As you all may know by now, Rev. Vicky Starnes has announced her retirement beginning on January 1, 2020. Our Staff-Parish Relations (SPRC) have been meeting with our Governing Board in the search for a pastor to fill Rev. Vicky’s place on the ministry leadership team. This group met to brainstorm things they felt important to share about Epworth with the District Superintendent, Dr. Sa, and Bishop Peggy Johnson. These items fell into three distinct categories: strengths, critical needs and expectations. A letter was sent to Dr. Sa and Bishop Johnson at the end of August.
SPRC has had two meetings with Dr. Sa and Bishop Johnson, early in October and just last week (the last week in September 2019) . At our first meeting we gave personal examples of why each of the strengths, critical needs and expectations were so important to Epworth. Dr. Sa and Bishop came back to Epworth this past Thursday with what they believe would be the best candidate for Epworth. The SPRC team agreed about this candidate.
Rev. Vicki Gordy-Stith has extensive credentials. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from the US Naval Academy in General Engineering, a Master of Divinity from Duke and a Doctor of Divinity from Drew Theological School. Her ministries have included being a co-pastor, pastor, district superintendent and director of connectional ministries. She will be our conference delegation lead at General Conference in 2020.
What struck the team most was her letter of introduction which included examples of inclusion, racial reconciliation, team work, leadership, restoration, healing and activism. She stated that her life’s mission is to “illumine, nurture, and heal the child of God in each person, particularly the spiritually marginalized, so that they experience the depth of God’s love for them in the core of their being and become free to love others in response.”
At the meeting last week, the Bishop also announced that Rev Bo Gordy-Stith will be joining our staff as an assistant pastor, effect July 1. This will be the first time in the history of Epworth that we will have a pastor couple leading our congregation. They are a dynamic, energetic team with sterling credentials. Rev Dr Vicki Gordy-Stith and Rev. Dr. Patrick Bowman (Bo) Gordy-Stith, have been married for 33 years. They have a 25-year old daughter and a 22-year old son. They also have a second son who was killed in 2018 at the age of 20.
Rev. Bo, as he is referred, also comes with impressive credentials. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from the US Naval Academy, a Master of Divinity from Duke and a Doctor of Ministry from Drew Theological School. He has been an associate pastor, co-pastor and pastor. He is currently the pastor at St Paul’s Church in Odessa, DE.
Please join us in welcoming the Gordy-Stiths to our ministry leadership team.