New pastor at First Presbyterian Church is no stranger to Albion community

Photos by Ginny Kropf: The Rev. Susan Thaine preaches the sermon on her first Sunday as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Albion. She is also an Albion native and moderator of the Presbytery of Genesee Valley.

Posted 22 July 2018 at 9:44 pm

Rev. Susan Thaine leads church in her hometown

Dick Anderson of Waterport plays the guitar and sings the Rev. Susan Thaine’s favorite hymn during her first Sunday as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Albion.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent

ALBION – “I see friends I’ve known forever,” the Rev. Susan Thaine said as she began her first Sunday as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Albion.

The Rev. Thaine grew up in Albion, a daughter of Robert and Peggy Collins. She and her husband Mike have lived on Oak Orchard Road since 1999.

Tim McGee, a member of the congregation for 10 years, said it was pretty special to get a new minister who happens to be a hometown native.

“We are blessed to have her and we hope she’ll be here for a long time to come,” McGee said. “She’s ‘home’ now. She’s a very uplifting person and she’s going to change this church.”

The Rev. Thaine grew up on West Academy Street. Both she and her husband graduated from Albion High School in 1986. They were married in 1992 and have a daughter, Abby, and son, Kyle.

Mike is the band director and instrumental teacher at Albion High School.

The Rev. Thaine said she knew at the age of 8 she wanted to go into the ministry after attending the Bible Club at the home of Sid and Etha Bolton and then attending church camp with them.

The congregation of the First Presbyterian Church of Albion put on a picnic after worship Sunday to welcome their new pastor, Albion native the Rev. Susan Collins Thaine. She is shown here ready to cut her cake.

“But we attended the Free Methodist Church, and while in theory they accepted female pastors, I never saw any,” she said. “So I made the decision to take a route which was open to me – music.”

She received a master of science in applied voice from Roberts Wesleyan College in 1990 and a master of divinity from Colgate Rochester Divinity School in 2010. She served as pastor of the Penfield Presbyterian Church from the fall of 2010 until this month.

In May, she was appointed moderator of the Presbytery of Genesee Valley.

As she began sharing her ministry with the Albion congregation, the Rev. Thaine said one thing was running through her heart and mind.

“Ada Grabowski, former Albion School Superintendent, once gave my husband this sage advice, ‘Begin as you mean to go on,’” the pastor said. “For me, the way I want to go on is with intention to create meaningful and transformative connections; our individual and corporate connection with God; and our connections with one another and with our neighbors outside the doors of the church. I see a future where this congregation is known as a place of vibrant faith lived out as we strive to become a ‘Good Neighbor Church.’”

The Rev. Thaine said she is excited to get to know each and every one of the congregation, and has scheduled a series of luncheons from now until January, in which she encourages everyone to pick a date and sign up.

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