Catchin’ Up with Mike Minnix
Class Year: 1974
Major at MC: Philosophy and Religion
Senior Thesis Topic: History and Religion in the Time of the Judges
Current Town/City of Residence: Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Family: Wendy Pehl Minnix, wife of 34 years, Dickenson College, class of 1975. She is a Psyhologist in private practice. Son, James M. Minnix, James Madison University, class of 2006. James is a band director and music teacher and lives in Richmond, VA. Daughter, Kelly Minnix Evans, Lebanon Valley College, class of 2009 and Shippensburg University (MS), 2013. Kelly is a school counselor in Harrisburg, PA.
Describe your career path since graduating from MC.
After graduating from MC I went immediately to The Divinity School, Duke University to pursue the degree Master of Divinity. Graduating in 1977, I returned home to Central Pennsylvania to take my first appointment as associate pastor in a large congregation in Lemoyne, PA. Since that time I have served the United Methodist Church in local, regional, and international roles. I have served as pastor of four congregations, a term as District Superintendent, elected as delegate to two General and three Jurisdictional Conferences, chaired three Conference agencies (Committee on Camping and Related Ministries, Board of Trustees, Council on Finance and Administration), and served on two general agencies of our church (General Commission on the Status and Role of Women and General Council on Finance and Administration). I have also had many opportunities to serve on boards of directors of local agencies; most notably I was the founding president of the board of directors of Parents’ Anonymous of Central PA, and currently serve on the board of directors of the United Methodist Home for Children in Mechanicsburg, PA.
Describe your job or a typical day “in the office.”
My typical day as a pastor involves working at a desk through most mornings, preparing worship and study experiences for the congregation, supervising staff and planning in all the various aspects of the life of a large congregation. Afternoons are spent visiting those who are hospitalized and otherwise struggling with life issues. Evenings are usually taken with a variety of meetings.
During most of my years in ministry I have held positions outside the local church which require my attendance and leadership at events and meetings periodically, and have sometimes required travel across the country.
What has been your most exciting/enjoyable professional experience to date?
From 1980 until 1988 I served as a member of The United Methodist Church’s General Commission on the Status and Role of Women. This is a body which pulls its membership from all around the world and seeks to have an impact on the lives and ministries of women globally. I was privileged to be one of the few men about that table. During that time I had the opportunity to meet women from many countries who are working diligently and sacrificially in their nations and regions to be in viable ministry and to make that ministry significant, relevant and helpful to women. I was honored to meet some of the most faithful and courageous people in the world.
What are your hobbies? What do you do for fun?
I restore antique furniture, making repairs, refinishing and recaning the seats of chairs. I have rebuilt many pump organs from the mid nineteenth century and have furnished my house (and as much of my children’s houses as they will allow) with my projects. I have a large workshop at my home filled with tools and projects where I plan to spend many hours after I retire.
How did your MC experience prepare you for your vocation and/or life?
There are many ways which MC prepared me for my vocation and life educationally. After forty years I still find that the courses I took and the things I learned at MC are an essential resource each day.
Among the most important ways that MC prepared me for vocation and life was in giving me the opportunity to know, interact with, and learn from the incredible faculty. They were and are persons who have had a lasting impact on me personally, providing not only important perspective, insight and knowledge, but wrapping all those things in memorable personality and character. Here are some of their names: Carolyn Blair, Kathryn Nelson, David Cartlidge, Donald and Esther Stine, James Bloy, Claude Stewart, Elizabeth Jackson, Elizabeth Fowler.
Complete this sentence: My classmates may be surprised to learn that I _____________.
...that I stayed in ministry for forty years.
What’s your best memory from your years as a student at MC?
In my first semester I had a “core course” in English with Dr. Carolyn Blair. I enjoyed her teaching and her friendship through my years at MC. One day I passed by her office on the third floor of Anderson Hall (that’s where I spent a lot of time because Philosophy and Religion was on Anderson 3 in those days) and noticed through the window that the office was empty. I was concerned and curious as to what had happened to her, but quickly discovered that she had moved to a more spacious office on the second floor. I wrote her a note: “Dear Dr. Blair: I notice that you have fallen from the heavenly world of the Religion Department on the third floor to the secular world of the English Department’s second floor. Beware the final plunge to the first floor….!!” The next week she was elected Dean of the College and moved to an administrative office on the first floor. When I saw her following the announcement of her new position, she burst into laughter and said that the only thing she could think about at the meeting where she was elected and thereafter was the note I had written her about the “final plunge”!!
During my time at MC Pearson’s Hall burned. I believe it was February 14, 1972. A small group of us had just had a Valentine dinner on the second floor of Pearsons. I returned to my room in Carnegie only to hear the word a few minutes later that Pearsons was on fire. We stood much of the night watching the flames and the firefighters. When all was finished, the roof was almost completely burned away. The young women who lived on the top three floors were assigned rooms in other dorms. The kitchen and dining hall were unusable. The Red Cross came onto campus and fed the student body for a few weeks until enough repairs were made to get us back in the dining hall. I remember going into the dorm a couple days after the fire to retrieve belongings (mostly clothes) for some of my friends. Everything was soaking wet and dirty with soot. I spent the rest of that day at a local laundromat washing, drying and folding clothes for them. It was encouraging to see how everyone pulled together and worked together through a difficult situation.