Travia new pastor at Methodist Church
First United Methodist Church of Hammonton recently gained a new pastor in Tiffany Travia, who is a native to the town. The Gazette had the opportunity to speak with Travia about her new position, and her feelings about the location. Travia couldn’t be more excited to share and pray with the town’s community, in the same place where she grew up as a child.
“I think there’s more benefits than there are negatives. It’s nice knowing some folks, some people I went to school with their grandkids… it’s like six degrees of separation. We all know each other in some way which is neat. I know this town, and it’s a different kind of work than walking into a town you know nothing about. It’s a different kind of challenge, getting to work where you grew up, but I think it’s just such a benefit,” Travia said.
Travia explained her past experiences with the Methodist church, as well as how pastors are appointed.
“I’ve been in the Methodist system since 2015-2016, I started out as a secretary for one of the churches I was familiar with and became a worship leader. I had my call to ministry in like 2017-2018, and just never looked back. I’ve done the pastor thing now for four years, and now getting to be back in my hometown, it’s such a surreal thing. The way our system works, the way we appoint pastors, you know it happens but it’s unusual. Sometimes it happens, but it is fairly unusual, so the fact that I get to be back here is just incredible,” Travia said.
As for her plans with the United Methodist community, Travia explained that she is currently just getting adjusted.
“Right now I’m only about a month in, so I’m really just trying to get the lay of the land and how they do things. While all Methodist churches at this point are all United Methodist, every church kind of has their own flavor per say. Everybody does things a little different, so I’m just trying to figure out and work through how they do things,” Travia said.
She recognized that some pastors, once appointed, will try to make the experience their own. Travia had a different way of thinking.
“It’s not about my way, it’s about learning our way, and I think that’s important. I’ve said it from the beginning to them and I continue to say, I’m about honoring everybody in the room from the oldest to the youngest. However, we can best do that and glorify God together is the goal,” Travia said.
With Travia being appointed pastor, she has started to meet new people and old friends, however, many people in the town and Methodist community are unaware of her position.
“The town doesn’t really know I’m here yet, and that’s OK because I don’t need to be known to serve,” Travia said.
She did, however, say that there were a few times she had met people online for worship service.
“We have a lot of people who watch us online and I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from that,” Travia said.
With great feedback, and getting to know more people in the church community day by day, Travia feels grateful to be a pastor in her own town.
“I’m blessed to be a part of such a joyful and loving community,” Travia said.