By Mary Ann Inman


CLINTON – It is refreshing to have young neighbors living next door to my house on Church Street. The family that resides in the Presbyterian Church home includes Pastor Paul Kucera, his wife of nearly 10 years, Devon, and their two sons, Nicholas, 3, and Evan, 1.

For now Devon’s occupation is full-time stay-at-home Mom but she is a talented and experienced florist.

For seven years, she worked at shops in Charleston, SC, Corpus Christi, Texas, and Austin, Texas. Devon enjoyed creating floral arrangements and found great satisfaction in the art.

Pastor Kucera spent most of the first part of his life in Portland, Oregon, where he attended Portland State University, and majored in English. Afterwards, he attended the University of Connecticut for an MA in American Literature.

Then Pastor Paul spent seven years at Michigan State University, where he completed doctoral work in American Literature.

After graduation, he taught at the College of Charleston (SC) for one year, and then at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi for three years, at which point God finally got him onto a path that led to seminary.

Kucera graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, in 2011.

Prior to coming to Clinton he served the Presbyterian Church in Delavan, Ill. (the other Delavan) for four years.

Pastor Paul noted, “My inspiration is all the people I see, persevering, hoping, and working hard to provide a brighter future for their children – there’s a very Christian message in that!  My main interest in studying and then teaching literature and composition was the way in which these creative acts fostered exploration of questions about meaning, purpose, beauty, wonder, hope, courage, and truth . . . for starters.”

“When God finally plunked me onto the path that led to becoming a pastor in the Presbyterian Church, I came to perceive that the training I had received and the work I had done up to that time would be assets for this work God had been preparing for me all along,” he added.

“The group responsible for finding a new pastor for the church reached out to me. When Devon and I began exploring the possibility, it seemed to us that God was encouraging us.

“We visited, and found Clinton to be both very similar to where we had been living, and also just different enough to offer added attractions.

“We like the number and variety of businesses that we find downtown – We especially love having an ice cream shop! The main difference we find is that highway 140 is much busier than Illinois Route 122!” explained Pastor Kucera.

He has learned that this life requires patience, gentleness, faith, hope, and love. The Pastor believes people can find these virtues in several ways, but for him the best, fullest, and most helpful source is God and what God has to say to everyone through the Bible.

Pastor Kucera concluded, “What makes me want to keep plugging away each day is my desire to guide others to this discovery.”

New Pastor

Mary Ann Inman photo

First Presbyterian Church recently welcomed Pastor Paul Kucera, his wife Devon, and their two sons, Nicholas, 3, and Evan, 1.