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Joseph Main Quesenberry - Pastor welcomes all, serves as mentor

April 23, 2006|By MARLO BARNHART

Joseph Main Quesenberry learned about character from his grandfather and about the wealth of love from his wife and children.

He has lived his life buoyed by those values and tempered by his devotion to God, which he says always has been with him.

"I want to help people grow in the Lord," Quesenberry said.

Pastor of Zion Assembly of God in Maugansville since 1990, Quesenberry has served a number of churches since earning his master of theology degree in 1963 from Bethany Theological Seminary in Indiana.

As a boy, he recalls his grandfather accidentally hitting and killing a chicken as they were driving on a country road. A lasting impression was made as the boy watched his grandfather stop the car and go to the farmhouse, where he expressed his regret for hitting the chicken and offered to pay the farmer for the loss.


Another of Quesenberry's strengths has been his ability to welcome everyone into God's fold without consideration for race, national origin or lifestyle.

"Joe is a 'salvager' - he can look into any person and see potential," said Lois Quesenberry, his wife of nearly 48 years.

Quesenberry, for instance, taught and ministered with Prison Ministry in Hagerstown for several years in the 1970s.

He has been dedicated to prayer ministries with other pastors of various denominations and helping to establish churches in West Africa and Russia. He also made mission trips to England and Mexico, as well as to Africa and Russia.

In the early 1990s, the Quesenberrys were co-directors of Hagerstown Marriage Ministries International. More than 130 couples took the 13-week course.

Several years ago, Quesenberry began mentoring pastors in the Potomac District of the Assemblies of God, which led to him opening the doors of his church to several congregations looking for a place to call home.

"We had an Hispanic missionary coming to our church, so I called all the Hispanic-sounding names in the telephone book and invited them," he said.

Later, Melesio Rodriguez approached the congregation, and a service for Hispanics was started at the church. Mentored by Quesenberry, Rodriguez entered the ministry and for four years, he often preached at Zion Assembly. Rodriguez now is a missionary in Mexico with support from Quesenberry's Maugansville congregation.

Quesenberry, 70 and semi-retired, has been mentoring Stew Torres to become the full-time pastor of Zion Assembly of God.

In the meantime, a Russian fellowship is using Zion Assembly for Sunday afternoon and Wednesday evening worship services.

"Less than a year ago, we heard they had been meeting at another church, so I stopped by to see them and invited them here," Quesenberry said.

Lois and Joe Quesenberry are the parents of Jonathan, 44, a pastor in Charlottesville, Va.; Paul, 42, a doctor in Chambersburg, Pa.; and Diana, 40, a paramedic in Hagerstown. They have 10 grandchildren.


Name - Joseph Main Quesenberry

Address - Hagerstown

Date of birth - Oct. 14, 1935

Occupation - Minister

Most notable achievement - Being a servant of the Lord.

Your proudest moment - The birth of our first son in 1962.

Who is the person you most admire and why? - Hattie Hammond, a minister for 60 years, who shared her spiritual perception and answered my deep questions.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Who gave it to you? - I'd call it wisdom, rather than advice, that my grandfather gave me when he said, "Don't be a minister unless you can't do anything else - make sure you know that's the call in your life."

What is the next goal you would like to achieve? - I'm looking for more intimacy with the Lord. I've known him a long time, but I would like to get closer.

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