FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH’S PASTOR
The First Presbyterian Church of Moorcroft welcomed the Rev. Monte Reichenberg as its new pastor in July 2014. Pastor Monte formerly pastored New Providence Presbyterian Church near Paris, IL for 14 1⁄2 years prior to accepting the call to Moorcroft.
But in spite of moving to Wyoming from Illinois, Pastor Monte is quite familiar with the west. He was born in Ogallala, Nebraska and raised in the Nebraska Sandhill cattle country northeast of Arthur, Nebraska.
After graduating high school, he spent many years working as a pen rider and livestock foreman in feedlots near Minatare, Nebraska. In between feedlot jobs, he ran a custom branding crew that traveled around Nebraska, Wyoming and South Dakota. Next Pastor Monte spent 6 years working for Ankony Shadow Isle Angus Ranch at Minatare.
After leaving Ankony, Pastor Monte, who is a published Cowboy Poet and Children’s Author, was accepted as an Artist in Residence in the Schools/Communities with the Nebraska Arts Council and spent the next 10 years doing school residencies around the state. At the same time he served as the Nebraska Correspondent for the Cattle County News out of Brush Colorado, Regional Correspondent for theScottsbluff Star Herald and freelance writer for the Bayard Transcript.
Pastor Monte married his wife Susan in 1994. She was a pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Charleston, Illinois. Eventually Pastor Monte got into youth ministry at Susan’s church and was on the pulpit supply list for the Presbyterian and United Methodist churches.
In due time, Pastor Monte supplied the pulpit for New Providence Presbyterian Church for two weeks while the churches temporary pastor was ill. A few weeks later the Pastor Nominating Committee called to see if he would be interested in a full-time position with them. He started his pastorate December 1, 1999 and in the fall of 2000, he started seminary at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, IN. Graduating with a Master of Divinity in 2005 and was ordained a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA) on September 26, 2006.
About his move to Wyoming Pastor Monte says, “One of the hardest things I have ever done in my life was announcing my resignation from the church and various organizations that had been such a major part of my life for so many years. But in January 2014 my wife accepted a call to First Presbyterian Church in Gillette, Wyoming, and though we had served churches in two different states for several years, the distance between Illinois and Wyoming was just too great. So I started seeking a call in Wyoming. And in God’s own good timing, and because of my agricultural background, an interim pastor who served both Gillette and Moorcroft suggested that I submit my resume to Moorcroft because, ‘you guys were made for each other.’ I submitted the resume, we interviewed, and the call was offered and accepted.”
Pastor Monte is looking forward to the future ministry that will be done through FPC Moorcroft and he invites anyone who doesn’t have a regular home church to drop in to attend 11:00 a.m. worship services or just to visit. His office hours are currently 9:00 a.m. to noon on Mondays and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Wednesdays or by appointment. He can be contacted at the church number 307-756-3554 or by email at revmonte@hughesnet.