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McDaniel joins CPC as interim pastor


February 05, 2014 | 10:38 AM

Corydon Presbyterian Church recently welcomed interim pastor Mark McDaniel to its congregation.

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Mark McDaniel (click for larger version)
McDaniel, who has experience guiding churches through periods of change, said he plans to be with Corydon Presbyterian for at least a year.

McDaniel grew up in Detroit, so he's used to the recent cold snap more than most.

"You can never get used to that cold though," he said of the negative-20 degrees wind chills the area experienced for a couple of days in January.

McDaniel began his life in the Roman Catholic faith, but, after moving to the suburbs because of the race riots in the city, his family joined the United Methodist church.

McDaniel met and married his wife, Connie, at Alma College in Michigan (he graduated with a degree in speech/theater). After the couple fell away from the church for a brief time, they had children and both expressed the desire to take their children to church.

So, while working at a local hospital, McDaniel asked his colleagues and friends about possible churches to attend.

"The Presbyterian church was so welcoming and friendly," he said. "And, we both became more and more involved over the years."

Eventually, McDaniel said he felt strongly that he was meant to preach God's word, so that's what he began to do. And he's been doing it ever since.

McDaniel was pastor in Leavenworth from 1997 to 2003 and at Bedford Presbyterian Church from 2003 until the end of last year. He officially started in Corydon on Jan. 15 and preached there for the first time on Jan. 26.

For now, McDaniel lives in New Albany with friends, but spends Wednesday through Sunday in Corydon. Eventually, he'll move into a home along Morris Avenue.

McDaniels' wife teaches in the North Lawrence Community School system, where their daughter, Jessica, is an ESL teacher. Their son, Ryan, is a logistics specialist at the Crane Naval Center west of Bedford.

"We look forward to utilizing Mark's training and experience during this transitional period at CPC as we embark on the process of calling an installed pastor," Ashley Cronen, the secretary at CPC, said, "A graduate of the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1997, he has served as a moderator of the Ohio Valley Presbytery's South East Area committee on ministry, a member of the full committee on ministry and moderator of its conflict response team. He is a member of the Committee on Preparation for Ministry and is serving as moderator for the CPM this year."

McDaniel represented the Corydon church in 2003 as Clergy Commissioner to the General Assembly in Denver.

McDaniel succeeds the Rev. Scott Hill, who moved to a Columbus church.

"The (Presbyterian) church is very open and affirming, accepting all," McDaniel said. "We celebrate our oneness rather than our differences."

McDaniel said he looks forward to working with pastors of other denominations.

In his spare time, McDaniel likes to build and repair computers and, once the weather improves, ride his motorcycle.

Sunday worship service at CPC begins at 10 a.m., with Sunday school at 9 and 11:30 a.m. and fellowship time from 11 to 11:30 a.m.

A Wednesday bible study at Cedar Court assisted living facility in Corydon takes place at 5:45 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.

McDaniel has already attended a Wednesday study and said they are "intelligent and creative" discussions.

"They love to discuss the Bible," he said of the attendees.

To reach McDaniel or the church, call the office at 738-3929.

Twitter: @rossschulz

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Corydon Democrat, 301 N. Capitol Ave., Corydon, IN 47112 1-812-738-2211 email