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Rob Grotheer


Over the course of his career, Rob served as youth director, associate pastor and senior pastor. His heart for all ages will make him an excellent addition to our growing church. When asked what he enjoys most about serving, he replied “pastoring people – listening to their stories and comforting them in their time of need.”

Rob was born and raised in Savannah, growing up on Burnside Island, attending Isle of Hope UMC and working in his parents’ Piggly Wiggly in Sandfly. He attended public schools and graduated from Savannah Christian in 1974. As a college freshman at Armstrong, he served as Youth Director at Isle of Hope UMC where God planted a seed of ministry that grew through the years. Rob transferred to Flagler College in St. Augustine and met a deaf education major, Gayle, and the two married in 1980. Following graduation, he joined the staff at First UMC Albany and commuted to Emory to earn his Master of Divinity.

In 1986 Rob was invited to step out on faith and minister to students at the 13,000 member First UMC of Houston, Texas. He served one of the largest youth programs in the nation, while becoming a parent himself of two boys. Meanwhile, Gayle earned a masters in counseling from the University of Houston. The pull of family and South Georgia drew Rob and Gayle to Wesley at Frederica UMC where he served as Associate Pastor of youth and programming. From there he was recruited back to his home church Isle of Hope UMC as Associate Pastor of youth and programming and was ordained as an Elder.

Rob’s first call to be the Pastor of a church came in 2009 when he was called to College Place UMC, a 750-member church in Brunswick. Since 2017, he has been the Pastor of Wilmington Island UMC.

Rob decided to retire in June and yet continue to serve a church in Savannah where his younger son lives with his wife and child, and not far from his older son in Statesboro. The Grotheers are a Coastal Georgia family!

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