Pastor Angie Steinhauer took over the ministry of the Darlington and Fayette United Methodist Churches (UMC) this summer on Aug. 1 from Larry Hakes, who had been in the position for 12 years.
Steinhauer, who is originally from Mount Horeb, graduated from high school in 1999 and went on to get a Bachelors degree in business administration from UW-Whitewater in 2003. After working for a few years, she went back to school, attending Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colo. and getting a Masters of Divinity in 2012.
“Since about age 13, being a pastor seemed to be what I was supposed to do,” said Steinhauer. “I tried a few other career choices and finally decided that I should give God’s plan a try.”
Before coming to Darlington, Steinhauer most recently served in Merrill for two years, and was in Avoca and Blue River part-time for a year before that, while also working at Lands End and substitute teaching.
In the United Methodist Church, pastors are appointed within a conference, with the Darlington/Fayette UMCs being a party of the Wisconsin Annual Conference. The cabinet and bishop decide who will be appointed where, with annual appointments starting on July 1 of each year.
“I consider this appointment to Fayette and Darlington UMCs a gift from the bishop,” said Steinhauer, who still has parents and a brother and sister-in-law in Mount Horeb, with her sister and brother-in-law in the Madison area.
Steinhauer said that her time in Darlington so far has been refreshing for her soul and renewing for her personal relationships.
“The beauty of southwest Wisconsin is truly a gift and a wonderful view to wake up to each day,” she said. “I am thankful for the warm welcome that the churches as well as the community has offered me. Darlington feels like home.”
Looking to the future of her ministry, Steinhauer hopes to organize mission trips throughout the country, mission work within the local community, find ways to include homebound citizens more completely in the church, and generally expose the youth and adults of the church to opportunities to serve.
“As a team of ministers we are meeting to pray for the community, to plan ecumenical worship experiences, and to coordinate, organize and understand the services available to help our neighbors in this community,” said Steinhauer. “I look forward to getting a good handle on the resources that we offer to each other.”
Steinhauer said she is thankful to have been placed in a community where she can serve with others.
“As pastor for both the community and the church, I look forward to serving with you and serving you, but not in place of you,” she explained. “This is a community that does much together, and I’m excited to see where I fit.”
Steinhauer is a firm believer that everyone has seasons of their lives—some seasons are those of growth or exciting possibilities and others are of pain and grief.
“We can accept God’s love and grace in all of those seasons and we can offer a little Jesus to others too,” said Steinhauer. “Our God is one of all seasons, so as people of God, we are too. I hope to walk alongside you during whatever season you are in today and look forward to the seasons of joy that are to come in all of our journeys.”
In her free time, Steinhauer enjoys kayaking, playing board games, reading, watching local sporting events, traveling, and stage theatre—especially musicals, and is looking forward to Dodgeville and Darlington’s shows next month.