Fort Valley native Pastor Perry “PG” Coverstone recently accepted a part-time position with Woodstock Christian Church.
“I’m 58 and just now getting started,” he said.
After serving in the Coast Guard for about five years, he worked several jobs around the Shenandoah Valley while he and his wife, Barbara, ministered at a local nursing home every Sunday afternoon for five years, providing music, a biblical message and a time of prayer to the residents.
Then, at age 50, Coverstone felt called to become a minister.
The couple moved to Colorado so he could attend Charis Bible College in Woodland Park, but once there, his wife also heard the call and pursued a divinity degree.
Now both certified ministers, the couple returned to the valley, where they continued their nursing home ministry.
In 2018, PG Coverstone accepted the position of assistant pastor at Wakemans Grove Church of the Brethren in Edinburg, where he served for three years before joining Woodstock Christian Church in June.
He now splits his time between the church and the Cancer Center at Winchester Medical Center, where he does IT support and gives spiritual care to the patients.
“My job on Sundays is to take people one step closer to Jesus,” he said.
His wife, who lends support at the church, is an office manager at Pangle Real Estate & Auction in Woodstock.
“It’s a very warm and welcoming church,” he said.
Woodstock Christian was established in 1845 “as one of the forerunners of churches in the Woodstock community,” Coverstone explained.
Initially gathering in a private home on South Main Street, the congregation found a permanent structure in 1880 at High and Commerce streets. Then, 42 years later in 1922, church members bought property at 109 S. Muhlenberg St. where the church stands today.
Coverstone took over as pastor after the Rev. Bill Erbach’s retirement in December.
Though its congregation has diminished to 45 or 50 weekly attendees during the COVID-19 pandemic, Coverston said they’re focused on rebuilding the church.
On Saturday, the church will host an open house and rummage sale from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. to welcome the public and offer tours. Proceeds will go toward buying equipment to show live streams during Sunday services and Wednesday Midweek Manna gathering.
“We just would like to make sure everyone knows … that our doors are open,” Coverstone said. “It’s a loving church. We’re here to encourage and support one another.”
Through his ministry, Coverstone wants to share “what I call the hope of the Gospel.”
For more information, call 540-459-3125 or visit woodstockchristianchurch.com.