SHE STILL HAS that trademark smile, that ready laugh, that persistently upbeat attitude.
But Vicky Prewitt–formerly Vicky Crystal on TV6–has traded in her anchor’s chair for a place on the pulpit, and her wire copy for the Bible.
She’s now Pastor Vicky at Christ United Methodist Church in Crystal Falls and Grace United Methodist Church in Amasa. She left TV eight months ago.
“It wasn’t a sudden thing,” she says. “I had been considering changing my life over the last few years. I just had the feeling that I wasn’t doing anything with my life. There were problems in the world and I was just reporting on them. I wanted to do something more.”
She’s had to adjust after spending thirty years in TV and radio, but it’s been a pleasant adjustment. No more alarm clocks sounding in the dead of night. No more dark, snowy drives to the TV station. No breaking news that just has to get on the air immediately.
“My only deadline is Sunday morning at worship,” she explains. She conducts services at both churches.
But other than that, unless there’s a crisis with someone in her congregations, her life moves at a slower, more relaxed pace. She has office hours in the morning where she prepares her sermon, hymns and prayers, and meets with anyone who wants to come in. Then she makes visitations in the afternoon–to homes, hospitals, anywhere that someone needs her.
Both churches have small congregations but they’re growing.
“Attendance always ebbs and flows but the two churches were in a rough spot,” Pastor Vicky says. “There was concern about the future for them but now we’re seeing a nice rebound. I’d say attendance has doubled, even tripled at times in the last few months.”
A “grief group” that meets every two weeks regularly draws six to twelve participants, and vacation Bible school recently attracted about two dozen children. That’s pretty impressive for a tiny church in a small town.
Not that Vicky takes credit for the progress, not at all. “I believe the church belongs to the people,” she says. “We need to listen to what they think, what they want. It should not be about what the pastor wants. I need to listen, and I’m still getting to know the people here.”
She lives in the church’s parsonage in Crystal Falls. Out her back window, while she’s reading, planning a sermon, or preparing her meals, she can watch birds feeding and deer wandering about in the snow. It’s calming.
“I didn’t realize how stressed I was before,” she says. “Now I’m learning to breathe. I’m more in tune with God.”
She doesn’t watch nearly as much news on TV as she used to, but she goes online more to follow developments across the U.P. and the world.
So does she miss her former profession at all? “Not the job so much, but I do miss the people I worked with,” she says. “Fortunately, I’m able to stay in touch with them through Facebook, and I love seeing all the new, young faces at TV6.”
As for the best moments in her new job? She doesn’t hesitate.
“Baptism, communion,” she tells you, her voice packed with emotion. “It touches me in a special way. It’s always been special to me, but now that I’m the one inviting people to God’s table, it’s different. It’s uplifting. It’s somber and it’s euphoric.”
She’s fifty-five years old. Seems a little late in life to have made such a drastic change.
But no, it feels exactly right for this former TV journalist.
“If I had had this feeling, and I never acted on it, it wouldn’t have been right,” she says. “I’ve been having conversations with God, he has guided me along the way, and I’m absolutely at ease with everything I’ve done. Now I’m excited to see what lies ahead for me.”
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