Welcome Rev. Roy Sharpe
By the Rev. Dr. Kathryn McLean
In October, the Call Commission of the Presbytery of St. Augustine welcomed the Rev. Sharpe again into the life and ministry of our presbytery to serve as a part time Stated Supply pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Gainesville. He previously served this presbytery as Interim Minister/Head of Staff at First Presbyterian Church in Lake City and briefly at St. Giles Presbyterian Church in Orange Park.
Roy’s excitement about returning to ministry after a break to deal with a health crisis last May – and the Covenant PC’s enthusiasm about Roy’s expertise, presence, and energy is palpable! His main goal is to help foster a renewed spirit and energy in the life and ministry of the congregation. Roy cherishes the stimulation and rekindling of ministry and feels grateful to have been called to serve along the saints at Covenant PC. One tenet of his outlook about small churches is that he thinks it important is to realize that “not every church needs to be like 1st church. Bloom where you are planted, be like you are and you don’t have be the same church as another church.”
Most interim ministers began serving in that capacity later in their vocational lives. Not the Rev. Roy Sharpe!
Early on in Rev. Sharpe’s ministry, he was fascinated and motivated by Rev. Loren Meade’s vision and call for specialists (i.e. Interim Ministry specialists) in the church to help strengthen local congregations. (Rev. Meade, through his ministry in the Alban Institute was also an educator, consultant and author who worked to strengthen religious institutions, especially local congregations). So – including seminary training at both Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and McCormick Theological Seminary, Roy trained in interim ministry, and Peter Steinke’s “Healthy Congregations” training, and has served many churches as an interim minister since, most recently in Central Florida Presbytery.
Roy and his wife of 28 years – Harolyn- have lived in the Fleming Island area for many years, and as in previous calls, Roy will commute to Covenant PC several times a week and as needed. According to Roy, Harolyn is a wonderful listener and has encouraged him to “write the book” about what he’s learned in interim ministry. Maybe we as a presbytery can encourage him to do the same!
Stewardship development has been an area that Roy has provided leadership for in his previous presbytery (Central Florida) and he has agreed to be available to meet with and speak to seminarians and ministers who are considering interim ministry as a specialized form of ministry. Roy values his relationships with the presbytery staff he’s served with before and looks forward to the same in our presbytery.
And a fun fact about Roy…early in his vocational life he built a house by himself except for hiring a few crews to do a couple things – he educated himself about how to build a house, and then built it! Welcome back Roy and Harolyn! We’re excited to minister alongside of you!