form of Pastor Nicholas Guay who has come to serve the church following former Pastor Randy Chretien’s retirement.   

Pastor Guay comes to Baileyville from a mixed background that always had its roots in ministry but which took time to develop into the fruit of pastorship. Raised in Bangor as a Catholic, Guay nurtured an inclination to become a priest from a very young age, committing himself to the concept throughout high school. After meeting his wife-to-be at the University of Maine and briefly attending Jesuit Seminary, he put his plans to become a minister on hold and entered the workforce. He held a position with the James River Paper Mill in Old Town for ten years before returning to school to become trained as an elevator technician. While he attempted to take up the ministry again – this time by attending Trinity Baptist Bible College in Florida in 2001 – it wasn’t meant to be, and he instead undertook a career as an underground tank inspector with the Department of Environmental Protection.

The experience of feeling a profound desire to serve the faithful but not knowing how best to fulfill that role was difficult for Guay at various times in his life, but he today he sees that it was a necessary course of events. “I had many years of going with the flow, trying to suppress thoughts and feelings of the ministry, all while doing my best to raise a family, balance a career and worship my God,” Guay said. “This journey is where the Lord took me to ‘school,’ and the real education of my life took place. I learned a lot about myself, and about the fruits of the spirit, like patience, long-suffering and love.”

Guay and his family found their way to the United Methodist Church in Bangor – not accidentally, as his wife, Cheryl, was raised in the denomination, and it felt like a natural fit for the family. Guay felt a connection unlike any he had experienced before. “This is where I belonged, and the Lord really blessed us, but I, in particular, started to grow spiritually. My love for people increased, and my love for Jesus became immeasurable.” Guay became involved in every aspect of the church that he could.

One day, Guay’s pastor, Arlene Tully, approached him about becoming a pastor himself. After a series of conversations, an exploratory retreat, psychological assessment and licensing classes, Guay was well on his way to realizing his childhood dream. When it was time for him to select an area to serve, he asked to be placed in the one with the greatest need for ministry – Washington County.

Pastor Guay sees Baileyville as a perfect fit for him and his family. He describes the congregation as “thriving” and being very active with regular suppers, but said that it is an aging congregation and his primary goal is therefore to increase youth interest. “That’s my vision, to build the youth program back up to its glory days,” Guay said, noting that his 14-year-old son, Joseph, will be helping with the cause.

For those who are seeking to join a church, Pastor Guay provides that the Methodists are “very grace-filled” and accepting. “We accept,” he summarized. “Everybody is welcome. All are welcome to come and participate in communion.” Pastor Guay shared a story of a person that was not of the faith that took communion in spite; that person later had a spiritual experience that led them to join the faith. “So we offer communion to all. We believe in our sacramental system and that the Holy Spirit will work in peoples’ lives.”

Sermons are conducted at People’s United Methodist Church with the help of the New International Version of the Bible, and Pastor Guay advises that the church currently sings traditional hymns. In the future, he aims to incorporate contemporary music, particularly into youth events. Services are held every Sunday at 11 a.m., with Sunday School held in advance beginning in September.

 

To contact Pastor Guay or for more information about the church, call 570-0834 or email ngguay68@gmail.com.