Eggert leaving after 10 years
By Jane Myhra
Two local churches said farewell to Rev. Dale Eggert during a recent potluck dinner at the Central County Airport.
Eggert has served the United Methodist Churches in Iola and Manawa for the past 10 years.
It was not easy for him to goodbye.
“I don’t know how to begin because I don’t want it to end,” Eggert said. “This congregation will never know how much they all truly mean to me and how much I will really miss them.”
“These have been 10 wonderful years,” he said. “They have taught me so much.”
Being called to serve the Iola UMC and Manawa UMC was Eggert’s first full-time position as a lead pastor.
“He brought great love, leadership and learning to the Iola and Manawa Methodist churches,” said Ronda Mollica,
chair of the administrative board. “It is hard to say goodbye, but we are happy for his next step in life.”
“It is very sad after 10 years that we’re losing him,” said Mike Miller, who served as a lay minister at Manawa UMC. “Pastor Dale has made an impression on us and we will miss him dearly.”
“These churches accepted me since day one, and they allowed me to not only be their pastor, but also to be a part of their lives,” Eggert said. “They were willing to take chances, such as new ways of looking at things, different worship styles and outreach.”
Eggert has been called to serve Faith United Methodist Church, in Brillion. He will be the minister for one church with about a 275-member congregation, compared to serving two churches with a total of about 200 members.
“It was a difficult decision,” Eggert said. “But in the Methodist Church, we go where the bishop assigns us.”
“It is sad for the Iola and Manawa churches to lose our pastor,” said David Harper, of Iola, “but it’s also a happy day because Pastor Dale is going on to bigger and better things in Brillion. It’s a much larger church and a larger congregation, so it’s a good move for him.”
“I am encouraged and excited for the opportunity,” Eggert said. “I do believe it’s where God wants me to be. If Brillion is half as good as these two churches have been to me, I will be thrilled.”
Farewell gifts from the congregations included a money cake from Manawa and a Bible from Iola, with highlighted passages from the church members.
Eggert also received cards and will receive a scrapbook of thoughts and memories from the congregations.
Rev. Steve Rice will begin serving the Iola and Manawa UMC congregations on July 12.