Gas Saver Pastor

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With gasoline prices hitting new records, how would you like to drive right by the gas station without stopping? Mic McGuire can do just that—and there’s a deeper message behind his electric car. Reed Galin reports.

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(Locator: Emporia, Kansas)

Most cars guzzle high-priced gasoline and pollute the air, not to mention the noise they make.

But Mic McGuire’s electric Beetle glides down the road almost silently … and doesn’t use a drop of gas.

The Rev. Mic McGuire/Grace United Methodist Church: “I think a lot of people are really tired of putting three dollars a gallon of gasoline into their car.”

The pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in Emporia, Kansas, McGuire spent about six-thousand dollars converting a rusty used car to run on 72 volts of electricity. He was motivated by the war in Iraq.

The Rev. Mic McGuire/Grace United Methodist Church: “We really do need to get away from our dependence on foreign oil.”

The electric Beetle’s top speed is more than 50 miles an hour, and it travels up to 30 miles between charges.

The Rev. Mic McGuire/Grace United Methodist Church: “I’m spending probably three to six cents per mile.”

McGuire’s environmental example inspires other church members. Melinda Groves now uses fluorescent light bulbs, and bought a lawn mower that doesn’t pollute.

Melinda Groves/Member, Grace United Methodist Church: “If a bunch of individuals do something, we can make a difference.”

Lola Collinge wants to get rid of foam plates and cups in the kitchen to keep from clogging up landfills.

Lola Collinge/Member, Grace United Methodist Church: “I think we want to leave it for our future generations so that they won’t wonder ‘Mama, mama, what’s a tree?’”

The church also recycles printer cartridges. Even the exit signs save energy by using L-E-D lights. Tony Tollett helped McGuire with electrifying the car.

Tony Tollett/Member, Grace United Methodist Church: “We’re just choking ourselves to death. We’re killing the environment and everything else.”

McGuire says his bright yellow Beetle is more than a money saver. It’s a symbol.

The Rev. Mic McGuire/Grace United Methodist Church: “I don’t think that this will be the answer to end all of our pollution problems. I just think it is one way in which I personally can be more responsible about taking care of the planet.”


Pastor McGuire believes electric cars could also be ideal for students. His 17-year-old daughter says it’s fun to drive with her friends.

For more information, contact Grace United Methodist Church at 620-342-2240 or
email the church office at

Also, see: Ministers promote environmental stewardship