Michael McGowan recently accepted a call to serve as the 41st pastor of Ben Salem United Church of Christ, Lehighton.

The Rev. McGowan or Pastor Mike as he likes to be called, is a recent graduate of Lancaster Theological Seminary, following his calling to the ministry as a second career. He and his wife, Diane, live in Nazareth, and are parents of two children.

Officially founded in 1797, Ben Salem now has approximately 500 members, and is located on Church Hill Road in East Penn Township. It is affiliated with the Penn Northeast Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Its new sanctuary was built in 2002, and its diverse music groups, extensive mission programs, youth activities, and social outreach efforts in its local community make it a well-known venue for worship, entertainment, and community fellowship.

An installation service for the Rev. McGowan will be held at Ben Salem on Sunday, Sept. 25.