Dr. Tharwat Wahba to preach here on January 26!
Dr. Tharwat, as he’s commonly known, is head of the Mission Department at the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Cairo (ETSC) and serves as Chair of the Pastoral and Outreach Ministries Council of the Evangelical (Presbyterian) Church of Egypt. He has a deep love and passion for evangelism, the church, and Jesus Christ. His warm and inviting personality makes everyone feel special.
Dr. Tharwat is a graduate student at ETSC, and holds a PhD from the London School of Theology. His view of the church and God’s power to accomplish anything led to his growing vision of a church that was reaching out. In a country where Christians are 10% of the population, Tharwat saw the church as something more than a beleaguered minority, moving from a “survival” mentality to a “missionary” mentality.
Later appointed as head of the church’s Pastoral and Outreach Ministries Council, Dr. Tharwat led the Synod in an unprecedented focus of new church development and church revitalization. New churches were started while rural churches were revitalized with the appointment of recent seminary graduates to those locations.
But he did not stop at his own borders. Dr. Tharwat, confident in the Lord’s call to the church in Egypt, began casting yet another vision: mobilizing the Presbyterian Church of Egypt for mission and evangelism internationally. Since then and through its own resources, the Synod of the Nile has worked to strengthen the church in Iraq, Gaza and South Sudan.
HFPC is thrilled to welcome our new Pastor, Reverend Dr. Toby Mueller!
I’m Toby Mueller: a pastor, wife, mother, grandmother, Jill of many trades. I grew up first in Northern California, and then finished in Arizona. I’m a graduate of the University of Arizona, with a BA in Elementary Education. My husband, Mark, is also a U of A grad. We married in college, and then moved to the Salt Lake valley of Utah to begin careers in education. Both of our daughters (Lauren Nowak and Ashley Powell) were born there. We moved back to Arizona briefly, before I enrolled in seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
Our family lived in Louisville, while both of us finished seminary (with summer stints in North Dakota and Ohio.) Ministry began following graduation, in south Alabama. Fourteen years of ministry there included five churches (4 being transitional positions). Both girls graduated from high school, and then went off to colleges in North and South Carolina.
North Alabama was the next call for Mark, so we headed back up Interstate 65 to Huntsville, Alabama. During the six years there, I did much transitional ministry around the presbytery, including also a couple of years serving as the presbytery’s Stated Clerk, and finishing a doctor of ministry degree through Columbia Theological Seminary near Atlanta.
The next call took us all the way north on I-65 to Valparaiso, Indiana. I served with Mark at First Presbyterian Church – our first time serving together! We loved our time there in the Midwest! We’re officially Chicago Cubs fans – and have several ballpark stubs to prove it!
God certainly has a great sense of humor – as our journey back down I-65 to Tennessee means we have lived in every state on I-65! Mark is now Development Director for The Outreach Foundation, and I am THRILLED to be called to serve as Pastor for Historic Franklin Presbyterian Church! I believe God’s timing is always perfect, and I also believe my 20+ years of ministry, and background in education will help me walk with you into the future God is calling us all into.
I’ve volunteered for GenOn Ministries’ Logos ministry, a mid-week ministry for children and youth which heavily emphasizes learning about God’s grace through relationships with others. I’m a national facilitator for Logos workshops, and have written curriculum for them, as well.
In addition, I have a deep love of music. I played the flute through high school, and am self-taught on guitar, and have sung in choirs and groups my whole life. I also like to walk, dabble in crafts, exercise, and read.
About our girls: Lauren, 33 is married to Ben (a computer guy), and they have an amazing son named Lincoln (now 18 months old!) and all live in Charlotte, NC. Lauren is administrator for Camp Lurecrest, a camp and retreat center on Lake Lure near Asheville, NC. Ashley, 30, is married to Seth, and both work for Adventures in Mission, based in Gainesville, Georgia. Both have traveled the world extensively and now are in leadership positions in that organization. Their ‘baby’ is Finn, a 2 year-old boxer mix.
I am humbled to be called to HFPC, giving God praise for answered prayer and this opportunity to serve. Please let me know how we can work together for God’s glory, sharing the good news we know in our Lord Jesus Christ!