QUINCY -- The Rev. Tony Metz says the image presented by the Quincy Area Ministerial Association is important to the community.
"I think it shows a symbol of unity and can be a force for unity," said Metz, who will serve as QAMA president in 2018.
Metz, who has been pastor at Luther Memorial Church for the past five years, follows the Rev. Patty Johansen of Vermont Street United Methodist as QAMA president.
"So many of the churches are (separated) by their theologies or doctrines, but through the (QAMA) we can all come together," Metz said.
That kind of partnership -- and fellowship -- can lead to "some good things" for the community, he said.
Metz said QAMA is also a positive reinforcement for the ministers who participate. He said the organization allows for a sharing of ideas and problems among peers.
"It is a meaningful experience," he said. "Ministry can be a lonely enterprise, and it's good to be able to share with one another and pray for one another.
"It will be an honor to lead this organization for a year."
Metz, 36, oversaw Luther Memorial's 125th anniversary celebration in 2016. He has come to love the church at 12th and Jersey -- and its congregation.
"The most gratifying part of my time in Quincy has been getting to know the congregation," he said. "It has been a privilege to share life with this particular group of people. I love our congregation."
Metz and his wife, Angie, have two children. Steve is 10, and Mariem is 6.
Metz is originally from Forrest, a town of 1,200 about 40 miles northeast of Normal.