United Church of Wayland pastor moving to North Carolina

The Rev. DrR.J. Hronek copy. Richard J. Hronek is resigning his position as pastor of the United Church of Wayland effective May 11.

Hronek, who has been the United Church’s pastor for more than three years, has accepted a position as pastor of the Heidelberg United Church of Christ in Thomasville, N.C.

“The main reason behind leaving the United Church of Wayland has nothing to do with the church or the congregation,” Hronek said in a letter to the congregation Sunday. “Rather, I am leaving for personal reasons. My daughter who is a single mother of two lives only 15-20 minutes away in Winston-Salem.

“Jan and I have enjoyed our time here. We have made friends that we will truly miss. My resignation is in no way an indication of a lack of confidence in the United Church of Wayland or its mission. I believe that the United Church of Wayland can continue to grow and become an even more important part of the Wayland community at large. I wish nothing but the best for the church in the future.”

Hronek succeeded the Rev. Nancy Zerban in December 2011 after David Baak of Grand Rapids spent more than a year at the local church as interim pastor.

Hronek and his wife, Jan, made their home at the parsonage next door to the church on East Superior Street. Jan had been director of health care at the non-profit Kent Health Plan in Grand Rapids.

He previously was pastor at the Lakeview Congregational United Church of Christ since 2008 to 2011.

Hronek was chaplain resident at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., and performed in the same role for the Greensboro Urban Ministry between 2003 and 2006 when he was a student at the Wake Forest University Divinity School.

He taught earth science, biology and physical science for two years at Western Alamance High School in Elon, N.C.

He graduated from Albion College in 1975 with a degree in chemistry and spent the early of his professional career working the consumer products division of the Dow Chemical Company.

PHOTO: The Rev. Dr. R.J. Hronek

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