Late local pastor remembered fondly


GREENFIELD — John Paulson, former pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Greenfield, died Sept. 13 in Carmel. He was 81.

Paulson served in the U.S. Navy for 24 years and in Indiana state government for about 12.

During those years he and his family were active in various churches. He served as a Sunday School teacher, elder, parish associate and minister of visitation, among other roles, at Faith Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis. He was moderator of Whitewater Valley Presbytery, commissioner to the Synod of Lincoln Trails and as a commissioner to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA.

He attended Commissioned Lay Pastor training through the Synod of Lincoln Trails and became pastor of the First Presbyterian congregation in downtown Greenfield, serving there for 13 years before retiring in 2014.

The church later closed in July 2020, but people who were part of the congregation remember Paulson fondly.

“John was very caring, very inclusive, very dedicated, and just a great person to be around,” Dennis Whitson wrote in an email to the Daily Reporter.

“John was a very positive person,” recalled Jill Lyon. “He started a youth group in the church. A couple of the youth had started down the wrong roads in their lives. He took the time to work with them and gave them options to better themselves. He always gave you positive feedback and pushed you to be a better Christian.”

Survivors include Paulson’s wife of 59 years, Pat; two children; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.