The Northern Westchester Examiner

Mohegan Lake Motors Car Salesman Called to Join Clergy

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Pastor Bill Vangor
Pastor Bill Vangor

From the time he was about seven years old, Bill Vangor knew he belonged in the religious life. He felt a deep connection to his faith, one that drew him to a life of ministry and service to his community. However, it wasn’t until some thirty plus years later that Vangor’s lifelong desire was fulfilled.

Vangor attended Concordia College in Bronxville, where he always planned to pursue a religious life. However, after his father passed away, it was no longer feasible for him to continue his education beyond the initial four years at Concordia. Thus, his life took a new direction and before long he was a married father of four.

Nonetheless, he remained a faithful man whose religion remained a large part of his life and the life of his family.

For the past sixteen years, Vangor has worked as a respected car salesman at Mohegan Lake Motors. All the while, he knew he was being called to a religious life, and never ignored the calling. About three years ago, Vangor became a vicar at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Putnam Valley, a position Vangor equates to a sort of intern of the church. This past February, Vangor was ordained as pastor at St. Luke’s For the past three years, Vangor has put in one hundred and ten hour work weeks between his education, his day job at Mohegan Lake Motors and his time dedicated to St. Luke’s.

“It was certainly challenging, but doable”, Vangor explained of his process to become a member of the religious life.

When asked if he ever felt overwhelmed by the prospect of this new chapter life, Vangor replied, “Yes, as with anything in life, it is more than what meets the eye. With credit due, they have been very supportive and have made many sacrifices over these past few years to accommodate my one hundred ten hour work weeks”, referring  to his wife and his four children,  Michael, 23, Danny, 20, Jessie, 16, and Rachel, 13.

In addition, Vangor spoke very highly of the constant support he received by his coworkers at Mohegan Lake Motors, and especially Barry Rost, owner of the dealership.

“They knew this was a goal, an ambition in my life,” he said. “They have been very supportive. My schedule has been augmented to fit in my education and duties at the church. It has been a supported and welcomed effort.”

When asked about striking a balance between his day job and his responsibility at St. Luke’s, Vangor admitted some initial woes he had while trying to settle into a new routine.

“It has been interesting so far, without much conflict,” he said. “Barry has been very supportive of where my life direction has evolved. When I have had conflicts, Barry affords that flexibility to me.”

In addition to making some changes at work, Vangor goes on to say that much of his vacation time over the past three years has been dedicated to his education and what he refers to as “church business”.

It is quite apparent that Vangor has a great sense of pride and a deep connection to St. Luke’s.

The church, Vangor explained, is going through a sort of revitalization process. “It has been recognized throughout the area for its wonderful preschool program, he said. “It does a phenomenal job in preparing the 120 children for kindergarten.”

Through much devotion and support, Vangor has been able to effectively seamlessly fall in to his new role as pastor at the church. Vangor said that he feels everything in life has a way of working itself out. He credits his age and life experience with his ability to be a better clergyman to the people of his congregation.

“I know what it is like to have raise kids,” he said. “At this point, I know what it is like to be affluent, poor and everything else in life. I would have been much less of an adequate pastor at 26 than 50.”

Vangor summed up his most recent life journey with a few words of wisdom, “Wherever you are in your faith journey, God is in control. God brings together things in his perfect timing, and this is my timing.”

By Aileen Collins

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