Our Pastor

Our Pastor

Picture of Pastor

Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Paul Ogne and I have been the pastor of this church since December of 1998.

I am married to a wonderful woman, Nancy Graham Ogne, who is the organizing pastor for a new church development in Lake Nona. We have two wonderful dogs that share their home with us.

Yes, I am more comfortable in casual clothes than in a suit and tie (in which you can sometimes catch me).

Like most of you, I am a transplant to Florida. I was born in Arizona, spent my childhood years in a rural part of Southern California and my teenage through young adulthood years in the beautiful northern California wine country. I later took a job in South Carolina and then attended seminary near Atlanta before coming to Central Florida.

I love the outdoors and adventure. I grew up camping in the scenic Sierras, snow skiing around Lake Tahoe, water skiing on the many lakes, sailing Hobie Cats and small sloops, and fishing anywhere there was water. As the years progressed, with much worry on the part of my parents, I added riding motorcycles, rock climbing, hang gliding, alpine ski racing, scuba diving, sailboarding, and piloting airplanes.

Professionally, prior to going to seminary, my work was a wonderful blend of people, technology, and management. I worked in computer retail sales and management, ran my own computer consulting business, and worked for a manufacturer of high-tech industrial equipment as VP of Operations where I also worked with designing the control systems that included multiple robots and leading the teams that programmed them.

But, even then, I was recognized for my care and concern for the people with whom I worked and for pulling people together to accomplish the work before us.

Many of the things that I learned about ministry through Young Life stick with me today: go to where the kids are, if you are close to Christ people will see him in you, and that it is a sin to bore a kid with the gospel. This type of ministry holds true for kids of all ages.

As I considered what college to attend my father, knowing my future in ministry, recommended that I attend a public university rather than a Christian college because the ministers that had the biggest impact on his life came from “real world” backgrounds. Following my father's wise advice I graduated from Sonoma State University with a bachelor of science degree in mathematics with a concentration in computer science.

In 1995 I packed my bags and headed off to seminary at Columbia Theological Seminary where they threw us into the deep end with a summer intensive study of Greek. My seminary years were rich and rewarding (despite some all nighters to complete papers). Some of the most powerful times came as we stretched our ministerial wings serving internships at churches and as hospital chaplains. I completed seminary in 1998 and left with a Masters of Divinity degree and the love of my life – my wife Nancy.

From there it was off to a six-month post-graduate internship to gain experience in new church development. This short time was filled with great opportunities to build relationships, nurture people's faith, and to serve a blossoming church.

As this internship was winding down we were connected with a small new church in Oviedo that had originally blossomed, then struggled, and was searching for a new pastor. Nancy and I sensed God calling me to serve this congregation and I have been here ever since. Truth be told, there were times when it was more difficult than anyone imagined – especially me. But the hard and patient work on the part of many people and God's work in and through us has yielded a unique congregation.

A congregation that had once struggled with conflict has become known for its love for one another. A congregation that once depended upon the support of other churches has become, percentage-wise, one of the largest local supporters of Presbyterian ministries here in Central Florida, throughout the United States, and around the world. A church that was more interested in potlucks for itself now feeds nearly 200 homeless people every month. A church that was once focused on building itself a structure now shares that space with other budding churches.

I will tell anybody who listens to come check us out because I doubt that you will find too many other congregations that love each other as much or where such a large portion of the membership serves in one capacity or another.

Church isn't something you attend - it is what you are part of.

People often ask what they should call me, wondering if it is Reverend, Pastor, Pastor Ogne, etc.? I usually reply, “You can call me Paul, but I hope that I can earn the privilege to be your pastor.”

This comes from my belief that relationships are at the heart of pastoral ministry and preaching. The preaching, caring, shepherding, counseling, and leadership aspects of ministry come alive as the pastor and flock know each other, care for each other, and support one another. When I preach, I preach to people whose lives I know, pray for, and care for. When they listen they hear someone who they know cares for them and can compare what I say to how I live. When they have something on their heart or mind they can call someone they know and who already knows something about them.

I have a poster in my office that can be considered odd for a preacher. It is a quote from St. Francis.

Preach the gospel at all times.
Use words if necessary.

In Jesus Christ I have discovered meaning, purpose, and hope in my life. I am much more interested in encouraging people to discover that a life following Jesus actually “works” than arguing about theology. To paraphrase Dallas Willard, if we’re going to say we trust Jesus for our eternal salvation we ought to trust Him enough to do what He teaches right now.