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Pastor Michaele R.J. Wood

From The Pastor:

Pastor Michaele Wood



Nehemiah 4:6 ESV

“So we built the wall. And all the wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.”In the verses from Nehemiah, those Israelites who had been held captive in Babylon and those who were left behind in the Promised Land have joined together to build a wall to protect the temple. They were people from all the tribes and all with differing experiences. They had many different job skills but came together to do the work that was needed. They built in unity of purpose. They built to glorify the Lord. The people were of one mind-the mind to work.

There were enemies in the land that harassed them while they worked but they stood together. The people took turns building the wall and protecting the borders so others could build in safety. Soon the walls were built and joined together. This task gave glory to God and no one
else. We know for ourselves how hard it is to get any two people to agree let alone a few million.

It seems that every project has more than enough ideas on how things should be done. Then there are the Lone Rangers who feel only they have the answers and others are just in their way. There are those who watch until they see if it is going to work before offering their help. There are also those who will watch until someone else steps in to complete the task. Add to this the micro-managers and those who know a better way for someone else to do it and it becomes almost impossible to complete any task.

How did Nehemiah do it? First, he had God’s plan for the task.(Amos 3:3ESV“Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?”)


Second, the people themselves were willing to work, even if the work were beneath their skill level.(Neh 4:6c for the people had a mind to work.”)Third, the Holy Spirit gave the unity of purpose and extended the peace of God to those who were ready to work.(Ephesians 4:3ESVEager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.)Nehemiah’s name means comforter-he demonstrates the Holy Spirit in the story.

As a church we are charged with extending the Kingdom of God on earth. We build the kingdom in the same way Nehemiah built the wall. We have God’s plan. We have the Holy Spirit. We only need to have the mind to do the work that is needed even if we don’t agree with God’s plan.

One last story: A pastor was doing premarital counseling with a young couple. As a final session he took them outside and threw a rope over the roof of the church. He told each of them to grab an end of the rope and pull. They struggled for a bit but neither one of them could get the rope pulled to their side of the roof. The pastor then threw the rope onto the roof with both ends on the same side and instructed them to pull. It only took a second for them to pull therope off the roof working together on the same side. And that is the secret to any successful marriage (or relationship, or mission).

Do two walk together, unless they have agreed..?

Are you ready to build together?



Pastor Michaele


Rev. Michaele RJ Wood was born the eldest of four children in Harrisburg PA. Her father was a Marine and Korean Veteran and her mother was a caterer. Michaele says, “Dad maintained order and discipline and mom added the spice.” She attended Catholic school through her junior year before graduating from a public school closer to home. It was during a school assembly about teen suicides that the message “God is love” became real and the Bible became a favorite read.


The years following high school were a hodgepodge of military service as an EMT / Practical Nurse and a liaison to the Military Police Units working narcotics, often accompanying them on the execution of search warrants and arrests. She met and married her husband during that tour and one year later put military service behind to be a mom to a new daughter. The following year she gave birth to twins.

In 1990, she was ordained as a minister in Kingdom Fellowship Ministries, a Charismatic fellowship, and assigned to Fountain Gate Ministries, an inner-city Harrisburg Church. There she served for 15 years as an elder, ordained minister associate and part-time instructor in Biblical & Church History for the ETS School of Ministry. She also held the position of Chief Financial Officer for a Harrisburg non-profit organization, while maintaining employment as a medical claims adjuster and raising a family.

The church grew quickly but the authoritarian form of government did not support the growth which led to problems of discipline and doctrine within the fellowship. This led her to a time of discernment. Seeking the help of a more experienced female pastor, who just happened to be Presbyterian, she was introduced to the Book of Order and Reformed Theology. Michaele states, “I had found the missing piece of my faith journey but the church I served was not ready

to change its style of government.”  In 2005, she became a member of Capital Presbyterian Church in Harrisburg. She was soon asked to serve on session and was ordained as an elder in the Presbyterian Church. Michaele completed the Dubuque CRE training in January 2006 and was then accepted to Lancaster Theological Seminary receiving her Master of Divinity in 2009.  In 2010, she was ordained by Carlisle Presbytery as  Minister of Word & Sacrament. Subsequently, she was  accepted as a member of the initial class of the “For Such A Time As This Program” leading to her installation as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Pontotoc, Mississippi,  where she served until December 2017. 

She now comes to Gainesville as the called pastor of Kanapaha Presbyterian Church and will be installed as the way is made clear.

Pastor Michaele holds an Associate in Human Services from Harrisburg Area Community College; a Bachelor of Christian Ministry from Chesapeake Bible College; a Master of Divinity from Lancaster Theological Seminary; a diploma from the CRE program at Dubuque Seminary, and Certificates of Completion in Spiritual Direction; Clergy Tax Management & Law (Chitwood); and Stewardship (Kirby-Smith).

She is the widowed mother to three adult children, grandmother to (10) ten grandchildren, great-grandmother to two boys, ages 2 years and an infant of 3 months, with another due in October. Saying of her journey thus far, “Life has not always been easy, but then, God didn’t say it would be. God did promise to give us strength to continue the journey even when it seems impossible, even when we are afraid, even when we aren’t sure where God is leading us.  And so, I look forward to our journey together.”


Capital Campaign!

Dear KPC Members and Friends,

We need your help! We’re kicking off a Capital Campaign to raise $30,000

for our historic buildings and grounds. This year has been a challenging one, to say the least. Likely no one expected what God had in store for us, Kanapaha Presbyterian Church, our country and the world. In spite of a global pandemic, raging politics and natural disasters, we, as a KPC family, managed to stay connected, worship virtually and now in-person, and continue spreading God’s love through various mission projects. We give thanks to God for his many blessings, in spite of the challenges we’ve faced this year.

While the KPC family has been very generous and faithful in tithing and contributions, and the Session has reduced expenditures, we have had to defer some needed capital projects or use cash reserves when there was a critical need. We are blessed to worship in a historic sanctuary, sitting on a beautiful piece of property. However, our buildings are aging and require(d) some much needed work such as:

1. Reroofing of McCormick Hall: $10,300 (replenish cash reserves). The roof was leaking and shingles coming off. Work was done on an emergency basis.

2. Ductwork under the sanctuary: $5,325 (replenish cash reserves).
Ductwork had fallen down, impacting air conditioning, and needed immediate replacing.


3. Western portico of the sanctuary: repair, remodel and fix sinking stairs. $12,338 (yet to be raised)

The portico, held up by unsightly metal poles, is rotten in many places. The first stair on the southern stairs has sunk ~4 inches creating a fall hazard.

4. Replace and repair lattice/animal barrier around Sanctuary and McCormick Hall: $2,037 (yet to be raised)

Help make a difference! Please prayerfully consider making a contribution or pledge to help us reach our goal! While the Capital Campaign will be going on for some time, this is the time of year to make a contribution that could lighten your tax burden for 2020. Maybe you received a stimulus check and were looking for a good cause to support?

Kanapaha Presbyterian Church is a 501c3 non-profit organization and donations are typically tax deductible, however KPC does not give tax advice. If you want to make a pledge and spread the contribution out over time, that’s wonderful too! Please put “Capital Campaign” on the memo line of your check. You can also use the yellow Donate button at the very bottom of this KPC webpage to donate safely and securely right here on www.kanapaha.net.

With thanks and praise to God,
The Session

Supporting Kanapaha Presbyterian Church has never been easier! Donate Online!

Kanapaha Presbyterian Church is a 501c3 Non-Profit.  Charitable Donations are tax deductible