Salford installs new pastors

Miriam F. Book and James M. Lapp were installed as pastors at Salford Mennonite Church on March 30. Mim will serve as lead pastor and James as preaching pastor.

Miriam, who was born in Lancaster County, Pa., came to Salford in 2000 as an associate pastor. Mim was ordained in 1992 at Belmont Mennonite Church, Elkhart, Ind., and serves on the boards for Goshen (Ind.) College and Dock Woods Community in Lansdale, Pa. She is a graduate of Eastern University and received her pastoral training at London Bible College and Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind. She worked overseas for eleven years with Eastern Mennonite Missions.

Jim is a graduate of Eastern Mennonite College, Harrisonburg, Va., and AMBS. He received his D.Min from Drew University in Madison, N.J. He was ordained in 1963 and served most recently for eleven years as conference pastor for Franconia Mennonite Conference. He will serve part-time, focusing primarily on preaching.

This will not be the first time Mim and Jim have worked together; both served many years as executive staff for the Mennonite Church General Board. They married in 2000.

Regular attendees and guests filled the sanctuary for the special installation service. Family of Mim and Jim provided the offertory music; Donella Clemens, Franconia Conference Minister, led the pastoral commitments; and Salford members as well as visiting friends of Mim and Jim offered words of blessing. Richard and Ruth Weaver, spiritual directors from Ephrata, Pa., administered the anointing of oil; and Salford’s adult and children’s choirs provided additional music.

Guest preachers for the service were Bob and Enid Schloneger, a retired husband-and-wife pastoral team who served at Blooming Glen Mennonite Church from 1999 to 2007. They now reside in Smithville, Ohio.

During the service, Mim voiced her desire to lead the congregation in fulfilling the purposes of God for the church; and following the example of Jesus, to be a person of love. Jim expressed his wish to help the congregation exemplify the purpose, presence and power of God in its mission in the world. Both are committed to lead the Salford congregation to live out Salford’s vision to be “a joyful, learning community eager to live and share the peaceable way of Jesus.”

Salford Mennonite Church, established in 1728, has approximately 400 current members and is located in Harleysville, Pa.

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photos by: Timoyer