0

College chaplain joins Oxford council

Staff Photo: Michelle Floyd  Lyn Pace has been chaplain at Oxford College since 2009. He is the latest resident to join the Oxford City Council, when he replaced outgoing councilman Hoyt Oliver this month after running unopposed in the Oxford election in No

Staff Photo: Michelle Floyd Lyn Pace has been chaplain at Oxford College since 2009. He is the latest resident to join the Oxford City Council, when he replaced outgoing councilman Hoyt Oliver this month after running unopposed in the Oxford election in No

OXFORD -- The Oxford City Council has a new but familiar face this year.

Lyn Pace joined the council this month for a four-year term, when he replaced outgoing Councilman Hoyt Oliver after running unopposed in the Oxford election in November. Pace also is the chaplain at Oxford College, a position he's held since 2009.

"It's a new experience," said Pace, who has never held an elected position but has been involved on several professional committees. "It sort of piqued my interest to be involved and try to represent what people want."

Pace has a master of divinity degree from Emory University's Candler School of Theology. Before coming to Oxford, Pace was the associate chaplain, director of service learning and director of the Bonner Scholars Program at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C. From 2002 to 2003, he worked as a minister in the British Methodist Church on the Isle of Wight in England.

Since moving to Oxford, he and his wife Ami Hernandez have enjoyed living in the town.

"It's a place we want to be for a while," he said. "It's peaceful, and the city does not have a lot of traffic or business; there's a real community feel ... and a rich history here."

His favorite part is the stretch of town from the college to Old Church, a route he likes to run often.

"It's peaceful," he said.

Pace said he's looking forward to serving on the council, especially because the council members all seem to get along and work well together. He also looks forward to representing the people.

"It's new, but I'm excited about this opportunity," he said.

He will serve on the cemetery and public safety committees, but he has no real agenda at the time, he said.

"My first year goal is to listen and get an understanding of my colleagues on the council and what citizen concerns are," he said. "I think that will help me ease into things."

He also hopes to be a voice and a connection to Oxford College, although he will not be able to vote on some matters that regard the college.

"I think it's good to have somebody related to the college part of this because the college is one of the largest employers in Oxford," he said. "There's got to be a good working relationship with the college."

Post 1 Councilman Frank Davis and Post 2 Councilman George Holt also ran unopposed in November's election and took their seats for another four-year term this month.

Davis will serve on the streets, sidewalks and solid waste committees and Holt will continue to oversee finance, as well as oversight and personnel this year. Councilman David Eady will serve over planning, zoning and stormwater; Terry Smith over utilities and public works; and James Windham over buildings and grounds, parks and trees.