Shared pulpit a first for Stillwater church
During the last weekend in June, Rev. Marty Raths and Rev. Donna Buell preached their first sermon as co-pastors at Stillwater’s First United Methodist Church. It was new experience for the church, but not only because of the new voices from the pulpit — Raths and Buell are the first husband and wife clergy couple in the history of the congregation, which can trace its origins back to the introduction of the Methodist faith in Minnesota.
Although it’s unique at First United Methodist Church, the concept of collaborative pastoral ministry is a familiar one for Raths and Buell. The pair met while attending the Union Theological Seminary in New York City and married before venturing into ministry together. Since then, they have co-pastored for the past 22 of their 30 years in ministry, serving first in Redwood Falls, and more recently in Northfield. Theirs is a partnership built on a shared theological foundation and, so far, it has made their experience of working together a steady journey.