In the Spotlight

Grace United Methodist Church, 13th & Juniper Avenue, Crete, NE - Click photo to enlarge

Dr. Reynolds has finally found a home

Photo: The Crete News - Click photo to enlarge

by John Acree
Managing Editor

Dr. Wayne Reynolds did not want to be a minister.

“I was very close to my father,” he explained. His father had been a minister for as long as he could remember. “I was close enough to know that I didn’t want to do what he did.”

But one day, when he was 14-years old, he realized that he did not have a choice – ministry wanted him.

“One day, I found myself preaching in the backyard of the parsonage,” he said. “A couple of minutes went by, and I got very loud and charismatic. It felt good. I just started preaching about how good God was.”

Reynolds was a star athlete in high school, and even had dreams of becoming a professional football player one day. But his true passion was always right there, lurking just beneath the surface.

“Somehow, the other students would always come to me with their problems,” Reynolds recalled.

When he broke his femur, his football playing days were over. He received an associate’s degree from Ark City Community College in art and English, but the pull of the ministry was too strong.

In 1977, Reynolds got his first ministry position when, at the age of 21, he joined the staff of the Gorham United Methodist Church in Chicago. He was ordained as a deacon in 1979, and began attending seminary in June of 1978. Reynolds was following in the footsteps of a long line of Reynolds’ men who had been called to the ministry.

“My family has been in the ministry for five generations,” he explained, “going back to slavery time. I went into the ministry because I got called.”

Reynolds attended the Gammon Interdenominational Theological Seminary in Atlanta, which is composed of six separate seminaries – United Methodist, Baptist, United Church of Christ, Presbyterian, African Methodist Episcopal and Christian Methodist Episcopal.

“It was like a think tank there,” he said. “It was a mecca of theology.” When he graduated from seminary in 1982, there were no appointments immediately available, and he ended up moving to Portland, Oregon, where he served as an associate minister for five or six years. Things did not work out the way he had hoped, so, in 1987 or 1988, he loaded the family into the car and drove to Omaha. He didn’t have a job or a place to live, but he had his faith.

He got a job as a consultant for the Omaha Home for Boys and stayed there until 1990, when he went to work as a teacher/coach/chaplain at Boys Town. At the same time, he was pasturing a Baptist church, and went to work for the Union Memorial United Methodist Church in 1994.

Reynolds got assigned to the St. Paul United Methodist Church in 2001 as an associate minister in one of the largest churches in the conference, with a congregation of over 750. After three years, he moved on the Norfolk First United Methodist Church, where he was also responsible for two other churches.

In 2005, he was appointed to Grace United Methodist Church in Lincoln, where he served for seven years. During the last three years, he also pastured at nearby Warren. In 2012, he moved to Bellevue, before the bishop appointed him to Grace United Methodist Church here in Crete.

“I loved it here right away,” Reynolds said. “When I drove into town, I said, ‘I’m liking this.’ I couldn’t wait to be here.” Reynolds has been the pastor at Grace since 2013, and he sees nothing but good things in store for both the church and the community.

“Grace has such great potential,” he said. “It’s a great location and it has a strong history that goes back to 1869. I’m just excited to be a part of Grace and moving it forward.”

As a former athlete and coach, Reynolds compares his new church to a team that has hired a new coach. “It’s about chemistry and clicking. Sometimes, when you change coaches, all of a sudden you start winning games.”

Of the 14 churches that Reynolds has pastured, three of them tripled in attendance after he arrived and one of them doubled. Grace has not experienced that kind of growth yet, but, after so many stops along the way, Reynolds is finally content with the life that he has found there.

“I like where I’m at with my life,” he said. “It’s a very peaceful place. I like Crete, especially in the summer. I ride my bike all over the city. I ride in the heat of the day, or at 11 or 12 at night when Crete is asleep.

“It’s very quiet, peaceful and serene. It’s just heavenly. I just enjoy it. I love being here at this church. It has a lot of potential. The key is stirring it up, getting the congregation to flex those spiritual muscles.”


Crop clinic includes new Dicamba training

Have You heard?

Randy Pryor, Extension Educator

Nebraska Extension Crop Production Clinics will be conducted at five sites this January to provide research updates and educational information focused on local agriculture. Programs for each of the clinics are customized, often featuring extension presenters from the area or who have conducted research in the area.

