Pastor Foye Belyea is called to Voorheesville rsquo s Mountainview Church

NEW SCOTLAND — Divine direction has brought a new pastor to The Mountainview Church.

“I think God is calling me to help another church,” Foye Belyea told the group of men whom, he said, shepherded his former church, in Speculator, N.Y.

Since Belyea decided to pursue a master’s degree at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 1999, he has listened closely for God’s word and followed His direction.

Raised in a Baptist church in southeast Connecticut, Belyea joined the Marines after high school “because they’re the best,” he said, smiling when he added, “That’s what you think when you’re 17.”  He later attended Messiah College in Grantham, Pa.

There, he met his wife, Maria, while they each studied history.  At the time, Belyea was interested in theater, history, and education, which determined his first job.

He went back to Connecticut where he taught junior-high social studies and found that what he liked best was the challenge of helping his students navigate the tumult of their early teen years.

Then, he said, “I felt the calling.”

“Seminary was not on my radar screen,” he said, but his pastor mentored him and steered him in that direction.  In his second semester of theological school, he began preaching to his first congregation, Belyea said.

He spent two years in that church, Belyea said, “then, I planted a church.”  That congregation started out as himself and a core group of people and grew to 100 people in three years, he said.  After about four years with that church, he said, “I felt God speak to my heart again.”

Belyea moved his family to Leesburg, Fla., near where his parents were living and shortly after they arrived, his father was diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer and his mother needed help taking care of him.  “So, God and his providence… moved us to do exactly that,” Belyea said.

His wife worked as a nurse and he as a contractor while he helped a friend “replant” a church.  “I felt like God’s spirit was stirring in my heart,” he said, explaining that he wanted to go back to full-time ministry.

On Christmas of 2006, he checked the list that Gordon-Conwell maintains with postings from churches in need of leadership, and at the top of the list was a church in upstate New York.  By April 1, Belyea was in the pulpit in Speculator and by May 1 the congregation had asked him to be their pastor, he said.  “It was clearly His will that we be there,” Belyea said.

When he arrived, the church had 60 congregants and when he left, it had 200, he said.

Voorheesville’s Mountainview Church has about 50 congregants, Belyea said.  The Evangelical church began as a Bible-study group in 1978, according to the church’s brochure, and moved into its current location on Route 155 in 1989.

On Sept. 1 of this year, Belyea moved to Voorheesville where his daughter, Emilie, is now enrolled in school, and his wife and their son, Zayden, are settling in to their home.

“That’s a great story of blessing,” he said of how the family came to adopt Zayden a year ago.

Now 3 ½ years old, Zayden, who is deaf, was in the foster-care system.  The wife of Belyea’s youth pastor works as an audiologist and told him about the boy.  They fostered him from July to December, then had a formal adoption, where they gave him the middle name of Matthew, which “means gift from God, which he is,” said Belyea.

He liked being a foster parent and is thinking about doing it again, he said, explaining that he sees a parallel to the beginning of Christianity since Jesus took in those at society’s periphery.  Belyea called that a “radical demonstration of love.”

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