Rush, 57, has been a bivocational pastor for nine years. He leads the Limestone and Laurel Point United Methodist churches, two small rural congregations, and he finds time to serve as associate pastor of Sistersville United Methodist Church, where Livingston goes.
If you like word play and can’t resist the notion of a “son of Sistersville,” Rush is your man. He grew up in the country outside this Ohio River town. He came into Sistersville to go to school and to church at Sisterville United Methodist. And he began at Sistersville Tank Works as a welder 38 years ago.
The old company flourished during World War II, helping build LSD landing craft. The company was struggling in the 1980s when its bookkeeper, Janet Wells, and purchasing agent, Darlene Morgan (Janet’s daughter), mortgaged the family farm to buy it.
The women led the company to a remarkable ongoing renewal, and Rush has been part of it, working his way up and traveling as far as South Korea to deal with customers for tanks, boilers and other pressure vessels.
Church, too, has been central to Rush. He was a certified lay servant at Sistersville United Methodist when a pastor told him he should consider “taking a charge” — in other words, leading some nearby rural churches.
“I didn’t have to think about it,” Rush said, feeling too busy already. “I said, ‘No.’”
But the pastor encouraged him to talk to the Rev. David Ehrenich, district superintendent, and Rush eventually did.
Ehrenich mentioned the two churches he had in mind, Limestone and Laurel Point. Rush’s ancestors had attended Limestone, and his wife, Joyce, had roots in Laurel Point.