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Castle to lead Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

December 03, 2007

Jack B. Castle, 59, recently began his duties as bishop of the Hagerstown Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, after accepting the call from Steven Grow, president of the Martinsburg, W.Va., Stake.

Castle chose two counselors from his congregation, Hector Martinez and Tim Harrast, to help him fulfill his duties.

Castle was born in Lincoln, Neb., and raised in Chicago suburbs, where he converted to the church in 1977. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a BBA.

His extensive church service includes positions as bishop, high councilor, mission leader, stake and ward young men's president, scoutmaster, seminary teacher, ward clerk and Sunday School teacher.

"All who serve in the church do so on a voluntary basis," said Castle, vice president of Wachovia Bank in Frederick, Md. Having had the experience of serving as bishop from 1981 to 1985 in Illinois, Castle said, "Each time it is different and always with a humbling feeling. I am called to be a shepherd. The only way this can be accomplished is to be guided by the Spirit of the Lord in this work."

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The wards have no paid ministry, and these leaders, with families and careers, face the difficult challenge of keeping life in balance while serving in the church. Fortunately, the substantial volume of labor required to run a ward effectively is carried out by the members, who are asked to contribute in various specific capacities, such as in administrative, teaching, or service-oriented positions. Usually about 75 to 80 percent of participating ward members are involved in serving in the church.

"While serving in the Church can be challenging, the feeling of love and fellowship extends one to another throughout the congregation. Members see it as their responsibility or stewardship to serve, help and look out for each other," Castle said.

Castle and his wife, Judy, are parents of six children and have 11 grandchildren. They live in Hagerstown.

In addition to his volunteer work in the church, Castle serves on the Board of Directors of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, the Mason-Dixon Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the Washington County Heath System Endowment Board. He enjoys running and has completed two Marathons.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christian and is a restoration of the original Church established by Jesus Christ. The size of the Hagerstown Ward has approximately 473 members which includes 243 families

The church building is at 1253 Mt. Aetna Road (East) in Hagerstown. Sunday services include worship service at 1 p.m. followed by Sunday School and Primary classes for children, Young Men and Young Women classes, Priesthood groups and Relief Society meeting for women.

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