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Adams Village Baptist Church welcomes new pastor


ADAMS — Life in television news production was not right for Thomas S. Tharp, the new pastor of Adams Village Baptist Church.

Graduating in 2008 from St. John Fisher College, Rochester, where he studied English and communication and worked with multiple student ministries, Mr. Tharp spent a year in the television industry but realized it did not make him happy. He wanted to be around the church.

“Working with other believers filled me with joy,” he said. “As long as I was working for God, it was so enriching.”

Mr. Tharp will give his first sermon today at the church, 24 E. Church St. He comes to the church from Mountain Grove Baptist Church, Hickory, N.C., where he was youth minister and interim pastor. He also recently graduated from Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity, Boiling Springs, N.C.

The 27-year-old Penn Yan native said he had several opportunities to join churches in North Carolina, but he wanted to return to his home state. The family of his wife, Katie M. Tharp, a Rochester native, has a summer home in Henderson, which Mr. Tharp said he visited multiple times.

“This is the area I’ve always envisioned ourselves retiring,” he said.

Mr. Tharp said he was inspired by his father, John, who is interim pastor at First Baptist Church, Central Square.

Sitting in his office Thursday morning, the new pastor said he looked forward to spending the day driving around and meeting residents. Mr. Tharp said he was impressed by the church’s organization and community focus and expressed hope he could continue that work.

“The village can expect some good things from the church, and good things from me,” he said.

Mr. Tharp replaces the Rev. Nevario “Bud” Masters, who served the church for 17 years before retiring in June.

“I’ve got a legacy to follow,” Mr. Tharp said. “It seems to me he left the church in a good place.”

The pastor’s first sermon will be at 10:30 a.m. today. Mr. Tharp said that it would not be a typical sermon and that he would be baring his soul for the church’s members.

“I’m putting myself out there for the first sermon,” he said.

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