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Minsters celebrate 50 years at local church

Posted at 5:37 PM, May 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-02 13:32:01-04
They are familiar faces to you if you have ever attended one eastside church. 
 
Larry and Mary Ellen Swartz both give spiritual messages to those who show-up on Sunday to Unity of Tucson, near Craycroft and Grant.
 
Now, their ministry has hit a milestone. On Sunday, the celebrated 50 years as staples in this local church. 
 
But, their special day - started like any other Sunday. They sung praise and those who filled the seats listened to the messages from the ministers. 
 
Those ministers - Larry and Mary Ellen Swartz. The church couple, celebrating that special 50-year milestone. 
 
"My intention, wherever we went, would be to stay and to build and to be apart of people's lives; generational things that are important," Larry Swartz said. 
 
That is an unusual intention, given most of those involved in ministries serve in spurts.
 
"Most ministries - the average life is about four years," explained Doris Stremel explained. 
 
Stremel is on the Board of Directors for Unity of Tucson and has been going to the church for more than 30 years. She tells KGUN9, it has been a privilege to be apart of this momentous ministry. 
 
"They've seen families form. They've performed baptisms, they performed marriages... On the same people and they go through life celebrating grandchildren. It's a true blessing," Stremel said. 
 
So, on Sunday - a celebration took place that was a half of a century in the making; where those two ministers got to do what they love each week. 
 
"People were warm and friendly and they came up with all kinds of embarrassing accolades actually," Swartz said as his wife laughed. "It was nice."
 
When KGUN9 asked what was next for the pair, they said retirement is not in their future. 
 
"I like to say, 'life is a mystery,'" Mary Ellen Swartz said. "You know, your just in the process of experiencing the mystery and uh, doing what seems next to do. 
 
Her husband chimed in by saying, "It's all good. It's all good."