Steve West

Steve describes himself as a “husband, father, minister, musician, and writer.” He has served as lead pastor of Arab First UMC since the summer of 2014. He is no stranger to the area, since he grew up in Huntsville, graduating from Grissom High School in 1983. Steve has lived and served churches in nearby places such as Gadsden, Fyffe, Scottsboro, Birmingham, and Huntsville. He attended Birmingham-Southern College, where he studied music and sociology, and Emory University’s school of theology, where he met and married his best friend Sandy from south Louisiana. Sandy and Steve have the newly acquired status of “empty nesters” and love to see their two children very much. Sandy is also an ordained minister, presently pursuing a vocation in pastoral counseling.

Steve loves preaching, pastoral care, collaborative teamwork, prayer, and the sacraments. He likes to talk theology and enjoys composing hymn texts and devotional writings. Although he loves being a pastor, he says music is his way of “praying twice.” As vocalist, pianist, trombonist, and worship designer, he has led music and worship in numerous settings at churches, retreats, and conferences. He has grown interested in spiritual formation studies and has served on the leadership team of a number of Academies for Spiritual Formation. Steve describes himself as a “folk mystic,” experiencing God at the foot of a tree, at the grave of a grandfather, and at the sight of a raccoon. He is presently chair of the Order of Elders in the Annual Conference, and in 2008 and 2012 he served on the Jurisdictional Conference delegation.

Steve says “Arab First UMC is a well-kept secret. This is such a pleasant place to live, and what a warm and healthy church!”

Did you know …

When he finds the time, Steve enjoys mountain biking and camping in his “geek camper” (a tent that attaches to the back of his hatchback). He tries not to bore his kids with his love for genealogy, but he is descended from a number of early American pastors and circuit riders on both sides of his family. It didn’t take long for the people of Arab to find out he scouts out all the local restaurants. He loves a good cup of coffee, time to relax with friends, and retreats. He works on his sermons on an iPad and texts using Siri (though he often says Siri doesn’t “speak southern”). Steve enjoys science fiction and has a strange fettish for Star Trek. He hasn’t just seen every episode of every incarnation. He owns them. And yes, he has a uniform.

To go mountain biking, go to the coffee shop, or talk about ministry matters at Arab First UMC, contact Steve at the church office at 256-586-5792 or email him at

Check out Steve’s blog at “Musings of a Musical Preacher.”