First United Methodist Church Clarinda, Iowa [part 12]

1998-    --Walden James Paige

Under the leadership of Rev. Paige the church has again turned its goals toward outreach.  A second service of contemporary praise has been initiated.  A program Feed My Sheep provides food in a fellowship setting once a month to those who are in need.  Sew and Share continues to provide food and clothing  to those who need assistance.  The Nodaway Valley Free Clinic provides free medical services one night a week to those who have no health insurance.  Rev. Paige is an active member of the Clarinda Area Ministerial Association working in many ways to meet the needs of the community.


Bible studies and prayer groups have expanded to reach new people and continue the spiritual growth of the “faithful”.  Bible studies, communion and worship services are offered on a regular basis to persons living in the nursing and assisted living homes.  A sizeable group from this church has now been on the Walk to Emmaus weekends. Unit UMW meetings are now being held in a downtown restaurant in an attempt to be more accessible to working women.  Some remodeling, especially in the kitchen and balcony sound booth, and repairs have been done to the church building and educational unit to adapt to the changing needs of the congregation and to enable the Gospel to be presented in a relevant way to a busy and fast-paced world.


Although Pastor Paige capably does the administration that needs to be done, he feels called to be with the people, to empower them to do ministry, to walk with them through the crises of life, and to share the love of God with them.  This may explain why his office always seems to have that not fully “settled-in” look!  He seeks to encourage and allow the kind of diversity that helps the congregation keep growing in our relationship with the Lord.


Rev. Paige graduated from Willow High School , Quimby, and received his B.A. from Morningside College , Sioux City .  He attended Drew Theological Seminary in Madison , New Jersey and received his Masters of Divinity from St. Paul ’s Theological Seminary in Kansas City .  The parishes he has served prior to coming to Clarinda are: Charter Oak-Ute-Deloit, Hinton-Merrill-Melbourne, First Marshalltown, Garwin-Pleasant Hill, and Columbus Junction-Columbus City .  He is married to the former Bonita Harrington and the father of one son, Joshua.


Rev. Paige has enthusiastically led the congregation through the celebration of the church’s 150th anniversary.




As we celebrate the first 150 years, we also see the challenge for the next fifty years.  Where will the church be in 2053?



The 150th Anniversary Committee

Doris Tristch, Chair

Chari Bix

Lois Braymen

Lee and Bonnie Brown

Merrill Cagley

Mary Cahill

Wally and Bonita Paige

Ruth Richardson

John and Anna Woolson