INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Bishop Mike Coyner announced the appointment of the Rev. Dr. Gary Schaar, 56, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Columbus, Ind. since 2009, as the new Superintendent of the South District, effective July 1.

Upon his announcement, Coyner said, “I am pleased to announce the appointment of Rev. Gary Schaar to serve as the new District Superintendent for the South District of the Indiana Conference, effective July 1. Gary will follow the current District Superintendent Charlie Wilfong, who is leaving that position to become the new senior pastor at Plainfield United Methodist Church, following the retirement of the Rev. Ted Blosser from that position July 1.

“Gary is well-known throughout the Indiana Conference, especially in the southern part of the state where he served in various appointments including time on the staff of the former South Indiana Conference working in Congregational Development and also working in Conflict Resolution. In those capacities, Gary has worked with many congregations of the Indiana Conference and has been effective in helping those congregations resolve conflicts and move toward health and vitality. Gary also teaches in the Course of Study for Local Pastors and he teaches United Methodist polity for Christian Theological Seminary.

“The current Cabinet highly recommended Gary to me, and I concur that he will be a strong and effective Cabinet member and Superintendent for the South District. Sometime this summer, we will celebrate the Installation of Gary Schaar as the new Superintendent of the South District.”

Schaar was ordained an Elder in the former South Indiana Conference in 1982. Before his present appointment, he served churches in Indiana at First UMC in Mt. Vernon as an associate pastor, and as pastor at Cloverdale, Paoli and Old North UMC in Evansville. From Sept. 2001 until July 2009, he served as an Associate Director for the former South Indiana Conference Council on Ministries and was based in Bloomington.

He is married to Joyce Schaar. They have two adult children: Jennifer and Christen.

Bishop Coyner will announce the appointment of a new senior pastor for First UMC in Columbus, when one has been chosen.