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Rev. Al Fry is interim pastor for Prebyterian church

by Sheila Gardner

The Rev. Alban T. Fry, a retired Presbyterian minister, will serve in an interim capacity at Minden’s Christ Presbyterian Church until a new pastor is called to serve the congregation.

Fry, 62, has been a member of the Nevada Presbytery for more than 36 years and served in numerous capacities. He served churches in Elko County from 1963-1968, Incline Village church from 1968-1971 and served as chaplain for the Nevada Department of Prisons from 1971-1999.

“I retired Aug. 23 from the Nevada Department of Prisons, and I wasn’t sure what I would be doing,” Fry said. “This position was talked about and I said, ‘Yes, here I am.'”

He’s been on the job for about three weeks and will conduct his first service Sunday.

Fry anticipates it will take a year to 18 months to find a permanent pastor for the church.

“My job is to prepare the church for their next pastor, to keep the people encouraged and supported and, of course, the pulpit filled,” he said.

Fry doesn’t find the change in what he is doing too striking.

“Of course, it’s coed,” he laughed. “People are people. They need to be loved and valued and encouraged to be the creative people that God made us to be.”

He said parishioners at Christ Presbyterian have made him feel welcome.

“I have found the people here to be very loving, kind and supportive – all those superlatives,” Fry said.

“This is a unique group of people. I was attracted to take the job because of the people and their commitment to the church. The new building has got to be paid for and it will be a challenge. We also have the growth and continued development of the daycare center that serves infants on up through pre-school. We are very fortunate to have the director that we have, Lorraine Lacuesta. She brings a lot of professionalism and tremendous love for children.”

Fry said he thoroughly enjoyed his ministry in Nevada prisons.

“Some of my best friends are in prison. There are those I would trust my life with and others I wouldn’t turn my back on. I never had any qualms about going to a prison or any real fear or sense of risk or danger to myself,” he said.

Fry said as prison chaplain he received a broad religious base “all the way from Eastern religions to Native American to Muslim to Roman Catholic.”

In addition to his ministry, Fry has participated in numerous community-based programs in the areas of drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence. He also taught counseling at Western Nevada Community College.

From his lengthy ministry in Nevada, Fry sees the needs of people in a state where only 25 percent of the population regularly attends religious services.

“A real basic need is created by the loneliness of people and their isolation. We all need to be part of a family, whether it’s actual or a church family. People need to have the experience that God not only loves them, but others think they are loveable, too.”

Fry and his wife, Dorothy, live in Carson City and are the parents of two grown children. His hobbies include fishing, reading, football and crossword puzzles.

Fry is a native of Philadelphia. He moved to California at age 9 where he completed his education. He graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1963 and was ordained a Presbyterian minister that year.

For information, call the church at 782-3781. The church is located at 1701 Lucerne St. near the Winhaven subdivision.