That Dunwoody was north of I-285 was about as much as Rev. Charles Broome knew about the place before moving with his wife to lead Kingswood United Methodist Church.
“The membership has opened their arms and hearts to us and I’m excited to be here,” he said. “I thoroughly enjoyed my five days here so far and I hope I have a long-time appointment here.”
Broome led his first Sunday service on June 28, two days after a tree fell on his car outside his church-owned home, he said.
Though the church in Augusta he moved from had a more traditional style, Broome said he felt refreshed by the change.
“Here the style of the worship service is a little different than what I’m accustomed to, but the messages will be the same,” he said.
“Typically, I am accustomed to everything coming from the pulpit or platform and in this service people sang from the congregation and balcony and used the entire space. I’ve seen one worship service and it was a great day even before I spoke.”
For five years Broome was the senior pastor at Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Augusta, where Broome’s two daughters and five grandsons still live. He moved into that role after working 12 years as a part-time pastor, where he said he had a part-time secretary and did everything that needed doing himself.
Broome said he believes he always ends up where he needs to be and as a minister his gifts and graces are used for a higher purpose.
“I’m a firm believer in this whole process,” he said. “I don’t understand how, but in the midst of the process we’re appointed for a season of the church. There is a place for our gifts and graces to be used,” Broome said.
He said he chose to go into ministry when he was in his mid-40s, after working as a salesman for one of the largest wholesale nurseries in the country.
“I worked in the mid-Atlantic area and assisted in some key accounts,” Broome said. “We sold to people like Home Depot, Pike’s and those kinds of places.”
He said when he mentioned his desire to change career fields, his wife said she could understand that, but if God had wanted her to be a pastor’s wife, she’d have married a pastor.
“I asked her to pray, and we prayed for three years when it came to me to be a part-time local pastor,” Broome said. “She lowered her head for a second and looked up and said ‘I can deal with that.’”
That was in 1997. As a part-time pastor, Broome said he served in smaller church that couldn’t afford a full-time pastor. He agreed to go to school to study theology, but not seminary school.
It was “like technical school as opposed to university,” he said. “You get exposed to all of the same things, but instead of having to swim in deep water, I had a lifejacket.”
Because he wanted a master’s degree, he did enroll in 2004 at Erskine Theological Seminary, an educational institution of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.
Now that he and his wife are moved in to their home in Dunwoody, he said she’s excited. “It’s a new adventure. We’re in a new town and exposed to new and great things,” he said.
Broome didn’t say he considered it a sign from God that a tree hit his car, but he said he knew he was in the right place when he saw Joshua 24:15b, which says “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” on an entryway at Kingswood UMC.
“Strangely enough that has been one of my favorite verses since we started having children and I had those words on a plaque on my kitchen wall in Augusta,” he said. “The last thing we took off the wall when we moved was that plaque and that felt so appropriate [to see it on the entryway]. It’s very evident in the way we’ve been greeted that holds true here.”