Rev. Seely retiring at First Presbyterian Church

As pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Parkersburg for 13 years, the Rev. Michael Seely said he is going to miss a congregation of wonderful people.

Seely begins his retirement after the Sunday, April 28, service at First Presbyterian.

A reception for Seely will take place around 11:30 a.m. April 28 in the church fellowship hall after the 10:30 a.m. service. The reception coincides with the annual “spring fling” luncheon, where the women of the church prepare baked steak and side dishes.

The reception is open to everyone. Those who want to attend the luncheon are asked to call the church at 304-422-5426.

Seely, 66, arrived at First Presbyterian Church, 1341 Juliana St., this time of year in 2006. He has been active in the ministry for 38 years, serving five churches in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio (two churches) and West Virginia.

As an honorably retired pastor, Seely said he will have the same rights and privileges in the ministry, just not on a full-time basis. He will serve on an interim or fill-in basis at Presbyterian churches.

Mike and his wife, Carol, plan to remain in their Vienna home.

Seely mentioned the following accomplishments during his time at First Presbyterian: retired a $1.5 million debt in four years; did a good job maintaining a large, challenging building; rented out portions of the building to a child care center, Weight Watchers and Essentially Yours (helps the homeless as they transition into traditional housing); and continued the Christmas Day dinner for the community.

Seely will continue as Wood County Senior Citizens Association Board president.

Seely enjoys playing the alto saxophone in the Doug Hess Big Band, which performs at Big Band dances at Stout Memorial United Methodist Church, and the clarinet in the Cambridge (Ohio) City Band.

Besides preaching, Seely has sung in the choir, has rung in the Bell Choir and has played the clarinet and saxophone during services at First Presbyterian Church.

Although there will be some sadness in retiring from First Presbyterian, Seely said he is looking forward to a new stage of life and ministry.

A new pastor will not be appointed until next year, Seely said.

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Sharon Lowe’s goal is for at least 100 people to attend the picnic for Marbon/Borg-Warner Chemicals/GE Plastics/SABIC retirees, former employees and their families on June 8 at Parkersburg City Park.

The first picnic in 2003 of anyone “who ever stepped foot” in the former Woodmar Plant in Washington Bottom attracted five people, said Lowe, who started the event. Last year, 90 people attended.

This year’s picnic is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with food available at noon in shelter A and B near the log cabin. Attendees are asked to bring a covered dish and the chicken will be provided.

Bring a lawn chair, said Lowe, who worked at the Wood County plant for 34.5 years beginning in 1966.

The Woodmar Plant was home to these companies at various times beginning in 1957 with Marbon and ending in 2013 with SABIC.

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A link was placed this week on the Parkersburg High School Foundation’s website for people to purchase a new seat for the high school’s auditorium.

The foundation has 767 seats to sell to replace the first floor seating of the auditorium. The cost of sponsoring a seat is $250.

The old seats will be removed when classes end for the summer, said Carrie Nesselrode, communications coordinator for the foundation. The new seats will be installed before school starts in the fall.

“There has been a lot of interest in the chairs,” Nesselrode said. “It is going well.”

Other projects in the auditorium are planned.

On ways to pay for an auditorium seat and for more information go to parkersburghighschoolfoundation.org. The website link is auditorium renovation.

The Parkersburg High School Foundation was established in 1988 with the mission to encourage traditions and enhance excellence at Parkersburg High School. The foundation has donated over $375,000 through teacher grants and capital improvements to the school as part of this mission.

Contact Paul LaPann at plapann@newsandsentinel.com

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