With electric cars zipping around town and 5G internet being installed on every corner, it’s no surprise that the very pulpit at Eastern Shore Presbyterian Church, PCA, has also gone high tech …
With electric cars zipping around town and 5G internet being installed on every corner, it’s no surprise that the very pulpit at Eastern Shore Presbyterian Church, PCA, has also gone high tech — very high, indeed. On his first Sunday as the new Senior Pastor, Rev. Kyle Parker surprised and delighted the congregation, with the push of a button that silently raised the pulpit higher and higher until it finally adjusted to his 6”9” frame.
Laughter filled the sanctuary as Parker began his first sermon at the 33-year-old church atop the hill in Fairhope. The University of Colorado graduate received his Master of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary and spent the next few years planting new churches or serving with college campus ministries. For the past 15 years, Parker served as senior pastor at churches In Oregon and Spokane Washington.
After a steadfast search, impeded by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pastor Nominating Committee was led to hire Parker. Along with his wife Gretchen, who Parker said is an important part of his ministry, their teenagers Jack and Molly are looking forward to making Fairhope their new home. The Boulder native said, “The Eastern Shore is an unusual place because so many residents conscientiously want to be here. The city’s charm is inviting, and it has a different feel than other places, which is nice.”
Part of the Presbyterian Church in America, Eastern Shore Presbyterian has bucked the recent trend of declining church membership by actually adding new members during the pandemic. Supporting 35 missionaries in over 20 countries, they’ve also maintained their focus on outreach.
With basketballs punctuating the loaded bookshelves over his shoulder, the sports loving pastor said he especially values new members and looks forward to sharing a cup of coffee with them and answering any questions they may have.
Expertly filling the gap during the long search process, Associate Pastor Pat Davey led the congregation in worship and administrative duties while navigating the unknown COVID-19 situation. Under his leadership, new staff members were hired, safely distanced worship services were held, and youth programs flourished.
When asked what his first focus would be for his new congregation, Parker had many ideas but focused on the importance of pulling people together. “Small groups are important, and engagement with each other is essential. As a former church planter, I like to plan new programs, ask questions and listen to people.”
Offering both traditional and blended services on Sunday mornings, as well as a variety of activities throughout the week, the church also shares a campus with over 500 students of Bayshore Christian School, a ministry of the church since 2002. This creates a buzzing active environment and Parker has the energetic spirit to match the activity. “I look forward to identifying the needs of the congregation and serving in such a way that brings glory to God and people to Christ. “
Like the new adjustable pulpit, the world is full of ups and downs, but the members of Eastern Shore Presbyterian Church remain steady and welcome their new pastor with excitement and hope for the future.
Eastern Shore Presbyterian Church, PCA is located near the entrance to Rock Creek Subdivision on Hwy 98 in Fairhope. Sunday worship times are 8:15 and 11 a.m.