B.J. Ash has been the pastor of Manistique First UMC since July 2020.
Pastor B.J. and his wife, Kelly Freberg-Ash, were both born and raised in the Upper Peninsula. They have lived in Manistique since 2015 with their two sons, Brandon and Alex. Pastor B.J. is also a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
After a successful career as an Information Technology/Information Security Analyst, he received his calling into pastoral ministry, and in 2018 he completed course work to become a licensed local pastor within the United Methodist Church.
Pastor B.J. is active in the local community, serving as captain of the Thompson Township Volunteer Fire Department, Fire Chaplain and Sheriff’s Department Chaplain for Schoolcraft County, technical advisor for the Schoolcraft County 9-1-1 Committee, U.P. team leader for the Michigan Cyber Civilian Corps (MiC3), 2BN Chaplain of the Michigan State Defense Force, member of the Manistique Lions Club, Scout Chaplain for Cub Scout Pack 3402 and Boy Scout Pack 3400, hospice chaplain for Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital as well as North Woods Home Care and Hospice, and other community volunteer opportunities. Pastor B.J. is also currently endorsed by the United Methodist Endorsing Agency (UMEA) as a Fire Chaplain and Volunteer Military Chaplain.
Pastor B.J.’s office hours are Monday — Friday 8 AM to 12 PM and he is off on Wednesdays.