“This is truly a very busy church,” interim pastor Lorna Casselman, of the Morrisburg Pentecostal Tabernacle Church, told The Leader. “There is a lot going on. It’s amazing how a smaller church like this one is so deeply involved in the community. We regularly have many events happening.”
Following the retirement of long time pastor, the Reverend Duncan Perry, on December 30, 2012, the church selection committee is currently in the process of seeking the right candidate to become the new full time pastor.
In the meantime, the reverend Lorna Casselman has stepped in on a part time basis to minister to the congregation until that new pastor is named.
“I am definitely following in some very big shoes after pastor Duncan,” Casselman said. “He’s left a big mark in the church and in the area.”
Pastor Lorna was born in Montreal (“I speak a little French,” she laughed, “but it was really the English side of the city.”). She said that she was at a church youth convention when, at age 12, “I felt the Lord’s call.”
Following high school, she attended the Eastern Pentecostal Bible College (now Masters College and Seminary) in Peterborough. She met her future husband, Robert ‘Bob’ Casselman, also a student there, and “never looked back.”
With Bob as the senior pastor and Lorna as associate pastor, particularly as their three children grew, the Casselmans served congregations in Quebec and Ontario. In later years, “we served side by side in our congregations.”
Bob, who spent his teen years on a farm outside Morrisburg, loved this area: the two of them built a home in South Dundas about 30 years ago for their retirement.
In 2003, they came to live in the area.
Unfortunately, Bob passed away in 2005. The Casselman’s eldest daughter also passed away not long after her father.
Lorna continued to serve the church as senior pastor in Long Sault for the next 6.5 years. She retired and had “three months off from full time before I was called to Morrisburg to serve as interim pastor.
I am officially part time, working three days a week, but the reality is that we are busy and there is a lot going on.”
She will continue to serve until the church’s selection committee has had time to study the resumés and sermons of candidates, and has had the opportunity to bring potential pastors to the area to meet with the committee and the congregation.
“My job is to keep the church functioning and to prepare for the new pastor. I will definitely be here for as long as I am needed.”
As a member of the South Dundas community, pastor Casselman made a very special journey in September, 2012.
She travelled with the SD&G Highlanders to Europe to trace the Glens’ actions during World War II, from the landing beaches all the way to Germany as the war ended.
The regular padre of the Glens had been unable to make this trip, and pastor Casselman was asked to serve as the forces’ padre for the two week journey. “It was the trip of a life time, a fantastic time,” she said.
Pastor Casselman sees a strong future ahead for the church. “The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada are still growing,” she said. “We follow a strict adherence to the word of God. People seem to respond.”
The Morrisburg Pentecostal Tabernacle Church will know “when the right candidate for full time pastor arrives,” the reverend Lorna Casselman said. “When that person comes, then I will go back to being a member of this church…if they haven’t kicked me out,” she added, with a definite twinkle in her eye.