Stephen P. West describes himself as a "husband, father, minister, musician, and writer." He serves as senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Arab, Alabama. His journey began with deep roots, for he was baptized by his grandfather, one of dozens of Methodist pastors in his family, stretching back to circuit riders in the early 1800s.
Although Steve loves being a pastor, music is his way of "praying twice." As vocalist, pianist, and trombonist, he has led music and worship in numerous settings from conference youth camps to local church music directing. He has designed worship for his college chapel, served as assistant conductor of his seminary choir, and performed as baritone soloist in major choral works.
He graduated magna cum laude from Birmingham-Southern College and cum laude from Candler School of Theology. It was in seminary that he met his best friend, the Rev. Sandy West. They married in 1988 and have two wonderful children. He has grown interested in spiritual formation studies and has served on the leadership team of a number of Academies for Spiritual Formation. Finding himself immersed in centuries of spiritual flow, he seeks to live a balanced rule of life, practicing spiritual direction and covenant group retreat. Steve describes himself as a "folk mystic," experiencing God at the foot of a tree, at the grave of a grandfather, and at the sight of a raccoon.
Steve has served as pastor of small rural churches, associate pastor in charge of worship at a large suburban church, founding pastor of a new church start, pastor of a developing church, senior pastor of a suburban church, and now senior pastor of a "First Church" in a beautiful small town. He leads worship at the piano for annual conferences, Academies for Spiritual Formation, clergy retreats, and other events. He is often asked to design annual conference worship experiences. In 2008 and 2012 he served on his conference's Jurisdictional Conference delegation.
A member of The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, Steve has been active for years as both chaplain and dean at "Music & Arts Week" at Sumatanga. He was the producer, arranger, and primary musician for the recent, Songs for Morning Prayer, CD project for the Academy for Spiritual Formation. In addition to hymns and music on the Discipleship Ministries worship website, Steve has a number of devotional articles published in Alive Now and The Huntsville Times. His Communion song, "This Is the Table of Welcome," is available from Cokesbury.
The Rev. Stephen P. West
First United Methodist Church
1058 North Main Street
Arab, Alabama 35016
Works by Stephen P. West on the Discipleship Ministries Worship Website:
- God Before Us
- Great Thanksgiving Musical Responses (Hymn To Joy)
- I Was Glad When They Said Unto Me
- Lord, You Call Us to Your Service - Ordination hymn
- My Hope is in the Everlasting God
- People of the Mantle - Ordination, general
- Taken and Blessed
- Water and Spirit - Baptismal hymn
- When Our Founders Built a Legacy