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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2017:12:01 01:42:16

STAFF PHOTO/C.J. MARSHALL Seth Macaluso performs his duties as acting senior pastor at Mehoopany Baptist Church.

As the acting senior pastor at Mehoopany Baptist Church, Seth Macaluso has some mighty big shoes to fill.

Fortunately previous senior pastor Joseph Billingsly provided Macaluso with the mentoring necessary to fill the role.

Macaluso has been acting senior pastor at Mehoopany Baptist Church since Billingsly retired from the post a few weeks ago. Before that, Macaluso served Billingsly and the church as the assistant pastor.

“He and I have a great working relationship,” Macaluso explained.

As the assistant pastor, Macaluso provided help to Billingsly where ever he was needed. He was also in charge of the Youth Ministry Teens, as well as assisting the church’s musical program.

As acting senior pastor, Macaluso has no specific plans for the church as this time.

“They have not determined what God’s will is from everyone’s perspective,” Macaluso explained about the decision on who will be Billingsly’s permanent replacement.

The matter will be put before the pulpit committee, he explained. Although Macaluso has placed his name as a possible candidate, the final decision will be voted upon by the congregation.

Macaluso has been at Mehoopany Baptist Church for the past four-and-a-half years. He lives in the area with his wife Heather, and their three children - daughter Faith, age 3; son Mason, age 2; and son Joseph, age 11 weeks.

“That’s why things have been kind of hectic around here,” Macaluso explained about his newborn son with a laugh.

Feeling a call to the minister when he was 14 years old, Macaluso was ordained a minister in 2013.

“My life is to be a pastor, and I felt God had me come to this place for a reason. It’s a wonderful church, and I’m happy to be filling in while the decision is being made,” he said.

When he was 14, Macaluso explained, he spent some time with an uncle who is a pastor.

“I admired and looked up to him,” he said. “I decided that’s what I wanted to do with my life is be a pastor.”

About 130 people are active members of the congregation, and Macaluso has been busy ministering to their needs. Advice previously provided by Pastor Billingsly has been an invaluable help.

“He mentored me on a weekly basis, which was very much appreciated,” Macaluso explained.

The church also provides a number of community services - including the Fascar Race which was held this past November. This month, the church’s youth group will be caroling throughout the community, including at a number of nursing homes.

“I pray for whoever God wants for this church. I know he will select the perfect pastor and I want His will to be done,” Macaluso explained. “The mission of this church is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That will continue, no matter who is pastor.”