The Rev. Wayne Salguero of Trinity United Methodist Church hopes that his church will be a place of healing, love and hope. . CNJ photo by Eric Kluth.
By Darrell Todd Maurina: CNJ staff writer
When the Rev. Wayne Salguero came to Clovis in mid-June, Trinity United Methodist Church wasn’t the first congregation he’s served. The former accountant has spent years in unordained lay leadership roles, first as a Presbyterian and since 1991 as a United Methodist.
Salguero, a graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., spent nearly two decades as an accountant before deciding to prepare for full-time ministry. During his time in Clovis, he, like most United Methodist seminary graduates, will be on a probationary status which he said will help prepare him with practical guidance on his role as a leader of the church.
Salguero had been a Presbyterian elder serving on his local church board since the early 1980s, but said he first began considering full-time ministry after he transferred to the United Methodist Church in 1991.
“The United Methodist Church was physically next to the house that Karen and I bought after we got married,” Salguero said. “We were attracted to many of the activities at that church and were across town from the other church. We found a group of young married couples, we fit in, and it was made in heaven.”
After becoming more involved in his local United Methodist congregation, Salguero said a retired Army chaplain in the church urged him to ask whether he should be more than a lay leader.
“I got involved as a lay speaker for the United Methodist Church and felt the call of God upon my life,” Salguero said.
“(The chaplain) took me under his wing, and I found the United Methodist people were very loving and I wanted to work with them and fulfill my call to be with God’s people.”
“Being in the laity is a very important and vital role but I feel that I was called into the ministry,” Salguero said.
Salguero’s previous roles included a year at Forest Heights United Methodist Church in Del City, Texas, service as an unordained local pastor at two small United Methodist churches near Silver City from 1997 to 1998, and being a certified United Methodist lay speaker for pulpit supply in the El Paso, Texas, area.
Describing himself as “a little bit to the right of center” theologically, Salguero said his focus in Clovis will center on children, youth and music ministries.
“And seniors too,” Salguero added. “We’re really looking to build ministry here and be a resource to the community, not only young people but all people.”
Salguero won’t be serving an exclusively Hispanic church but said he believes his background as a Hispanic member of the United Methodist Church will help him bring an important perspective to a denomination that doesn’t always understand minority issues.
“My grandfather was in the United States Army in World War I; he was born in the Territory of Puerto Rico,” Salguero said. “But when I lived in Washington D.C. I had the privilege of showing up to seminary with New Mexico plates and for some reason I was always taken as being from Mexico. With the Spanish last name and being taken that I am from Mexico, it really threw me.”
“I’m both traditional and looking forward into contemporary,” Salguero said. “I believe that I can accept people and take people as they are. My vision for the church is the church should be a place of healing, a place of love and a place of hope.”