New reverend returns to Midwestern roots

Aug. 8, 2012

When the position opened up at First Congregational Church, it was a natural fit for the Rev. William Trump, who currently resides in Sherman Oaks, Calif.

Having grown up in Bayside, Trump will return to his Midwestern roots in early September to start his new career at the church. His first service is scheduled for Sept. 9. The main service is at 10 a.m. and the chapel service is at 8 a.m.

Although Trump has lived and worked in California for 17 years, his history with Wauwatosa and the First Congregational Church goes back nearly 30 years.

Leading youth team

Trump's ties to Wauwatosa began in the early 1970s when the young Trump was elected to the Youth Leadership Team through the church. Though he left Wisconsin in 1995 to become reverend of Church of the Chimes in California, First Congregational Church remained a part of his life. He baptized both a niece and a nephew there, and his sister has been junior choir director for the past decade.

So, when the position of reverend opened up, it seemed like a natural fit.

"This is a job opportunity that is extremely exciting to me," Trump said in a phone interview from California. "It's a fantastic, vibrant congregation with a lot of life that was just looking for a new leader."

He said of his 30-year history in the ministry, First Congregational Church of Wauwatosa is one of the most highly respected congregations.

Making a cohesive fit

Having Midwestern values was only one reason the church's search committee saw Trump as the perfect fit.

There were four key reasons for choosing Trump, said Steve Russ of the search committee. First, Trump emphasized the importance of building and maintaining a relationship with church members.

Second, he encouraged participation among members.

"He was more of a facilitator and not a hinderer," Russ said.

Third, Trump is interested in all aspects of the church, from functions to board and committee meetings.

"He likes to make his presences known," Russ said.

And fourth, Russ said the committee found his sermons to be "instructive, intelligent and thought provoking."

For Trump, it was the congregation's energy and welcoming spirit that drew him to church.

"The overwhelming ovation of the congregation in welcoming me is something ministers don't get that much," Trump said. "It's such an amazing congregation with great potential and I'm honored to be called a part of it."

Beginning a new chapter

Moving to Wauwatosa is also a chance for the 56-year-old to start a new chapter in his personal life.

When Trump moved to California, he had a wife, two young children and three golden retrievers in tow. His wife passed away two and a half years ago after a long wait on the heart transplant list.

Trump will be getting married a few weeks after he arrives back in Wisconsin to begin both new chapters in his professional and personal lives.

Sept. 9 - the day Trump will preside over his first services - is known as rally Sunday. Russ said it is similar to the first day of school for the church when everyone returns "renewed and refreshed and is excited to take on a new scheduling year."


NAME: William Trump

AGE: 56

KNOWN FOR: New reverend at First Congregational Church, 1511 Church St. in Wauwatosa


PEARLS OF WISDOM: "It's such an amazing congregation and I'm honored to be called a part of it."


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