United Methodist Church of Ludington
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Rev Judy Downing:
   
  Judy K. (Wehrle) Downing has returned to her home town of Ludington. She had previously served at Gobles-Kendall UMC for 11 years, then Marshall UMC and Lyons-Muirs and Easton UMC churches in Michigan.
   
  Judy grew up at Arcadia Resort on Upper Hamlin Lake and went to Nordhouse School on Jebavy Road. When her family moved to town she attended Lakeview and Longfellow schools and from there she went to the old Ludington High School. She grew up attending the Ludington UMC until she moved away when she got married and then attended the UMC in Hobart, Indiana.
   
  She went to Garritt-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. Before Judy went into full-time ministry, she was the executive director of the South Haven Chamber of Commerce, executive director of the Van Buren County American Red Cross, campaign manager for the 4th district congressional campaign and a Van Buren County Judicial Campaign.
   
  Before she went into full time ministry, she had a youth group in Olathe, Kansas of only four youths that grew into 148. When she and her husband moved to South Haven, Michigan, she again started with four youths, and that group grew to 50.
   
  That is where she met Eileen Torrey. Eileen Torrey offered to help her while she and the Rev. Wm. Torrey were at south Haven UMC. This would be the beginning of Eileen’s youth ministry, which she brought to Ludington when they were appointed to pastor here in the 1970s. One of her youth was the Rev. Barry Petruccy, also from Ludington, who is now the pastor serving at Portage Chapel Hill in Portage, Michigan.
   
  Though she lived away from her home for many years, she and her family returned almost every summer and now she has moved back to stay. She most recently came to us from being active in the Green Valley UMC in Green Valley, Arizona.
   
  Her sister, Carol (Wehrle) Bennett — married to Bruce Bennett — and her family have stayed and grown up. Their mother was Mary Lou Wehrle-Armstrong, who worked for the Maritime Union and was known to do the hiring for the car ferries since the 1940s and 1950s.
   
  Judy knows that one of her greatest blessings has been the opportunity to grow up in Ludington, but also to be able to return here and work for her home church.
   
  Patti Klevorn, LDN, August 11, 2017
   

 

United Methodist Church of Ludington   office@ludingtonumc.org
5810 Bryant Rd, Ludington, MI 49431   231-843-8340