( 3 Votes )

Pastor George Gorman. Photo by Cindy BrownGeorge Gorman had not yet delivered his first sermon at Palmyra UMC, but already he was ministering to the flock. Learning that one of the parishioners was scheduled for surgery, he was off to Charlottesville to pray with her before the procedure. Between unpacking boxes and getting used to his new surroundings, he was busy learning about his congregants. The congregation was duly impressed, when he acknowledged a raised hand and addressed the member by name during his first sermon.
Pastor Gorman comes to Fluvanna with “humility, commitment and joy.” He believes in serving not only the church and its members but the community, as well. In his two prior assignments, he served as chaplain to the local hospice and the county cancer support group. Among the things important to him are embracing diversity and the role of visitation, particularly to our “wisdom folks.” He is a proponent of transparency in church leadership and building consensus on divisive issues.
Pastor Gorman’s path to ministry in the United Methodist Church is somewhat unique. Raised a Roman Catholic, he went to minor seminary during his first two years of high school. However, he did not continue his religious studies and went on to college, graduating from Indiana University of PA. Then came a four-year stint in the army, followed by a 27-year career in corporate America, specializing in logistics.
Along the way, he met and married Rita, a Methodist. At first, he would attend Catholic Mass and then go with Rita to her church. However, in order to bring spiritual harmony to the family, George became a Methodist. Periodically he would feel the tug to enter the ministry and conferred with two Methodist District Superintendents (DS). However, neither of them encouraged him, and he felt the calling was behind him. But then, he consulted one more DS, and this time his interest in pursuing the ministry was encouraged. Initially, he pursued a bi-vocation, accepting a part-time appointment at Fort Mountain UMC in Franklin County, while maintaining his regular job. Eventually, however, he left secular employment and, having obtained seminary training from Duke School of Divinity, was appointed pastor at Mount Bethel UMC in Henry County. After six years there, he spent five years at Shady Grove UMC in Halifax County, from which he comes to Palmyra and Haden Chapel.
George, the middle of seven children, was born in Stuttgart, Germany. An “Army brat,” he moved extensively as a child. He and Rita, a retired special education teacher, reside at the Palmyra UMC parsonage with their two younger children, Todd and Jessica and some furry friends. Their oldest child, Chad, lives in San Francisco, with his wife, Heather, and their two children, Henry and Beatrice. George is grateful for the “radical hospitality” already shown to him and his family by the church family.
George preaches at 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. every Sunday at Palmyra UMC and at 12:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Sundays at Haden Chapel UMC. He extends a hearty welcome to join with him for worship.