by Pam StaskCorrespondentStow -- After 40 years in the ministry, the Rev. Jack Yeager of United Methodist Church in Stow is retiring June 30.Yeager, 63, has served as senior pastor to the church for 13 years. He will be honored during a tribute service June 24 at 9:30 a.m. The United Methodist Church in Stow will welcome its new pastor, the Rev. Scott Hayward, July 1.Yeager would not comment on his retirement.The service is just one of the tributes to the pastor and his wife of 39 years, Judye. The Yeagers attended an Akron Aeros game with members of the congregation June 8, and their son Jeff threw out the first pitch.On June 9, an open house was hosted in Yeager's honor at Kent State University. The event, organized by Jerry Peak and Laura Root, served as a tribute to the retiring minister. During the open house, a slide show of Yeager's life was shown and several speeches were made in his honor. Attendees also offered several gifts to the Yeagers, which included a scrapbook filled with cards and messages from the congregation and a trip to a bed and breakfast, said Cathy Schindler, the church's administrative assistant.Since arriving at the Stow parish in 1994, Yeager has made a significant impact on his congregation and church employees."I've learned what it means to be a Christian from Jack. He gives his all to everyone, whether it's helping someone with gas money to get home, or visiting someone in the hospital, or listening to problems from his congregation," said Schindler. "I will miss his sense of humor and his understanding."Julie Stuneck, director of music for the church, added, "He is a great and supportive boss and we will miss him."Yeager, a Martins Ferry native, has worked in parishes throughout Ohio, including churches in North Royalton and Mansfield. He graduated from the Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill., in 1970.According to Schindler, Yeager is the recipient of numerous awards for community service and leadership. He also has been a member of ministerial associations in Austintown, North Royalton and Stow throughout his career. As for retirement plans, Yeager and wife are planning to move to Kent, said Schindler.E-mail: stowsentry@recordpub.comPhone: 330-688-0088