Reverend Shawn O’Trimble, pastor of Belleview United Methodist Church and devoted husband and father, combines these loves with one another: playing music.
Forming a band called High Fidelity with his wife Teri, the pastor plays the guitar while his wife sings.
“It’s a pop / rock group that plays music from the 70s and 80s,” he said. “We’re looking to start booking concerts in the area early next year. It’s a fun thing to do next door, and my wife tells everyone I love to rehearse and play.”
Trimble remembers playing in bands since he was young in Kansas.
“As far as I can remember, music and church have been a part of my life,” noted O’Trimble. “I don’t fish or golf, but I have a passion for music.”
O’Trimble and his family arrived in the The Villages area two years ago after serving in a Kansas church. He credits the Reverend Michael Beck, co-pastor of the United Methodist Church in Wildwood, for recruiting him in central Florida.
“I was at work in Belleview for six months when COVID-19 hit, and we had to stop worshiping in person for several months,” recalls O’Trimble. “It was difficult, but the church is slowly recovering and finding a new normal.”
Belleview UMC is one of the oldest places of worship in the area, having been founded in 1886. The church is active in the community, hosting a weekly drive-through dinner every Wednesday, as well as a thrift store four days a week .
“We have a worship service at 10:30 am on Sunday, and attendance is about two-thirds of what it was before COVID,” noted O’Trimble. “We have a large congregation that is loyal to the church.”
O’Trimble was also fortunate to meet a fellow pastor known for his ability to combine ministry and music, Pastor Norman Lee Schaffer of the Garden Worship Center in Belleview.
“I really respect him for his ability to blend faith with rock star energy,” O’Trimble said.
“God has used my talent as an artist working with audiences to help preach the gospel to the community,” Schaffer added.
Regardless of how his new band evolves, O’Trimble loves living and working near The Villages. He says it’s common for him and his 4-year-old twins to attend some of the concerts in the plazas.
“I wish the whole country could experience what life can be like here in The Villages,” he said. “It is a community that has provided normalcy, kindness and appreciation to their fellow human beings.”
Belleview United Methodist Church is located at 5640 SE Brown Road. For more information visit belleviewumc.net.
Principal writer James Dinan can be reached at 352-753-1119 ext. 5302, or [email protected]