WHEELING - The retirement of the Rev. Royce Browder has been announced by Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery.
Browder has been the pastoral and spiritual leader of the local region of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and its 85 congregations since January 2005. His official last day is today.
Browder has served the presbytery in the executive role of general presbyter.
From his office in Wheeling, Browder has had oversight of congregations from Sistersville in the south to East Liverpool in the north, and from the Pennsylvania border west to Woodsfield, Barnesville, Cadiz, Scio and Salineville.
While serving in Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery, Browder has led several mission trips to repair hurricane damage along the Gulf Coast. He also led a trip to establish a partnership with Domasi Presbytery in the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, in Malawi, Africa.
He also conducted many retreats for church officers, conducted sessions on conflict resolution and visited or preached in all the 85 congregations in the presbytery.
A native of Alabama, Browder served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Wetumpka, Ala., for 26 years.
Browder is a "second career" pastor, having worked in retail sales before responding to a call to ordained ministry. After graduating from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga., in 1979, Browder was ordained by the Presbyterian Church in the United States to serve the Wetumpka congregation.
Browder and his wife, Nancy, had lived in the South until their move to St. Clairsville in 2005.
The Browders plan to remain in St. Clairsville, and Browder will be available to fill in when pastors are in need of a substitute.