by Janet Dabbs
Ozark Chapel United Methodist Church pastor Tim Lee is an avid cyclist. He has ridden more than 2,000 miles, so far, in 2019. He usually rides for his health. However, in September he will ride his bike for a few friends.
Julie Wilson, a member of his church, was a victim of cancer. In planning for her funeral, Julie preplanned to give each person who attended $10 and she encouraged them to “pay it forward.”
“This is my way to pay it forward,” Lee said. “I decided to ride my bike to raise funds for a friend who has cancer, and who does not have insurance.”
In honor of Julie, and to help his friend, he plans to ride approximately 300 miles during a period of three days to raise money. Those interested in pledging money to help his friend can call the church.
Ozark Chapel also pays it forward by being active in the local community and feeding the hungry. They give and volunteer at the Community for Christ Outreach Center, the Share the Harvest Food Pantry, and the Ivy Bend Food Pantry.
Lee is also involved in the Westside Ministerial Alliance. The Westside Ministerial Alliance is an alliance of churches that join to help people and to do good things in the community.
In July, Lee coordinated a community-wide worship service at the Laurie Park. Area church praise teams and church members met together to build unity among believers and to worship God. “It was great. We will do it again,” Lee promised.
Lee has served as pastor at the Ozark Chapel for three years. He has been in full-time ministry since 1986. After graduating from Camdenton High School in 1979, he attended Asbury College and Seminary, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in religion and a master’s degree in theology. He is married to Angie and they have three daughters.
“I had a sense that God was calling me into ministry from an early age,” Lee said.
He enjoys discussing theology and talking to people about why they believe what they believe. “I like to discuss the things that matter most like: Why we are here? What is our purpose and how does that relate to God?
“If people believe that God ordered the universe, then they need to know how they fit into that universe.”
Why are we here? “We are here to know, serve, and be loved by God,” Lee said.
What is our purpose? “To love God and love our neighbor,” Lee answered. He said this is in accordance with what Jesus said when he was asked in Matthew 22:36: “What is the greatest commandment?” To which Jesus replied, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
How does that relate to God? “Apart from God it is impossible to discover our true purpose, because God created and designed us, and he set the world in place. Without him, we are purposeless. Our purpose is to worship and love God, be loved by God, and love our neighbors. To be able to fulfill this, we must first seek to know Him.”
How can I fit into God’s universe? “God is a loving God and He cares about us. We can fit into his universe by living a life in harmony with other people and with our environment. But, most importantly, with each other,” Lee said. “We need to love, honor and respect human beings and the sanctity of human life.”
Along with cycling and discussing theology, Lee has a passion for playing guitar, everything from rock and roll to blue grass. “If anyone wants to play with me, I will play just for the chance to play!” he admitted. He plays with a blues group at the Funky Buffalo Coffee Shop in Camdenton every Thursday.
There are many ways to get involved at Ozark Chapel United Methodist Church. They have Bible studies, small groups, Vacation Bible School, choirs, summer camp, musical groups, and more.
Their church services are casual. “The attire is everything from shorts to maybe one tie,” Lee said, smiling.
Their early service starts 8 a.m. Sundays. It is a modern service with contemporary music. Sunday School is at 9:15 a.m. A 10:30 a.m. Sunday service offers more of a traditional worship experience. This is a service for those who like to sing hymns, have a liturgy, a call to worship, and then responsive readings.
There is a worship service for all ages,” Lee said. “From birth to 100-plus. “Everyone is welcome to come and check us out, we would love to have you,” Lee invited.
For additional information about events and times, call the church at 573-374-7727, or visit their website at ozarkchapel.com. The church is located at 305 N. Main Street in Laurie.
by Janet Dabbs