Members of First Congregational Church of Portland have chosen Rev. April Barrett as their fulltime pastor to replace Rev. Marilyn Danielson, who retired earlier this year after 20 years of service.
Rev. Barrett was lead pastor at New Hope Free Methodist Church in Canton, Michigan, and has served as lead pastor in the American Baptist denomination. Since her ordination in 2008, besides preaching and leading worship services she has coordinated music and church leadership teams that included ministries for women and children. A graduate of Michigan State University, Pastor April served as the training director for Community Bible Study in Jackson, Michigan that served 150 adults and 80 children.
She and her husband Patrick, also an ordained minister, have served as cross-cultural missionaries through the Free Methodist World Missions. What began as 30-day mission trips to the Dominican Republic was followed by a two-year stint in Japan and five years of service in Costa Rica.
Pastor April believes in the role of the church in addressing social issues. “I was drawn to First Congregational because the church seeks to reach its own members but also opens its arms to the Portland community,” she said. “I firmly believe those who call themselves followers of Jesus must live out His earthly example by advocating and touching the lives of those often ignored and excluded by society.”
Married for 29 years, the Barretts will live in the church parsonage. Empty nesters, they are the parents of two adult daughters.
Worship service at the church, located at 421 E. Bridge Street in Portland, is Sunday morning at ten o’clock. Monday evening service at six o’clock will follow the Monday Night Community Meal, which resumes in September.
Submitted by Tom Huggler, FCC Moderator