Sunday we welcome Rev. Christopher McCreight to be our new pastor. Chris has been received with excitement by the search committee, the church board, and the congregation, which voted to extend the call to “by acclamation”.
Our search committee found Chris right across the street. His wife Jennifer is a professor of Education at Hiram College, and on the board of Little Village. Their daughter Linden is also at Little Village. So you can see that Chris is already deeply embedded in our community and already a friend.
Chris grew up in Tallmadge and the Stow church and came to Hiram College, graduating along with Jen in 2003. He earned his Master of Divinity degree at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, in Atlanta, finishing in 2006. He has held several ministry positions in both parish and university, and most recently has been the pastor of Pilgrim Christian Church in Chardon. He has also begun serving Hiram College as its chaplain and will continue to serve both the church and the college, linking the two historically connected institutions in new and creative ways.
Chris says in his candidate profile that “Prayer often unfolds through walking, which provides the time and space to my spirit to breathe and listen.” When prompted to describe his gifts, Chris says, “One of my gifts for ministry rests in an ability to initiate, nurture, and sustain meaningful relationships. I believe that the divine image rests within each of us and relationships offer us a broader sense of the sacred.” Further, “I feel that I have a gift to create opportunities for individuals and the community to engage with one another and discover the sacred among us.” He says about his preaching, “There is within my preaching an invitation to take up the Word from the author and take it out of the church and into our homes, schools, and neighborhoods. Preaching – through the presence of the Spirit – is to lead to transformation.”
Chris has always expressed himself through a variety of pop music bands, and we also expect to get to know his dog and his chickens.