Michael A. Peterson, 60, died July 19, 2010.

He was born Nov. 20, 1949, in Monmouth, Ill., a son of Beauford and Nancy (Carlson) Peterson. Michael attended Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill. He majored in political science and received his teaching degree there. He married Debbie Phelps Nov. 21, 1970.

After filling in for the pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Monmouth, Ill., he heard the Lord call him to ministry, which led him to seminary. Michael attended the Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary in Denver and received a master’s of divinity.

Michael, Debbie and their two sons then moved to Chicago, where he served as a youth pastor for five years. They then moved on to Cleveland Heights, Ohio, where he served as senior pastor of an integrated church, Bethel Baptist, for 11 years. He and his family then moved back to Joliet, Ill. as senior pastor of Bethel Baptist Church for 3 1/2 years before retiring with his wife for five years.

They took this time to travel all over the United States antiquing. They enjoyed finding the perfect pieces to buy and sell. After their five-year retirement, he got the call from First Baptist Church of Waldoboro, a quiet little church in downtown. While pastoring there, they built a new church in Waldoboro and the church continued to grow.

Michael resigned after 7 1/2 years and was guest speaker at various churches. He was asked to speak at Damariscotta Baptist Church and was invited to be its interim pastor. While serving he was asked to be the interim pastor at Morrill Baptist Church in Morrill, which he accepted, and he and Debbie split their time between the two churches. Once Damariscotta Baptist Church found its full-time pastor, he became full-time interim pastor in Morrill until one year ago when he was hired as full-time pastor.

In addition to serving in various pastoral positions in his life, his passion was working with the missions group Philippian Fellowship, which was a mission to help Eastern European pastors build churches and become full-time pastors. They traveled to the Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and all across Eastern Europe. While serving with this ministry, he became pastor of Outreach. He was a student and collector of history.

He was predeceased by his parents.

He is survived by his wife of almost 40 years, Debbie Peterson, of Morrill; two sons, Michael Shane Peterson of Cleveland and Chad Andrew Peterson of Albuquerque, N.M.; an aunt, Gracie LeFevre, and her husband, Ron, of Simsbury, Conn.; five cousins; many other brothers and sisters in Christ across the world; and his dogs, whom he referred to as “the boys,” Chance and Jake.

A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 24, at Morrill Baptist Church, South Main Street, Morrill, with a reception immediately following.

In lieu of flowers, friends may make donations in his memory to Philippian Fellowship c/o Jeff Norton 99 Storer Road, Bremen, ME 04551.

Arrangements are with Crabiel-Riposta Funeral Home, Belfast. On-ine condolences may be offered to the family at ripostafh.com.