Arthur Lee Twombly was in his late 50s when he responded to God calling him to pursue ministry.
“It’s never too late. If God’s got a use for us, He’ll use us,” said Twombly, 67, a retired engineer who serves as the fire and police chaplain for the city of Shively, Ky., a Louisville suburb.
Bishop David Roller ordained Twombly as a Free Methodist elder May 18 during the New South Annual Conference.
Twombly trained for ministry through the Appalachian Local Pastors School in Barbourville, Ky. He has served as an associate pastor in both the United Methodist Church and the Free Methodist Church — most recently at the Breckenridge Chapel FMC in St. Matthews, Ky.
He said the Free Methodist Chaplains Association and denominational doctrine caused him to switch to Free Methodism.
“Praise be that the Free Methodist Church recognized my calling to the chaplaincy and my service there,” Twombly said during an interview at the reception following the ordination service. “I’ve just found these people to be wonderful and accepting.”
Twombly, a Navy veteran, is not completely finished with engineering. A couple of days after his ordination, he traveled to England as a consultant for the International Maritime Organization.
But Twombly’s passion is his role as a chaplain.
“There is just a lot of pain in the world and a lot of people who need God’s presence who may not recognize who or what God is,” Twombly said.
He said chaplains are called to “look deep into people’s needs and hurts and provide for those needs and show God’s love that way. That’s how we represent God so often in an unchurched world.”