Drivers honk at Whidbey Presbyterian Church’s new pastor, Greg Steible, before he gave his first sermon. Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times

Drivers honk at Whidbey Presbyterian Church’s new pastor, Greg Steible, before he gave his first sermon. Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times

New Presbyterian pastor leads virtual congregation

Greg Steible hopes to bring more service projects to Whidbey Presbyterian Church in Oak Harbor.

A new pastor will be in front of a virtual congregation Sunday at Whidbey Presbyterian Church.

Pastor Greg Steible and his family moved to Oak Harbor from Indiana. He became a pastor in 2015 after graduating with a master’s degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania.

Before studying to join the clergy, Steible studied religion and anthropology with an emphasis in archaeology at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma. He grew up in Dallas, Texas.

Steible and his wife, Kendra, have a daughter, 3, and a 14-month-old son. His daughter was particularly excited about the move.

“When we learned we were moving to an island, all she wanted to do was go to the beach,” he said.

Steible said he hopes to meet as many people as possible in the first six months on the job to hear what the needs are in the congregation and in the community as a whole. Whidbey Presbyterian Church is about twice the size of his previous congregation.

“I guess that’s where this anthropology degree comes in handy,” Steible said with a laugh. “It’s all about learning people.”

The new pastor said one thing he hopes to bring with him from his previous church is a Sunday service where the congregation went out into the community to do service projects.

Some of the projects included repairing a house and cleaning a food pantry instead of sitting in the sanctuary.

It was a “sanctuary in the city, so to speak,” he said.

“I’d love to see something like that in the future. Serving others is a big part of my faith.”

The church already has several service-oriented groups, including the LOCAL mission focusing on short-term projects in the community, which Steible said is great.

Steible’s first sermon aired via livesstream last Sunday.

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