News - GU welcomes Rev. Steve Tungate to the community

GU welcomes Rev. Steve Tungate to the community

by Sarah Thomack

Steve Tungate and family

Cupcakes filled a table at a reception in Greenville’s SMART Center recently, but guests were not lining up for dessert. 

They were lining up to welcome Rev. Steve Tungate and his family to the GU community. Tungate, newly hired by the Free Methodist Church-USA, will work out of the SMART Center as director of the denomination’s Center for Pastoral Formation.

Tungate and his wife, Rachel, their daughters Natalie and Alana, and their dog, Tori, moved from Woodstock, Illinois, to Greenville during the warm springlike days that followed the cold weather snap in mid-February.

“Settling in one box at a time,” Tungate chuckles. 

Tungate is also settling into his new position that resulted from a donor-funded initiative at Greenville University and a partnership between the University and the Free Methodist Church. Prior to his pastorate in Woodstock, Tungate served churches in the East Michigan FM Conference for about 20 years. For the past 14 years, he has also served on ministerial education and guidance boards and mentored new pastors and those called to ministry. 

“It’s something that’s very near and dear to my heart,” he says. “This opportunity opened up and this is something I feel strongly about and passionate about to be able to train the next generation of women and men called to ministry and to help, in some way, do my part to help equip them for the task at hand.”

As the unpacking of boxes continues, Tungate says he’ll be watching March Madness basketball and getting out his brushes to paint, two of the many hobbies he enjoys.

“My wife and I joke that I have one hobby, and that’s finding new hobbies. I love to learn, I love to explore, I love to experience. I’m constantly trying new things, but painting is the one that’s at the top of my hobby list.”  

Tungate adds that as he begins his new role in Greenville, he would appreciate prayer for wisdom and also for a smooth transition for his family. 

An endowed fund fuels Tungate’s work that includes overseeing the credentialing process for pastors. “The Bastian Family Fund for the Center for Pastoral Formation” facilitates the faithful partnership between the Free Methodist Church and Greenville University; it builds on the legacy of John Wesley through outcomes-based credentialing. 

If you would like to join the Bastian family in this important work, click here.

This story was published on March 17, 2021

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