Steve Hysom has been the pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church in El Dorado for roughly 20 years. He will retire from that position after he preaches this Sunday morning.

Hysom was also the pastor at Ebenezer United Methodist Church, located three miles south of Burns, during the same time he was pastoring Trinity. He took on both churches 20 years ago as a two-point charge. Ebenezer closed Jan. 1 due to lack of financial support.

When he was contacted by the United Methodist Churches district superintendent to be the pastor at Trinity, Hysom was already serving at United Methodist Churches in Florence and Aulne – cities located 30 to 40 miles north of El Dorado. Before becoming Trinity's pastor, Hysom was interviewed by the Pastor Parish Committee.

"They were looking for someone with pastoral skills – somebody who was caring and could do visitations. And also a focus on missions – somebody who had a heart for Jesus Christ. And I felt like I aligned with that," Hysom said.

Shortly afterward, Hysom became the pastor at Trinity. Since then, he's seen a fellowship hall, kitchen and parlor added on to the church building. In addition, the church purchased a new parsonage, paved a parking area and conducted a pre-school for a few years while Hysom was serving as pastor. He's been a part of Trinity long enough to have learned some valuable lessons.

"I've learned the importance of accepting people where they are and loving them through Christ – and being there for them in their time of need. And sharing that love of Christ when I preach. Just walking the walk and talking the talk," Hysom said.

After Hysom preaches on Father's Day, he'll take a week-long vacation starting Monday. Then he'll settle into retirement. Hysom plans to spend more time with his family and grandkids, volunteer and work on home projects when he is retired.

"I'm looking forward to it," he said.

Trinity celebrated Hysom's retirement with a reception and roast on Sunday, June 4 at the church. Those who attended enjoyed cake and refreshments.

Reverend Micki McCorkle will succeed Hysom as pastor at Trinity. She will assume the role July 2.

"She'll come with the same pastoral care and excellent leadership qualities, and she's interested in helping the church grow and ministering to their needs. And I am personally excited to have her coming and believe the church is lucky to have her as their next pastor," Hysom said.

McCorkle will come to Trinity from working at the Great Plains United Methodist office in Wichita, where she is in charge of small church excellency. McCorkle will transition out of that position when she becomes Trinity's new pastor.