Historic Middleburg United Methodist Church, on the corner of Washington and Pendleton Streets in Middleburg’s town center, has a new pastor. Reverend Leah DeLong comes to Middleburg from the Charlottesville area and is pleased to be closer to her home in Markham.
Reverend DeLong is originally from Western Pennsylvania and Garret County, Maryland where her family were dairy farmers. She followed her keen interest in science when she majored in biology at Seton Hill University. After college she accepted a job as a naturalist at Shenandoah National Park where she met her husband, Don, who was visiting the Park. Don is now retired from the CIA.
After 20 years of marriage and two children Leah enrolled in Wesley Theological Seminary. She had begun her studies at Wesley by taking a class as a way to strengthen her knowledge and background as a Sunday school teacher but soon realized that her call was to be a United Methodist Pastor.
Because she was raised on a farm, Reverend DeLong has had a lifelong interest in gardening, especially crops and vegetables. She says she really loves”getting her hands dirty and working in the soil.” Leah also sings and plays the guitar so pedestrians strolling by the Church might be surprised to hear the sound of music emanating from inside. She says as she welcomes all who enter the historic Church she “ hopes to share her excitement for mission and passion for preaching the Good News in her new ministry setting.”
Middleburg United Methodist Church is the venue for Seven Loaves, a local program to feed and cloth the needy. Reverend Leah DeLong has immediately become involved in this worthy program and says she is enjoying all the contact with other members of the community.