Pastor George Salnave and his wife, Terry, of the Montezuma Evangelical Presbyterian Church, have been named the grand marshals of the Montezuma "Let Freedom Ring" Parade and Celebration. The parade starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 2.
By J.O. Parker
Organizers of the Montezuma “Let Freedom Ring” Celebration will have to find someone else to emcee this year’s parade.
That’s because the current emcee, Pastor George Salnave and his wife, Terry have been named Grand Marshals of the Montezuma “Let Freedom Ring” Parade and Celebration.
The couple, along with three of their five grandchildren, Via Sue, Harrison Michael and George Anthony, will headline this year’s parade slated for 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 2.
When asked what this honor means, Pastor Salnave said he and Terry are truly honored and surprised that they were selected.
“I can remember our first Freedom Parade as we pulled the wagon with our newborn, Kyla Jane, some 36 years ago,” said Pastor Salnave. “The Freedom Parade is a wonderful tribute to the freedom of our country as we honor those who have served our country and those who are presently serving to provide protection from our enemies and those who would try to take these freedoms from us.”
The couple has ministered at the Montezuma Evangelical Presbyterian Church and in the Montezuma community for 36 years.
Pastor George is a native of Flint, Mich. He attended Flint Junior College and the University of Michigan-Flint. He then attended Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. where he earned the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees.
“I was blessed during my seminary time to be involved in Youth Leadership Development of America at the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, Calif. with Pastor Lloyd Ogilvie,” recalled Pastor Salnave. “My first 11 years in ministry as an Associate Pastor was in Santa Rosa, Calif.”
Pastor Salnave and Terry met at the First Presbyterian Church in Flint, Mich. in 1965.
“We were in the youth choir,” recalled Pastor Salnave. “Terry was the church secretary during her college years and we were both involved in the youth ministry called, “The Pipe.” We will have been married for 50 years in August.”
When asked how he landed in Montezuma, Pastor Salnave said the late Delores Lundy was on the pastor search committee at the church at the time. She reached out to her brother’s wife, who managed a Christian Camp in California, where they saw many pastors, if they could suggest a candidate to minister and lead the church.
“They suggested me and Delores called me on Sept. 17, 1985 to see if I might be interested in interviewing for this position,” noted Pastor Salnave. “The rest is history.”
The couple came to Montezuma in 1986 to pastor the church.
Pastor Salnave and Terry have three children, Kyla, Kaitlin and Kirk. Pastor Salnave said he enjoys sharing about his children and their service to their local churches.
Kyla is married to Adam Burton and the couple has two children, Harrison, 3, and Hollyn, 6-months old. They reside in Altoona. Kyla is a stay-at-home mom and Adam works at Farm Bureau and Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines.
Kaitlin is married to Gavin Burns and the couple has two children, Via Sue, 4, and Banks Gavin, 7-months old. They reside in Monroe. Kaitlin works for Principal in Des Moines and Gavin works for EMC in Des Moines.
Kirk is married to Kelsey and they reside in Pleasant Hill. They have one child, George Anthony, 3. Kirk works at TK Concrete in Pella and Kelsey Salnave teaches first grade at Mitchellville Elementary.
When asked to share some highlights of his career sharing God’s Word and helping people grow in their faith, Pastor Salnave said the main highlight is having the joy of leading people to having faith in Jesus Christ and discipling them and giving them opportunities to serve the Lord.
“We have spent our lives as a team doing ministry,” Pastor Salnave said of himself and Terry. “We have tried to be vulnerable and transparent in living and teaching our faith in Christ in the church, the community and among the people we have met.”
Terry directed the church preschool for 18 years and also worked as a para-professional at the Montezuma Community Schools for 20-years. And she has also been a partner in her husband’s ministry.
“Terry is supplementing knowledge and care to our grandchildren as well as supporting our children in their lives,” Pastor Salnave added of his wife.
The couple will be retiring from the church on Dec. 31.
As for the future, Pastor George said he and Terry will probably find themselves spending time with their three children and helping them as they nurture their children in the Lord. They also plan to be involved in their children’s churches.
“I will continue to be involved in the Presbytery of Rivers and Lakes as their Chaplain to pastors, active in the General Assembly of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, and continuing the radio program, “Beginning and Ending Your Day by Faith Alone,” noted Pastor Salnave. “I will also probably continue writing daily devotions.”
And when time permits, Pastor Salnave said he enjoys golf and hopes to get a game or two in every so often.
“I want to thank everyone for allowing Terry and me to serve the Montezuma Community for 36 years,” he said. “Montezuma was a tremendous place to raise our family and a great joy to lead many people to faith in Christ.”