A native of western Pennsylvania, Kalajainen earned his B.A. at the University of Pittsburgh; an M. Div. at Asbury Theological Seminary; a TH.M at Princeton Theological Seminary; and a Ph.D. at Drew University. His wife, Carol, hails from New Jersey and has a master’s degree in teaching English as a second language. She is a retired teacher. Kalajainen was ordained Elder in the Methodist Church of Malaysia in 1974 and served six years as pastor of the Chin Fu Methodist Church in Sarawak, East Malaysia. He also served three pastorates in New Jersey in Highlands/Sea Bright, Bordentown, and New Brunswick. From 1994 to 2003, he was senior pastor for the American Church in Paris. After returning to the states, he served congregations in Brunswick, Maine and Scarsdale, New York.
The author of several books including the recently released, The Bible Says . . . How Good is the Book?, Kalajainen has taught as an adjunct faculty member at four seminaries and the University of Paris. About his new role, he says, “I hope to bring to the Island Heights United Methodist Church my broad experience of the global church, my love for the local parish, and my conviction that vital, spirit-energized worship is central to every congregation’s life and ministry.” He looks to be a catalyst as he works with lay leaders and parishioners to strengthen and revitalize the ministry.
Island Heights United Methodist Church is actively engaged in the community
through a variety of programs and ministries, including Sunday worship, Sunday
school, an annual fundraiser holiday house tour, and a community food pantry. For
more information, call the church office at 732-929-0444, e-mail IHUMC@comcast.net,
or visit www.IHUMC.org.