One of Marysville's largest churches is under new leadership.
Marysville Church of the Nazarene has named the Rev. Paul Mills as its new senior pastor. He was officially installed during a special service April 6.
Mills' vision for the church includes a focus on community.
"We got to love the community. We got to love Marysville. We believe the essence of the gospel is love," Mills said.
Mills and his wife, Terri, have three sons, Wyatt, 20, Dylan, 17, and Spencer, 12.
Mills, 51, practiced law in the Dayton area for 14 years before feeling and answering a call to ministry.
"I've always been in churches and always involved. It was later in life that I really felt God was moving me in the direction of pastoring instead of practicing law," he said. "I always loved practicing law and enjoyed it, but felt God moving me in that direction in about 1998."
He had served as senior pastor of Gracepointe Church of the Nazarene in Trenton, Butler County, since 2005.
"We had a pretty successful ministry where we were, and things were going pretty well. I'm kind of a guy that likes to operate with challenges," Mills said. "Where we were, everything was running pretty good. So I kind of felt like it was time for a new challenge."
Mills has a bachelor's degree in history from Mid-America Nazarene University, a law degree from the University of Dayton School of Law and a master of divinity from Northwest Nazarene University.
His wife graduated from Mount Vernon Nazarene University and Mount St. Joseph College and is a practicing Certified Public Accountant.
The family is slowly making the transition from Trenton.
"I've got a house to sell. So I'm living in an apartment here in Marysville and my wife is transitioning back and forth," Mills said.
She will travel to Marysville on the weekends until school is out for the summer.
Mills is excited about the future and the opportunity to work with more than 400 church members, one of the county's larger congregations.
"They are very loving. Any church can turn inward and focus on themselves. Our challenge is to continue to reach out into the community and serve the lost," he said.
Mills filled a role that has been vacant for about nine months.
Church member Joe Case said the previous pastor, Paul Whiteford, left in June to lead a Nazarene church in San Diego after more than 20 years in Marysville.
"He's a great friend and greatly missed," Case said.
Case said the church's ministry has a lot to offer the community under Mills' leadership.
"I think a few of the key qualities that stand out regarding Paul Mills are his passion for ministry and care, his ability to cast a strong vision for the congregation to rally around, and his focus on taking the ministry of the church outside the walls of the building and into the community," Case said. "There's a renewed sense and energy since he and his family have arrived."
Mills leads the three-person pastoral staff, which also includes children's pastor Kim Marks and a new youth pastor expected to be announced soon.
Marysville Church of the Nazarene, 1126 N. Maple St., started more than 53 years ago. The church holds Sunday worship services at 8:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., with Sunday school at 9:45 a.m. Youth services are held at 6 p.m. Sundays.