PASTOR AT ENTERPRISE CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE
Mouse (yes, that is her legal name) McKinney, 66, of Joseph graduated from Baker High in 1969 and applied to the FBI.
The application process was lengthy, and while she waited she worked as a waitress and met James McKinney. She finally gave up on the FBI and made plans to marry James in 1970 –– and the FBI sent her a letter of acceptance about a week before the wedding.
She and James moved from Baker to La Grande and he began a more than 30-year career with Boise Cascade while she began her “real work” in the ministry, doing outreach for the La Grande Church of the Nazarene. The couple never had children – but they do have a house rabbit, Mouse said.
She received her call to be a minister more than 20 years ago, completed her training through the church and has served ever since.
The McKinney’s came to Wallowa County from La Grande when Mouse had the opportunity to become the pastor for Enterprise Church of the Nazarene. She has served there for seven years. She commuted to Wallowa County for three years while she and James looked for housing.
Q. What brought you to Wallowa County and why do you stay?
A. Being called as a pastor here brought me. I stay because it’s beautiful, and I love the people. God just gave me a love for the people in Wallowa County. The people here in this small rural congregation needed me more than the people in La Grande where I served as associate pastor.
Q. What has Wallowa County taught you?
A. To really appreciate homespun people. They are what they are without putting on airs. People in other places with a busier lifestyle often try to be what they aren’t in order to fit in. But in Wallowa County, what you see is pretty much what you get. I like that very much.
Q. What was the first library book you ever checked out, and can you recommend a book you’ve read recently?
A. The first book I ever checked out was “Gods of Mount Olympus.” I was six or seven years old, and it wasn’t in the kid’s section. I can’t remember why that book appealed to me, but I remember that was the first and I read it.
The book I can recommend is the Bible – the whole thing. I think I’ve read it 50 or maybe even 100 times. Any other book, once I read it, I never want to see it again. But with the Bible, the Lord speaks to my heart over and over. Each time you read it, you are in a new place or new situation and you see things in a new way. As a pastor, sometimes when you read it you get an insight into what your congregation may need, something I’d have never have thought of on my own.