Father Michel Fincher

New priest/pastor takes over St. Paul’s/Emanuel Lutheran

October 11, 2013
Santa Paula News

By Brian D. Wilson

Santa Paula Times

Following the retirement of pastor Ron Dybvig, a new Episcopal Priest has taken the helm at St. Paul’s Episcopal/Emanuel Lutheran Church.

Father Michel Fincher has been on the job for about a month. He has been a priest for seven years. Most recently he was an assistant priest at Trinity Church in Redlands, California. 

He said he struggled with a call to the ministry as early as high school. He ended up going into environmental consulting for 20 years. He left the church after high school but came back in the mid 80’s, a couple of years out of college. HE said the Protestant church he had been raised in “Wasn’t don’t it for me any more and I discovered the Episcopal Church.”  He said the sense of calling to ministry started resurfacing. “In the late 90’s I said, okay, you win God. He then began the process to become a priest, earning his Masters Degree in Divinity. 

His first work as a priest was as an assistant at St. Alban’s in Westwood. He also served as a chaplain at UCLA. From there he went to Trinity in Redlands. He noted that the Bishop’s office in Los Angeles called him about the opening here and told him that the bishop had a sort list of candidates and his was the only name on the list.

Fincher said he sees his new position in Santa Paula as a challenge and something new. “We’re building this plane while we’re flying,” he added.

The Rev. Dybvig had been the pastor of St. Paul’s Episcopal and Emmanuel Lutheran Church since 2008.

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