Rev. Tom Abbott

The Rev. Tom Abbott is the new pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Salida. He assumed the pastorship Saturday and offered his first service on Sunday.

He last served in the Salt Lake City, Utah, area and prior to that in Paw Paw, Michigan, Leadville and North Platte, Nebraska.

“My wife, Deb, and I grew up in Colorado Springs, and we love the mountains,” Abbott said. “We also love small communities, and Salida puts us halfway between both our parents.”

His mom, Jan Abbott, lives in Buena Vista and Deb’s parents, Bill and Doris Mengel, live in Cañon City. The Abbotts have been married 34 years and have an adult son and daughter and one grandson, Luka, who is 1 year old.

First Presbyterian Church has been without a pastor for about two years, since the resignation of the Rev. Mike Orrill.

The congregation chooses a new pastor with a nominating committee sifting through the applicants and then presenting its choice to the congregation. Abbott held his first service there in March and met with approval.

“We’re excited about this church, and historically we have been involved with our community,” he said. “We intend to be involved in the life of this community and will figure out what work God is calling us to be engaged in. “

He and Deb enjoy hiking and pickleball, and he hopes to become involved in fly fishing again.

Services at First Presbyterian Church, 7 Poncha Blvd., are at 9 and 11 a.m. Sundays with the 9 a.m. service being more contemporary and the 11 a.m. more traditional.

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