Samuel is an #amazingUMCkid


Samuel Kratohwill from Richwood First United Methodist Church in Richwood, West Virginia, is a pastor in the making. From the first day that the 8-year-old walked into the church with his dad, the youngster has been eager to participate in all aspects of the congregation, from helping with communion, leading singing, assisting with the offertory and giving the Benediction. 

His Pastor, Judy Pysell, shares more:

His name is Samuel

“The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, ‘Samuel!  Samuel!’ Then Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’”  1 Samuel 3:10

Samuel walked into First UMC of Richwood with his dad and into the hearts and lives of each one present.

“I came for Sunday School”, he said but we didn’t have Sunday school.  Samuel was in tears.  He was told we had Sunday school and he was ready for it but we had no youth and we were an unprepared church.

We learned a valuable lesson that day and when Samuel returned the following Sunday, we had Sunday school.  We also added to our order of worship a “Young Folks Moment” and Samuel loves it.  He’s like a little sponge waiting to soak up the next bit of information about Jesus.

The first Sunday that Samuel attended worship service with his dad I asked for prayer concerns, joys, testimonies of grace to bring before God’s people today and Samuel raised his hand and spoke up.  He said, “Can we pray for the President of the United States and for the firefighters who fight fires?”  “Yes Samuel, we can do that.”  At the conclusion of our prayer, I said, “Amen.”  To which Samuel verbally said, “Amen.”  To the silent congregation, I said, “And that’s how we do it folks.”

When it was time for fellowship, I would normally say, “Let us now exchange God’s love and reconciliation with one another.”  Samuel said, “It’s time to hug!”

When it came time for communion and I asked if I had a volunteer to help, Samuel was up out of his seat waving his hand in the air.  When he came up to the altar he said, “What do I do?”  I explained communion to him rather quickly and he did a marvelous job and continues to be my helper every communion Sunday.  

Samuel has been an inspiration to our church with his suggestions on how to bring people together and grow the Kingdom.  He has a heart for Jesus and what a wonderful disciple he has become.

Samuel was absent for a few Sundays and he was deeply missed.  He came bouncing back into church a few weeks later and ran up to me, gave me a hug and said, “I want to be just like you.”  I replied, “What do you mean, Samuel?”  He said, “I want to be a pastor just like you and I came dressed to preach.”  There he stood in his white shirt and tie.  He was ready!  My eyes filled with tears and I was at a loss for words.  “I’m going to be you today”, he said, “Let’s go!”  How could I refuse such a wonderful gift?  I was blessed.

Together Samuel and I conducted a very heartfelt service and his enthusiasm filled the hearts of many that day.

Samuel helps with communion, leads singing, helps with the offertory and ends with Benediction.  Samuel is a pastor in the making and I’ll do my very best to help him on his faith journey.

What a blessing Samuel has been to our church.  Samuel is 8 years old.

Prayers get answered.  We never know in what form those answers will come but, praise God, they do!  Hallelujah and Praise God!

Samuel is my Sunday glory sighting!

……and a little child shall lead them.  Isaiah 11:6

Judy Pysell
Pastor of First UMC of Richwood
Greenbrier District Communications Coordinator