Pastor Jeff Wakeley
Grace and peace to you. I am looking forward to many fruitful years at Mountain View, building up the Body of Christ in Woodland Park.
I have a passion for people to know God’s grace and love. Too many people have a distorted understanding of who God is. They think that because of who they are or what they have done that God could not possibly love them. That is so far from the truth. God loves everyone. Everyone is part of God’s Kingdom. That is why God’s grace, prevenient, justifying and sanctifying, is paramount. It is in that grace and love that I hope we can build the church.
I was born in Texas (My Dad was in the Air Force), baptized in the Methodist Church and went to Sunday School where I learned the many stories of God’s love in the Bible. My family later moved to Connecticut where my parents were raised and I attended a Congregational Church, now the UCC.
From an early age, I had a love of music. After I graduated from high school, I attended Westminster Choir College (WCC) where I majored in Vocal Music Education. I was privileged to sing with some of the greatest musicians in the world during these years. It was at Westminster that I met my wonderful wife, Colleen. She grew up in an Air Force. When her father retired, they moved to Colorado Springs, where Colleen attended First United Methodist Church. Colleen and I married the day I graduated from WCC. We moved to Colorado Springs and quickly involved ourselves in the life of First UMC. That first summer in the Springs, I drove the church bus each day up Ute Pass through Woodland Park to the Wesley Ranch outside of Divide.
My first job was as a Vocal Music Teacher K-12 out on the plains of Colorado. Eventually, my interest turned from public school music to church music and I became a Music and Youth Director in Texas and Oklahoma. After doing that for four years I felt God’s call to enter the ministry. In 1987 I was appointed to my first church as a Licensed Student Local Pastor and attended Phillips Seminary. After graduation, I was ordained and served churches in Oklahoma and Central Pennsylvania. I am currently an Elder and full member of the Susquehanna Annual Conference.
In 2008 I retired from the ministry. Colleen and I moved back to Colorado to be close to our daughters, Shannon and Meghan. Colleen was a Computer Architect for a medical information technology company, and I became a full-time ski instructor at Breckinridge. I had previously been a part-time Ski instruction during my years in Pennsylvania.
Even though I was a full-time ski instructor, I was called upon from time to time to fill in for pastors. In 2014 I was called upon to fill the pulpit at Merritt Memorial UMC in Denver. I soon became their regular pastor. Not long after that, God called me to First United Methodist Church in Great Falls, Montana. First Great Falls is an urban church located in the heart of the third-largest city in Montana. During the Pandemic, much of our ministry has been focused on helping the growing problems of the houseless in Great Falls. I enjoyed an active and fruitful ministry there for four years.
Being in mission and service to those in need is a deep passion of mine. I have led a number of Volunteers on Missions Trips including leading the first two teams out of Central Pennsylvania to help with the recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina. I hope this gives you an idea of who I am and what I am about.