On Sept. 15, the Rev. Father Robert Roethel was installed as the vicar, or pastor, of Fayetteville’s Church of the Holy Cross by the Most Rev. David Epps, Bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-South.
Roethel was born and raised in St. Joseph, Mich.. He was a member of Saron Lutheran Church where he was baptized and confirmed.
After graduating high school in 1980 he attended Tri-State University in Angola, Ind. where he earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering.
Following a move to Milledgeville in 1988, Roethel finished his master of business administration degree at Georgia College in 1992, and later that same year rededicated his life to Christ during a marriage retreat held by Hopewell United Methodist Church.
Roethel’s call to the ministry, according to him, “Came during a difficult transition in my life due to divorce. It was during this period that I met Father John Holloway, Father Bob Wills and Father David Upshaw who mentored me in my walk with the Lord.”
In 1995 he joined an independent charismatic church that would later become a Charismatic Episcopal mission, Church of the Good Shepherd. In 1998 he enrolled in the St. Michael’s Seminary Program and was later ordained to the diaconate in 2001.
In 2003 Roethel and his 9-year old son Robert moved to Thomaston to serve at the Cathedral of St. Michael and All Angels. In that year he married Patricia Roland, a member at St. Michael’s. Mrs. Roethel, who is a hair stylist and a business owner of 25 years, has two children, Julie and Taylor plus five grandchildren. She was born and raised in Nashua, N. H.
In 2006 Roethel finished his master of ministry degree and in April was ordained to the priesthood. He served under Bishop John Holloway prior to the bishop’s stroke and served as dean at the Cathedral of St. Michael and All Angels for more than two years. He served as a supply preacher to St. Andrew’s Church in Covington and currently serves on the Bishop’s Council of the Mid-South Diocese.
Church of the Holy Cross celebrated its ninth anniversary in September. The founding vicar, The Rev. Canon Paul Massey, was named pastor emeritus.