Rev. Floyd Blackard (Interim Pastor)
I am a retired United Methodist Pastor who has served over fifty years in The Illinois Great Rivers Conference and the predecessor Central Illinois Annual Conference. I was born and raised in St. Louis, Mo. I am married to my high school Sweetheart, Bobbi, and we have two grown children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. I graduated with a B.A degree from Central Methodist College (now University) in Fayette, MO. And then earned a M.Div. degree from Eden Seminary in Webster Groves, MO. After being ordained in the Missouri East annual conference in 1967, I transferred to the Central Illinois Annual Conference. I retired after 46 years of service in 2007 and moved to Springfield. Since then, I have served six interim appointments ranging from a six-week study leave to a two-year interim at Fairbury. This past year I served eight months at Sugar Creek UMC, south of Springfield and two months at Petersburg UMC north of Springfield. I believe that Wesley’s three simple rules as recast by Bishop Ruben Job are the bedrock of being faithful United Methodist Christians together. “First, do no harm, do good and stay in love with God.” I also believe, with Paul, that God has poured out the gifts of the Holy Spirit upon the faithful so that within every congregation we have all the gifts and abilities that we need to be faithful to God’s calling in our place and time. If we covenant together to follow the three simple rules, we will call forth, value, and nurture each other’s gifts so that together we may glorify God and do the work that God has given us to do. I am being appointed as an interim pastor to The RiversEdge United Methodist Church while your pastor, Andy Hopp, is on an indefinite leave for healing. I look forward to sharing with you in being the church that God is calling us to be in this time and place. At present I plan to be in town at various times, depending upon what is scheduled, and on Sundays for Worship. I will also be available for appointments. Our Superintendent, Rev. Mary Kathryn Pearce has arranged for local pastors to be available in case of emergency. In an emergency please contact: Randy Waldrip (309-367-2892 or 309-265-6410), Ron Call (309-822-8808 or 309-369- 1699) or Judy Schaer (309-822-8770 or 309-645-6625). My cell phone number is 217-556-6414 (text as well as call). My e-mail is FloydBlackard@outlook.com.
Rev. Andy Hopp
Rev. Andrew Hopp started serving RiversEdge United Methodist Church full-time on July 1, 2014. He grew up in the Spring Bay area. He went to Riverview Grade School, St. Mary’s Grade School and Metamora Township High School. He felt called to the ministry at an early age, but resisted the call in his teenage years and even more so during his early adult years. He has been a high school teacher, a computer support specialist, a database administrator and a data analyst before entering seminary in 2005 at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio. He graduated from MTSO in 2009 with a Master’s degree in Divinity and a Master’s degree in Theological Studies, and was ordained an Elder in full connection on June 3, 2011. He has a 14 year-old daughter, Abby, and 12 year-old son, Alex, who live with their mother in Normal Illinois.