Tinnemeyer’s journey continues at childhood church

Prior chaplain at Waynesburg University, James Tinnemeyer, was unanimously voted in as the next senior pastor at Southminster Presbyterian Church. The church happens to be just a block from his home, according to Josh Sumpter, newly serving as chaplain at Waynesburg University.

“Reverend Tinnemeyer played a key role in bringing me to Waynesburg University and invited me to apply for the position of being the assistant chaplain,” Sumpter said.

The two worked together closely for three years until July 31, Tinnemeyer’s last day at Waynesburg.

“I’m just excited for him to have the opportunity to minister in the church where he grew up,” Sumpter said.

Reverend Tinnemeyer wore multiple hats here at Waynesburg including: vice president of student services and dean of students, vice president of faith and mission, director of the center for leadership and christian ministry, associate professor of biblical & ministry studies and University chaplain. 

“To have the opportunity to work with him for the three years we were together was a joy,” Sumpter said. “We worked closely in regards to campus ministry. I enjoyed working with him, I learned a lot from an administrative perspective but also got to witness his heart for our students, the way that he loves his family and just the ways that he really reflects the light of Christ both here in Waynesburg and his hometown of Lebanon.”

Reverend Tinnmemyer and his family have attended Southminster Presbyterian Church for the last five years, said Sumpter. 

“I think there are opportunities there where he can use the gifts that God’s given him and I’m just grateful for his ministry here , but I’m excited for the plans that God has for him back in Mount Lebanon,” Sumpter added.

Sumpter described Tinnemeyer leaving as a peaceful step into the right calling.

“There’s a lot of reasons people move on and leave a workplace and I think Reverend Tinnemeyer left under the right calling and under the right reasons. He was a blessing to our campus. He’s got his hands full with his new position. It’s a good thing for him; I think it’s a really good fit,” said Sumpter.

Sumpter described Tinnemeyer’s lasting impact at Waynesburg as having two major facets: his dedication to the students and his relationship with fellow employees.

“I’ll start with employees, in particular, student services,” he said. “I think Reverend Tinnemeyer really conveyed encouragement and reminder that we spend a lot of time, even more so than with our families, we spend time with our fellow employees. So how do we craft and create Christ-like community amongst each other?”

Tinnemeyer wasn’t one to drift from his core belief that everything flowed from Jesus, and that was the biggest impact he left with the students, said Sumpter.

“In ministry you can easily, especially in higher education, get caught up in all these different side conversations, that are important, but we often can lose sight of who Jesus is and what the good news of the gospel is,” said Sumpter. “I think Reverend Tinnemeyer made that a staple for our campus, that Jesus is the center.”

Reverend Tinnemeyer had multiple experiences working in ministry before coming to Waynesburg such as: associate pastor at Oakmont Presbyterian Church for four years, executive pastor at Shadyside Presbyterian Church for seven years and two years as acting senior pastor and head of staff. 

Tinnemeyer preached his candidating sermon at Southminster Presbyterian Church on Sunday, July 14 and has continued sharing his love for Christ with this new congregation, according to Southminster Presbyterian Church’s pastor nominating committee.