Greg Morrison has stood in the pulpit of Morenci's First Congregational Church several times during the past four years, but he and his wife, Jodi, will soon become much more than occasional visitors.
Starting June 23, Rev. Morrison will serve as the church's pastor after Jack Cahill wraps up seven years of service to the church. Rev. Cahill will preach his final sermon here June 16 before retiring and moving to California.
The Morrisons intend to drive down from Charlotte each week to spend long weekends in the Morenci parsonage.
"We're excited about coming down and meeting people in the community," Rev. Morrison said. "Jodi and I both have an affection for Morenci."
Rev. Morrison has engaged in "pulpit supply" during the past four years and he spent more time here than in any other church.
"The congregation has always been warm and welcoming," he said. "I'm a small-town guy and Morenci is a good fit."
Rev. Morrison retired after a 31-year career with General Motors in Lansing. He's been involved in lay ministry for a decade and licensed ministry for the past four years.
"This will be my first church," he said. "This is a second career for me. It's a time I didn't anticipate. Now my life is headed in a new direction and I'm excited."
Greg and Jodi both grew up in Holt. They've been married 38 years and have a son who lives in Muskegon and a daughter who lives in Diamondale. They're anticipating the arrival of their first grandchild.
The Morrisons will begin their first three-day weekend in Morenci June 21.
"That will give us a chance to integrate into the community and I'm really looking forward to that," Rev. Morrison said.