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Dan Wilson-Fey is new head pastor at LOUMC


Former missionary impressed by his alive congregation

The Rev. Dan Wilson-Fey sat down in a folding chair, patted the cardboard box next to him and said, “This is my temporary headquarters.” Dan Wilson-Fey

Wilson-Fey is so new as the head pastor of Lake Oswego United Methodist Church that his office looks more like he just moved out instead of just moved in.

But that situation will change soon. As a veteran of 25 years in the ministry, he is prepared for just about anything, and he is very impressed with what he has found in the big church on South Lake Boulevard.

“This is a very, very healing, alive congregation,” Wilson-Fey said. “I am amazed at how much the people are involved in this community and their commitment to missions and growth.

“I love the spirit I feel when I walk into this church. God is already at work here.”

Wilson-Fey is coming here after eight years as the head minister of Forest Grove United Methodist Church, and his Christian service includes four years as a missionary in Honduras. He can already look back on quite a career. This is remarkable because he never intended to become a minister. While growing up in Albany, he had a different idea about what his life would become.

“I originally wanted to be a doctor,” Wilson-Fey said. “People would tell me, ‘Dan, you ought to be in the ministry.’ I would say, ‘No, no, no.’ I was not even a churchgoer.”

The turning point came when Wilson-Fey read a book called “There’s a Lot More to Being Healthy Than Not Being Sick.”

“It told about how necessary it was to have mental, emotional and spiritual health, not just physical health,” Wilson-Fey said. “It made sense. It made me realize I wanted my life’s work to be about spiritual health.”

A key part of Wilson-Fey’s ministry has been reaching out to people who want nothing more to do with the church.

“I feel a call to help those wounded by the church,” Wilson-Fey said. “You say the word ‘church’ to people and often there’s such a negative reaction. It does not do with what the church really is and what Jesus talked about. I want to offer an alternative experience.”

The biggest challenge in Wilson-Fey’s career came when he and his wife, Kathy, served as missionaries to Honduras from 2001 to 2005.

“We felt a call from God,” he said.

The burden of duties as missionary team coordinators was crushing over four years, but the work of the Wilson-Feys was richly blessed. When they arrived there were only five missionary teams. When they left there were 65.

The church is located at 1855 South Shore Blvd. For more information about the church, call 503-636-8423 or visit http://lakeoswegoumc.org.