Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

MC Weekly

July 31, 2013

Home-grown pastor

Miami County native looks back on 40 years serving as Mennonite minister.

(Continued)

After two years in Texas, the family moved back to Indiana, where Osborne worked as an administrator with the Voluntary Service in Elkhart.

His first pastoral job ended up being on the other side of the country in Lebanon, Ore. He served there for 11 years, then moved to Kansas to work as a Mennonite conference minister — a kind of public relations executive for churches all over the region.

“Those were all good years,” Osborne recalled.

From the plains of mid-America, the family crossed the border into Ontario, Canada, for his next pastoral stint.

“That was kind of a peculiar move, because the government of Canada was a little skeptical of anyone coming up there and taking a job,” he said. “The leadership committee of the church had to assure the government that they had investigated the job and made sure there wasn’t a suitable candidate from Canada.”

The family lived in London, Ontario, for more than five years, and Osborne said they were happy there.

Then it was down to Illinois for another pastoral job in 1987, and out to Charlottesville, Va., in 1994.

Osborne retired from the ministry in 1999, and he and Joyce moved from the city to the mountains near Harrisonburg, Va.

About every two years, Osborne said, he makes it back to Miami County for family reunions or other events. On this most recent trip,he made a point to stop by the coroner’s office in the courthouse to find information on his grandmother, who died in the county.

He didn’t have any luck, he said.

“We love coming back here,” he said. “But it sure is flat compared to the mountains in Virginia.”

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, or at carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com.

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