"It's a lot like my first church," said the Rev. John Hartman. "It's been a long time since I've been in a close-knit community."
"When I was there, the big deal was the decision to make sure all the streets had signs," he said.
From there, he moved to North Carolina, serving in the Wake Forest area before moving to Greensboro, his last charge before Chestnut Level.
"I was looking for a place to serve and I wanted to come back north," he said.
Chestnut Level's vitality attracted him.
"It is vibrant and robust. The people have a genuine commitment. There's a real passion here that you sometimes don't see," he said. "This is where people belong and it's fun to be a part of it. … There is a sense of mission here to reach out to the community, and I thought it would be a good theological fit for me. I'm more evangelical and it feels right here."
He's also readjusting to being in a rural community.
"I went to visit a member of the congregation at the retirement home and when I stopped at the desk, they already knew who I was," the Rev. Dr. Hartman said.
He graduated from Gordon College in Massachusetts, and then from the Princeton Theological Seminary.
Befitting his bachelor's degree in health and physical education, he enjoys sports both as a spectator and as a participant.
"I exercise. I weight lift, do cardio and yoga, play tennis and basketball, and I golf," he said. He also watches football, basketball, and hockey.
"I also like to read, listen to music, and discuss current events," the Rev. Mr. Hartman said.
He's living with his sister in Lampeter while he looks for a house in the Quarryville area.
"I want to put roots down here," he said.