We strive to provide practical, profitable, environmentally sound, high-impact training for agricultural professionals and producers. Topics will be in the areas of soil fertility, soil water and irrigation, insect pests, plant diseases, weeds, cropping systems, agribusiness management and marketing. You can view programs for topics offered at each location by going to our CropWatch newsletter or:

The clinics are held at Gering, North Platte, Norfolk, Lincoln and Kearney. The clinic in Lincoln is at the Embassy Suites on January 18. It is important to note these clinics will include dicamba label-required training this year by attending the Pest Management (pesticide license re-certification) sessions in the afternoon and completing the sign-out sheet at the registration table. This training is required before anyone can apply new label XtendiMax, FeXapan, or Engenia dicamba herbicides in 2018.

Commercial, non-commercial and private applicators can also recertify at these clinics. The clinics and conference will be the primary venue for commercial and non-commercial pesticide applicators to renew their licenses in the categories of Ag Plant, Regulatory, and Demonstration/Research. Private pesticide operators can also be recertified. Make sure and bring your bar coded letter you received this December, it will save you time.

It saves to pre-register online at

The cost for the program is $80.00 for online registration and $95.00 for on-site registration. The fee includes the noon meal and refreshments, a 2018 Guide for Weed Management in Nebraska, and the 2018 Proceedings. The guides have updated palmar amaranth ratings this year. The clinics start at 8:45 a.m.

New for 2018 with FeXapan, Engenia and XtendiMax herbicides, applicators must log wind speed, temperature and wind direction at the start and stop of each spray application with these products. You are violating the federal label if you use a nearby weather station for your application record. One idea is to measure wind speed at the boom height with a kestrel wind meter, compass and thermometer.

An easier method now with new technology is the weathermeter and a smart phone, go to:

The weatherflow weathermeter for agriculture or item WFANO-02-AG utilizes the ear phone plug in on a smart phone and the free app will log temperature, wind speed and wind direction for you with data export options. The cost is $84.95 plus shipping. The company is also open for local vender purchases when I checked about it. I will be demonstrating it at applicator trainings this year.

Looking toward continued growth

From the Desk of the President

Hank Bounds, President, University of Nebraska

A new year is a time for us to reflect on the progress we’ve made, look ahead and recommit ourselves to our goals.

With thousands of talented students and faculty returning to campus, and important initiatives underway across our University and state that will grow Nebraska for the future, I’m filled with gratitude and anticipation for what 2018 will bring.

The past year was a period of remarkable transformation for our University.

There were challenges, yes – and those aren’t going away. Chief among them is the difficult reality that we are dealing with budget cuts at a time when the role of our public University in growing our state’s economy and quality of life has never been more important. We understand the state’s fiscal situation, but I will continue to advocate for a strong, affordable University that serves all of Nebraska and changes lives here and around the world.

Amid challenges, there was also success, and there was opportunity. There were inspiring stories of impact and partnership that showed me Nebraskans have their eyes on the horizon.

We celebrated a record-high enrollment – 53,000 future nurses and doctors, farmers and ranchers, teachers and entrepreneurs across our four campuses. That wouldn’t be possible without strong partnerships with the state and private sector that help keep our tuition affordable and the support of students and parents who believe in the power of a University education.

We produced another 11,000 graduates for the workforce – talent on which Nebraska companies rely and who will someday create jobs and businesses that we can’t even envision yet.

We completed the boldest public-private partnership in Nebraska history, the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, a shared venture between the University, private donors, Legislature and Governor, city, county and people of Nebraska. This facility will transform cancer care and research for the 1 of every 2 Nebraskans who will be diagnosed at some point in their lives. The images of the cancer center’s first patients – like a woman named Helen, an adenoid cystic carcinoma patient who got up at 3:30 a.m. to drive from her home near Falls City to receive treatment – are ones I won’t soon forget.

We continued to lead the way in research that matters to Nebraska and the world. Our faculty’s work in water and agriculture, powered by partnerships with farmers and ranchers across our state, is helping to feed a growing global population that will require twice as much food by 2050. The work our faculty are doing to keep our warfighters safe is meeting the needs of our partners at USSTRATCOM and the Department of Defense. And those are just a few examples.

What keeps me up at night is that we are facing fiscal challenges during a period of such momentum. We’re in the process now of cutting our spending by $30 million, a rethinking of the way we do business that has yielded efficiencies that we can be proud of. But we will not close our shortfall without impacting academic programs and losing jobs. And the cuts would be more significant if we had not already raised tuition this year and next. Further cuts would only deepen the impact, limiting our ability to educate the future workforce, offer a wide breadth of programs and have a statewide presence.

The good news is that I hear every day from Nebraskans who are convinced there’s never been a more important time to join together on a plan for our state’s future. They believe, as I do, that we must grow our way out of the current challenges, and that their University plays a vital role.

We’re going to spend 2018 engaging Nebraskans in that conversation. That’s what I’m excited about in this new year.