Bill Taylor, pastor of the , is retiring after eight years of service to the congregation.
"I'm retiring," Taylor said. "I'm 66 and it's just time."
The Rev. Taylor became pastor of the Portsmouth United Methodist Church in July 2004 after ending a 35-year business career as an information technology executive, specializing in communication networks, software engineering and electronic systems.
His business background includes technology development at Bell Laboratories before moving into management. Taylor managed technology implementation and operation as vice president for Swiss Bank Corp., Fidelity Investments andIXNet, a start up company serving the global financial markets.
Taylor is also an Air Force veteran, with tours in France and Vietnam. He also served in the Air National Guard.
The Rev. Michael Pike of Exeter, NH, will serve as the new pastor for PUMC.
Methodist Bishop Peter Weaver selected Pike for the appointment. "The bishop is responsible for the appointment," Taylor said.
Pike currently serves as pastor of the Exeter United Methodist Church. A native of Maine, Pike graduated from the Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK, receiving a bachelor's degree and seminary degrees.
The PUMC has also purchased a $350,000 house on Hillcrest Street for Pike, a sale which appeared in this week's Portsmouth real estate transactions.
The church provides housing for its pastor. Taylor, however, says he accepted a housing allowance instead of property during his tenure.
Taylor will serve as pastor for the last time on June 31. Pike will begin serving as pastor on July 1.