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Elk area churches welcome new pastor

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Robert Fulton is the new pastor for the congregations of Mt. Tabor United Methodist Church in Pinch and Jarrett United Methodist Church in Elkview. Courtesy photo

The latest destination in Robert Fulton's continental travels and professional callings has become the pulpits of Jarrett Memorial United Methodist Church in Elkview and Mt. Tabor United Methodist Church in Pinch.

Fulton has replaced Pastor Danny Kinder, who served at Jarrett Memorial UMC for approximately 20 years and transferred to Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Sissonville earlier this year.

Ministering at the sister churches marks Fulton's first pastoral appointment.

Fulton attended the University of Rio Grande in Ohio and majored in vocal music, where he also started singing with gospel groups and launched a career in radio broadcasting as a teenager.

"I began singing in quartets when I was 19 with a group called Forgiven 4," he said. "I also began working in radio then, in Point Pleasant.

"In 2009, at age 23, I had the opportunity to sing full time with the Palmetto State Quartet. While touring with them throughout the United States and Canada, I had the chance to be a backing vocalist on Wynonna Judd’s 2009 'A Classic Christmas' tour, as well as the Judds' 'The Last Encore' reunion tour in 2010."

After singing with the Palmetto State Quartet, Fulton joined Gold City in 2013, touring throughout the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Brazil with the group. In 2017, he and other members of Gold City over the years were inducted into the Gospel Music Association's Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

The gospel singer/DJ said his calling to the ministry gained momentum two years ago.

"It was in 2017 that God really began nudging me, reminding me He had called me to pastor, and I kept doing other things," he said. "I started the candidacy process in January of 2018.

"There are still many days I don’t feel like I completely know what I’m doing. But, that said, it only took a few days of being here to know that this is truly what God has built me to do. It also didn’t take long at all for me to realize I just really love these people.

"Having two churches in your first pastoral appointment can feel a little overwhelming at the start. I never totally know what a day or a week is going to look like. But there’s a peace knowing it’s where I’m supposed to be.

"And I have good news to bring. That’s my job. In a time where so much of what we see and hear is sad news and tragic happenings, part of my job is to stand in front of folks each week and remind them that there is good news. That there’s a God who loves and cares for them, even in their hardest and darkest moments. A savior in Jesus who gave His life to save theirs. And even though it doesn’t make life simple or easy, He gives strength for hard days, joy on great days, guidance and peace for all days," Fulton said.

"To get to be the bearer of that kind of news -- I just can’t explain how amazing that is."

Along with his new pastoral duties, the 33-year-old Elkview resident remains on the air faithfully at a Charleston contemporary Christian music station.

"I’ve been with New Life 94.5 since 2015, and can still be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and weekends from noon until 4 p.m.," Fulton said.

Metro reporter Clint Thomas can be reached at cthomas@cnpapers.com or by calling 304-348-1232.

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Fink, Janice - 1:30 p.m., United Disciples of Christ Church, South Charleston.

Honaker, Dewey - 2 p.m., Arnett Assembly of God Church, Arnett.

Jenkins, Tina - 2 p.m., Hafer Funeral Home, Elkview.

Payne, Joseph - 3 p.m., Gateway Christian Church, St. Albans.

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Vance, Kendall - 2 p.m., Handley Funeral Home, Danville.