Fort Valley native Pastor Perry “PG” Coverstone recently accepted a part-time position at Woodstock Christian Church.
“I’m 58 and just started,” he said.
After serving in the Coast Guard for about five years, he held multiple jobs in the Shenandoah Valley while he and his wife, Barbara, ministered at a local nursing home every Sunday afternoon for five years, providing music, a biblical message and a time of prayer to the locals.
Then, at age 50, Coverstone felt called to be a pastor.
The couple moved to Colorado so he could attend Charis Bible College in Woodland Park, but once there his wife also heard the call and earned a theology degree.
Now both certified ministers, the couple returned to the valley, where they continued their ministry in a retirement home.
In 2018, PG Coverstone accepted the post of Assistant Pastor at the Wakemans Grove Brethren Church in Edinburgh, where he served for three years before joining the Woodstock Christian Church in June.
He now divides his time between the church and the Cancer Center at Winchester Medical Center, where he provides IT support and spiritual patient care.
“My job on Sunday is to bring people closer to Jesus,” he said.
His church supportive wife is an office manager at Pangle Real Estate & Auction in Woodstock.
“It is a very warm and welcoming church,” he said.
Woodstock Christian was established in 1845 “as one of the forerunners of the churches in the community of Woodstock,” explained Coverstone.
Originally united in a private house on South Main Street, the congregation found permanent structure in 1880 on High and Commerce streets. Then, 42 years later, in 1922, church members purchased property at 109 S. Muhlenberg Street, where the church is located today.
Coverstone took over as pastor after Reverend Bill Erbach retired in December.
Although his congregation has shrunk to 45 or 50 weekly attendees during the COVID-19 pandemic, Coverston said they are focusing on rebuilding the church.
On Saturday, the church will host an open day and clearance sale from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. to welcome the public and offer tours. Profits will be used to purchase equipment to broadcast live streams during Sunday services and the Wednesday midweek manna collection.
“We would just like to make sure everyone knows… that our doors are open,” Coverstone said. “It is a loving church. We are there to encourage and support each other.
Through his ministry, Coverstone wants to share “what I call the hope of the gospel”.
For more information, call 540-459-3125 or visit woodstockchristianchurch.com.