Reverand Gary A. Weant
The Rev. Gary A. Weant has been pastor at Philadelphia Evangelical Lutheran Church since 1976, following Ordination in 1976. He is also listed on the clergy roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). He is a native of Rowan County, North Carolina and a 1972 graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University, Hickory, N.C. with an AB degree “magna cum laude” in mathematics. He received a M.Div. degree “cum laude” (Master of Divinity) from the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, S.C. in 1976 and completed the graduate STM degree (Master of Sacred Theology) from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in 1999. In 2001 Pastor Weant was awarded an honorary DD degree (Doctor of Divinity) and Citation for Outstanding Leadership by Lenoir-Rhyne University. In 2008, the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary selected Pastor Weant to receive the Alumni Association’s John Benjamin Bedenbaugh Award for Distinguished Pastoral Leadership and in recognition of his instrumental work in drafting the resolution from the N.C. Lutheran Synod to the 2005 ELCA Churchwide Assembly which served as a catalyst in bringing to fruition the ELCA “Book of Faith Initiative.” At the 2009 N.C. Lutheran Synod Assembly, Pastor Weant was elected to serve a four year term as the Secretary of the N.C. Lutheran Synod.
Pastor Weant’s Immediate Family
Pastor Gary Weant is blessed with a gifted, kind and supportive family. He is married to Linda Marie Morgan Weant, from Mt.Ulla, NC, who was nurtured in the faith a Grace Lutheran Church, Salisbury, N.C., and graduated from West Rowan High School. She graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne University in 1972 with an AB Degree in Secondary Mathematics Education. In May, 1999 Linda received a Master's Degree in Adult Education from North Carolina A & T University, Greensboro, NC. In 2012 Linda completed 30 years of public teaching and retired from the Gaston County Public Schools where she taught mathematics at William C. Friday Middle School. Linda currently serves as a part time substitute teacher and resource person with Gaston County Schools. She is also available for private tutoring in mathematics. Linda has also taught in the Adult Life Skills Division at Gaston College, Dallas, NC. Pastor Gary and Linda have a daughter, Rebekah Marie Weant Costello who is married to The Rev. Michael D. Costello, both of whom are 2001 graduates of Lenoir-Rhyne University and 2006 M.Div. (Master of Divinity) graduates from the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. Rebekah completed her thesis and received the graduate STM (Master of Sacred Theology) degree from LTSS in May 2010. Michael was installed as Cantor and Assistant Pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, River Forest, Ill. in June 2008. Pastor Gary and Linda’s first grandchild, Andrew Doyle Costello, was born on Feb. 23, 2008 and a second grandchild, Lydia Marie Costello, was born on August 24, 2011 to Michael and Rebekah who are enjoying the joys and challenges of parenthood. Rebekah recently completed serving part time on the staff of Grace Lutheran Church, River Forest, as Minister of Youth & Education and is in the call process in the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the ELCA. She also hopes to pursue further graduate study in the future. Our son, Jonathan Alan Weant, and his wife, The Rev. Laura Voelkert Weant, are both 2005 graduates of Lenoir-Rhyne University. Following a year of graduate study in Germany at Tubingen University, Jonathan and Laura returned to Dallas and in 2007 entered the ELCA candidacy process and engaged in seminary / graduate studies at The Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) and Duke Divinity School. Having completed their year of Lutheran studies at LTSS, Jonathan and Laura completed their third year of academic work and graduated from Duke Divinity School with M.Div. degrees in May 2010. During the summer of 2010 they served on the staff of Agape - Kure Beach Ministries. In September 2011, they completed their year of supervised internship through LTSS, with Jonathan serving an internship at Grace Lutheran, Boone, N.C. and Laura serving an internship at Bethany Lutheran and the Boone cluster of Lutheran congregations. In December 2011 Laura was Ordained and placed on the clergy roster of the ELCA. Both Laura and Jonathan continued serving in their current ministries until August 2012. On July 19, 2012, Jonathan and Laura became the parents of our third grandchild, Bethany Darcell Weant. Currently Laura is serving as part time pastor in the Boone area and Jonathan is currently working with a local home builder in the Boone area. Jonathan has been accepted into Ph.D. programs at Dayton, Marquette and Catholic Universities and he hopes to puruse theological graduate studies through a teaching fellowship at one of these Universities in the near future. Also included in our immediate family is Pastor Weant’s mother, Margaret Stirewalt Weant of Salisbury, N.C. and Linda’s sister, Sarah Diane Morgan, a 1977 graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University with a BS degree in nursing. Diane currently serves on the staff at Gaston Memorial Hospital.
Clockwise starting at the upper left: Rebekah Weant Costello, Andrew Costello, Michael Costello, Linda Morgan Weant, Jonathan Weant, Margaret Stirewalt Weant, Laura Voelkert Weant, Gary Weant & Sarah Diane Morgan. (Not pictured are Lydia Costello and Bethany Weant who were not born at the time this picture was taken -- a situation we hope to remedy with an updated family picture in the near future!)