Hi, my name is Peter Constantian. I am the pastor at Cruso United Methodist Church.

I feel strongly called by the Holy Spirit to work for the flourishing of rural community life. I hope to be part of a Haywood County where all people are welcome; where there is no more violence, abuse, or neglect; and where earth, water, and wildlife are respected and cherished.

My previous career was in international development with a focus on public health and sustainable agriculture. I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador where I lived in the coastal lowlands – the Ecuadorian bread basket. I ran a young farmers club, bred hogs, taught English and math, started community banks, planted corn, pruned cocoa trees, and read lots of books about farming.

After returning from two years in Ecuador I worked in Boston for John Snow, Inc. (JSI), an international development company with a public health focus. Most of my three years there I supported a large maternal and child health project in Northern Nigeria. That region is very rural, with few hospitals and no emergency transport system. As a result, many women give birth at home, often with no one to help. Our project sought to improve health outcomes for women and children despite these limitations. The key to our success was partnering with local religious leaders who helped us find and train community health volunteers. These volunteers accompanied women to pre-natal care appointments and educated them about safe use of medicines that could prevent sepsis and post-partum hemorrhage.

While international development did not turn out to be my ultimate calling, this particular project – and my experience as a Peace Corps volunteer – taught me the tremendous potential for rural people to improve the health and well-being of their neighbors and neighborhoods, especially when supported by local religious leaders. I wondered if there were any United Methodist pastors who were using their position to support the flourishing of the whole community. God called me to follow that wonder here, to Western North Carolina.

Over the past three years I have served in ministry in Western North Carolina with pastors who are doing work I only dreamed of. It was the example of these mentors that led me to pursue licensing as a local pastor in the United Methodist Church following the completion of my M.Div. degree at Duke Divinity School in May 2019.

I am overjoyed to serve as the pastor of Cruso United Methodist Church in Cruso, NC. We are here to love and care for this community. We hope Haywood County will be a place where all people are welcome; where there is no more violence, abuse, or neglect; and where earth, water, and wildlife are respected and cherished. If you share this hope and vision, join us!

A special request for online giving

I believe in the work of this church and its positive impact on the local community. I hope we will be able to continue to serve together for a long time. Until very recently, however, your only way of financially supporting our work was to come to church and leave something in the offering plate. COVID-19 has made that more difficult, but with your help the work of Cruso United Methodist Church can continue. Would you consider making an online donation through our Conference website? You have my thanks for anything you can give. – Peter