204 North Idaho Street, Grangeville, ID 83530
Pastor’s cell: 509-254-4710
Essen started her Grangeville pastorate June 30, coming previously from Pomeroy, Wash., where she pastored for five years. In all, she has been a member of the clergy for about 20 years, having pastored in rural area including Lind, Grand Coulee, Leavenworth and Montesano.
Essen didn’t start out her career as a pastor; however, her heart was always in ministry.
“I was very involved in church and was actually leading the youth when we did a special service and I ended up preaching as none of the teens wanted to do that part,” she explained. “A parishioner told me ‘you’re in the wrong line of work,'” she recalled.
That line of work she was in at the time was elementary education. She had obtained her masters in education when she felt the call from God to go into ministry. She then attended the San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo and obtained her Masters of Divinity degree.
Essen said she grew up as an “Army brat,” so she was used to moving all over. She was, however, born in Tacoma, Wash., and ended up back there for her high school years, graduating from Lincoln High School. She still has a brother in Tacoma and another brother in Georgia.
Essen is the third woman pastor to lead the United Methodist Church.