We are excited to welcome Pastor Ian Strickland and his wife Kelly to our church family! Pastor Ian will officially be starting his ministry here on March 1st at our Nast Community location. Pastor Ian and Kelly are both profoundly excited to step into a new ministerial capacity at Hyde Park Community U.M.C and within the Over-the-Rhine area of Cincinnati.
Ian is coming back to his home state of Ohio from Durham, NC, where he has been living for the past five years. Originally living in Durham for seminary at Duke Divinity School where he earned his Master of Divinity, Ian stayed an additional two and a half years as the director of a prison ministry called Project TURN. Project TURN partners with Duke Divinity School to provide graduate level seminary courses inside prison walls. Half of the students in each class are seminary students, the other half are incarcerated students. During his time at Project TURN, Ian gained valuable insight in how to create spaces where two very different and separated groups of people could encounter each other as peers and classmates. The reconciling and dignifying work of Project TURN will continue to form Ian’s ministry as he enters into ministry in Cincinnati.
For the past three and a half years Ian has also been able to serve in a leadership role at a United Methodist church plant in Durham called CityWell. On a practical level, Ian was able to preach, serve on the leadership team, participate in church formation meetings where they began to shape the identity of the church plant, and stay in a mentored relationship with the pastor of the church. On a deeper level, Ian was able to learn important practices for starting a church seeking to be multi-cultural. Similar to Project TURN, CityWell taught Ian that there is a level of intentionality required in developing a church that seeks to dismantle dividing walls among various groups of people. Across socio-economic, racial, age, gender, and other barriers, Ian began developing practices of humility and empathy on a far deeper level than he had experienced before. Ian is excited to carry these practices with him into a pastoral role.
Everyone is invited to attend a reception to welcome Pastor Ian and Kelly Strickland following the 9:30 am service at Nast Community Church on Sunday, March 1st.