Introducing Pastor Eli Wanner

Here is an Introduction written by our new pastor, Eli Wanner. He will begin Sunday, August 29th. please join us that day to welcome Eli!

Grace and peace to you, Canaanville and Stewart UMCs! My name is Eli Wanner, and I am currently journeying through the candidacy process for ordination in the United Methodist Church. I am a recent graduate of Ohio University and hold a BA in history with a Certificate (basically a minor) in Law Justice, and Culture. This year I am working to build my ministry experience and skills before departing to Duke Divinity School for my seminary education. My long-term plan is to be ordained as an elder.

As a student, I was a member of Central Avenue UMC in Athens, where I acted as the pastoral intern through the West Ohio Conference’s “Next Generation Leadership internship.” During that internship I built experience preaching, writing devotionals, meeting with congregants, leading a weekly vespers prayer service, and participating generally in Central’s staff life. This summer, I will be a backpacking guide at a Christian summer camp near Yosemite National Park, where I will be helping kids to appreciate the majesty of God’s creation and to build a closer relationship with Jesus.

Here are a few personal facts about me so you can get a rough idea of who I am: I love the outdoors and rock climbing, and if you ever spend any time in Strouds Run you might run into me on a hike with my girlfriend Jenna. Jenna and I have been together for a little over three years now, and she has been such a supportive presence in my life and my journey towards ordination. I think you’ll really like her. My family hails from Grove City, Ohio, and I have three younger sisters: one is a sophomore at Ohio University and the other two are six and eight (yes, there is a large age gap in our family).

This has just been a little snapshot of who I am, and I’m really looking forward to getting to know all of you personally. I’m excited to walk in faith with you, to serve our community with you, to discern God’s truth with you, to explore scripture with you, and to join your churches as your pastor. My access to email this summer will be spotty, but feel free to reach out to me at In the meantime, may the Lord make his face to shine upon you. Eli

Upper Room Daily Devotional