Deerfield Community Church is pleased to announce the arrival of our new Settled Pastor, Rev. Kurt Walker.
Pastor Kurt’s passion for ministry resides in his deeply held belief that all people are precious and worthy in God’s sight. He also holds a firm belief that God’s people, namely the church, are called to partner with God to bring about God’s will “on earth as it is in heaven.” He believes this is can best be accomplished when God’s people come to realize that we are, as the Apostle Paul wrote, “the living, breathing body of Christ in the world today.” He loves extemporaneous prayer and having the honor and privilege of being a non-anxious pastoral presence in the lives of those he has been called by God to serve through God’s church.
Pastor Kurt graduated from Bridgewater State University (B.S. in Psychology), and Andover Newton Theological School (M. Div.) with a concentration in Interfaith dialogue and Worship and the Arts. He currently serves on the Alumni Board of Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School. He was selected to participate in the founding cohort of the Chautauqua Clergy Leadership Program (2014-2016), having the privilege of honing his skills as a public theologian and social gospel preacher at the feet of some of the country’s greatest theologians and activists.
He previously served God through God’s people as the first Settled Pastor of Chapel Street Congregational Church (founded in 2012) in Lincoln, Rhode Island since January of 2016. During his time in Rhode Island, he successfully led the initiative to make the then Rhode Island Conference Open and Affirming and successfully led the initiative to require Racial Justice Training for all UCC clergy in the Rhode Island Conference and Association, every three years. He also served as the Director of the Religious Coalition for a Violence-Free Rhode Island, partnering with over 150 clergy of various faith traditions, as well as other faith-based non-profits, to work on state legislation initiatives including gun safety, criminal justice reform, and abortion rights. Pastor Kurt also served as a member of the Coordinating Committee for the Rhode Island Chapter of the Poor People’s Campaign, the Board of Directors and Executive Council of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches, and was a member of the Rhode Island Association’s Committee on Ministry for the United Church of Christ. He was trained as a Crisis Counselor with Crisis Text Line (crisistextline.org) and served as a per diem Hospice Chaplain with @Home Healthcare based out of Exeter, Rhode Island.
Prior to serving in Rhode Island, Pastor Kurt served God through God’s people at Faith United Church of Christ in Indianapolis, Indiana from 2010 through 2015. During that time, he served on the Committee on Ministry for the Southeast Association of the Indiana/Kentucky Conference of the United Church of Christ, helping to establish a Multiple Paths to Ministry curriculum for individuals who felt Called to ordained Christian ministry but who could afford the cost of going to seminary and obtaining an M.Div.
Pastor Kurt has been asked to be the Student Pastor (2008) and the Pastor of the Week (2016) on Star Island. Pastor Kurt was honored to have been a contributing author to the Rev. Molly Phinney Baskette’s book, “Bless This Mess.”
Prior to ordained ministry, he worked as a Residential Psych. Counselor for Adolescents in crisis, and he worked for eleven years as a Network Administrator for the Cardiovascular Department at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Pastor Kurt has enjoyed singing most of his life, having started in the Children’s Choir in church (Central Square Congregational, Bridgewater, MA) which culminated when he was a lead tenor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus (house chorus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra) for eleven years, having performed in Boston’s Symphony Hall, several engagements in Carnegie Hall, and concert halls throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. He was blessed to have sung background vocals on James Taylor’s album, “One Man Band.” He still enjoys singing in church. He wishes the Red Sox could play year-round, loves to read, cook, and play games. Yes, it’s true, he dresses for comfort, which includes Hawaiian shirts.
He has young adult twins, Madeleine, and Benjamin (2001) from a previous marriage and enjoys spending as much time as he can with his life partner and companion in ministry, Jessica Allen.
On Sunday, Jan. 10 the Deerfield Community Church congregation will meet via Zoom following worship to vote to call Pastor Kurt Walker as our next Pastor. For more information, please see the eDCC or contact Moderator Cindy Bradley, or any member of the Search Committee.