In July Avenue United Methodist Church welcomed Pastor Tom Pasmore to the Milford congregation. Growing up in Northern Wisconsin, Pasmore has lived in Delaware for 14 years, the first five of which were with the DuPont Company in Seaford, Delaware. In 2004 Tom was called to ministry and one year later was first appointed as Pastor in the Hope United Methodist Church in Dover and later at Richardson Park United Methodist Church in Wilmington. Overall Pastor Pasmore hopes to carry on the historical legacy of Avenue UMC in Milford.
The first Methodist Society in Milford was formed in 1777 when John Cooper was appointed the Circuit Rider of the Kent Circuit, which included Milford. Preaching first took place in the home of Reynear Williams, just east of Milford. On December 3 1787, Joseph Oliver, co-founder of Milford, sold a 120’ by 120’ parcel of ground on North Street in Mispillion Hundred to the Methodist Society, which was used as a preaching house. The second building, erected in 1842 was a plain brick structure with a social hall on the ground level and the sanctuary on the second floor. In 1871 a third church building was begun along what was then referred to as Railroad Avenue, now known as Church Street. In February of 1939, ground broke for the new Sanctuary as they previous one had to be replaced due to structural reasons.
In 1950 construction began on Fellowship Hall which opened in 1951. Fellowship Hall, the Wesley Room and an extensive education building was added and completed by 1966, containing 18 classrooms, a spacious Choir room and a suite of offices. By the middle of the first decade of the 21st Century, Avenue experienced rapid growth while expanding their outreach into the community. According to Avenue’s newest Pastor, Tom Pasmore, the congregation averages 400 members per service as 1,200 members are on the church rolls. Just one month into the position at the Avenue UMC in Milford, Pasmore feels that he has found a place he can truly call home.
“I feel the Lord has called me to do this work. I love working in Avenue, they do great things and are a fabulous community,” commented Pasmore. “I have never met a friendlier and more hospitable congregation, it is a testament to the community.”
Among his church services, Pastor Pasmore will continue to expand worship opportunities within the church and will develop ways to reach out to more people through different styles of worship. He will encourage members of Avenue to stay personally involved with community outreach with other churches in the area through organizations like Circle of Light and the Homeless Task Force.
“There is so much opportunity to work together in this community,” commented Pasmore. “We can do so much more together than we can separately.”
Although church attendance has been down among Christians across the United States, Pasmore believes that the manifestation of going to church is still a critical part of an individual’s religious experiences.
“To me the role of the church is community. It is God continuing to remind us that community is bigger than we are and God’s work is more important than individual desires,” stated Pator Pasmore. “Community helps us to experience the breadth and depth of God’s creation and remind us that there is more than just what we see here on earth.”
Pastor Pasmore is excited to become better acclimated with not only his own congregation but the Milford community at large. “I feel a lot of optimism and opportunity and I can see that a lot of people are excited and anxious to see what God is going to do,” commented Pasmore. “I am as curious as the next person as to what God had in store for us next.”