|Fri, Dec 20, 2013 12:13 PM
|Issue of December 18, 2013
September 04, 2013 | 11:22 AM
New Middletown may not be that far from northern Indiana, where Pastor Daniel (Harley) Helm grew up, but he has traveled halfway around the world before being led to the small Harrison County community where he has been the pastor at the United Methodist Church since July 1.
"This is my first appointment as pastor in Southern Indiana," said Helm, who succeeds the Rev. Ted Chalk, who was the pastor at the church for the past 10 years.
Besides serving congregations in Indiana, Helm has pastored in Florida and Zambia, Africa. He also has taught others at the Kafakumba Training Center in Ndola, Zambia, during its annual Pastors' School.
Helm, whose mission in life is "sharing the joy of knowing the Savior," didn't immediately heed the call into the ministry, although he comes from a long line of ministers (Helm is a fifth-generation pastor). Instead, he earned a degree in marketing/retail management at Ball State University then worked six years in the hospitality/retail field. Once he heeded the call, Helm earned his master's of divinity at Anderson University School of Theology. That was nearly 24 years ago.
"I feel like I'm in the prime of my career," Helm, 52, said. "This is a huge blessing. This is what we were praying for."
Describing New Middletown UMC as a "beautiful church," Helm said he is pleased to be here.
"We share in the same primary core value: everyone deserves to know Jesus," he said. "And, if that were not enough, the hospitality, scenic beauty and emphasis on being a close family are all huge pluses of my congregation and this area."
Helm praised the congregation at New Middletown UMC for its dedication to serve Christ. Attendance at the church has been averaging between 60 and 70.
"The families and church are very strong," Helm said of New Middletown UMC. "It's a fruitful congregation. ...We have third generations of people doing children's mission work. … It says a lot about their commitment."
Helm and his wife, Andria, have been married for 20 years (she is working toward a pastorate certificate). Their son, Peter, is a freshman at Ball State University, pursuing a degree in English education.
But the Helmes aren't experiencing an empty nest; they have a 78-pound shepherd-Lab mix, Lili, and a cat named Boots.
"They are in the process of learning how to live together in peace and harmony … " Helm said. "Boots loves to tease Lili, and Lili looks at Boots and licks her chops. Wish us luck with this."
If you're wondering about Helm's nickname, Harley, it's because he enjoys riding his motorcycle.
"Riding bikes is a great way to minister," Helm said.
He also writes two blogs: eaglesridethewind.blogspot.com (a devotional blog) and harleyrideslikethewind.blogspot.com (a biker blog).
New Middletown United Methodist Church, located at 3880 Ten Dollar Road, has Sunday worship at 10 a.m.; Sunday school begins an hour earlier. The mid-week service, on Wednesday evenings, is from 6:30 to 8; it is for all ages, including adults.
Helm can be reached at 968-3340. and by e-mail at email@example.com.