The Nevada First United Methodist Church hired a new minister in July, and Mike Carey is settling into his role as its new pastor.


Originally from Ohio, Carey has been in ministry since 1973 and has served a number of congregations throughout the Midwest. He and his wife, Candraeah, have been married since 1996 and have six children. Candraeah is also an ordained minister serving the Methodist church in Mitchellville.


We’d like to share the questions we asked Carey recently to help the community get to know him.


Q) How have the first few months in Nevada gone?


A) “The first few months in Nevada have gone very well, it’s a very nice community. They’ve got a lot going on for a small town. They keep calling themselves a small town一they’re not that small, I’ve served in small towns before, this isn’t a small town. There’s a lot going on here and the people are real nice, very friendly, very caring, so how could it not go well?”


Q) What congregations have you served before?


A) “I took my first professional church ministry position in September of 1973, and it’s been pretty much nonstop from there. I’ve served in western Ohio, northeastern Indiana, Minnesota and now Iowa. I moved to Iowa in ‘99. At that time we were in the Twin Cities area. (Most recently) I was in Janesville four years.”


Q) How did you realize you wanted to become a minister?


A) “was born and raised in north central Ohio, and my family was what you would call a non-church family, but my grandparents were and would drag me to Sunday school on occasion. So I grew up kind of on the rough edge of things. But we had a family friend , one of the first women preachers in the Methodist church, (who) was the gal who pastored our little country church where I grew up, and she was very beloved by that church and community. But then she moved on and went out to far western Ohio and ended up teaching at a small bible college in Fort Wayne, Indiana.


(She) maintained contact though with my family, my grandmother, and when I was getting ready to graduate from high school I had no clue as to what was going on and what I was going to do. I was painting barn roofs一falling off barn roofs一and then this friend asked my grandma, “What’s he going to do, does he have a plan,” and she says, “No.” (The friend) says “Well, if he’ll come out here to this bible college in Fort Wayne, Indiana, I’ll pay his first two years.”


I had no idea what a bible college was, I had no idea what a Christian was at that time. And I went out there and looked the place over, and on the application form, it asked, “Are you saved?” I had no clue as to what that meant. My answer was “Saved from what?” Well that should have red-flagged me right there, but they let me in on probation. I was there two weeks, all of a sudden going [from] no church to church three times on Sunday and every day of the week in chapel and what not, the lights went on, and I understood and I took Jesus Christ as my savior. That was the third Sunday in September 1969, 50 years ago.”


Q) Aside from your work in the church, do you have any hobbies?


A) “I don’t anymore. I‘ve fractured my back like seven times in my life and have always been able to recover from it but this last one a few years back…I used to hunt, fish, golf, play tennis, anything sports oriented, played church league softball that type of thing. I can’t do that anymore and I haven’t adjusted to that, so I don’t really have any hobbies, which is why at 68 I’m not retired. I watch sports, football, baseball, basketball. (I])played those in college, long ago.”


Q) What goals do you have for the church in Nevada?


A) “Number one to get to know people, to assess where they are, and to take them the next step whatever that happens to be. If somebody comes to a church and says right away, “I have a vision for this church,” they’re a liar or a fool. You’ve got to live with people for awhile before you can figure that out. Those are my goals right now, to leave the congregation better and stronger than what I found it.”