Stephen joined the pastoral staff of Asbury First in 2012 and became the Senior Minister in 2015. A lifelong Methodist, he entered ministry in 2004 in the hope of offering a voice for inclusion and justice. During his tenure, Asbury First has become a reconciling congregation (a network of United Methodist churches clear about LGBTQ inclusion) and has renewed its commitment to racial equity and justice. Regularly preaching and speaking around the country, Stephen has been the keynote speaker for the Rochester Citywide Martin Luther King Jr. celebration and received the Denman Award for Evangelism from the Upper New York Annual Conference.
Prior to his appointment at Asbury First, Stephen served as the minister of Kingston UMC in Kingston, NJ, which was designated during his time as a teaching congregation for young adults. He also served for four years as the associate minister of Park Ridge Community Church in Park Ridge, IL.
Stephen received his PhD in Practical Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. His dissertation put the rich theology of Howard Thurman in conversation with the worship practices of contemporary youth and young adults. Stephen has been named a Timothy Scholar by the United Methodist Foundation for Evangelism, was twice the recipient of a Dempster Fellowship through the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, and is a John Wesley Fellow. He attended seminary at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary on the campus of Northwestern University and currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.
Stephen grew up in Olathe, KS and attended Ohio Wesleyan University (Delaware, OH) where he received a BA in Theatre. He was active on the stage and in commercials prior to entering seminary. Stephen and his wife, Emily, have three children, Ellie, Charlie and Hannah. Stephen enjoys running, collecting Superman memorabilia, and teaching people how to yo-yo.
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Kathy joined the Asbury First staff in July 2015 after her residency as a chaplain at St. Mary’s hospital in San Francisco, California. Kathy grew up in New Jersey and attended Hampshire College where she studied the intertwining of psychology, literature, and religion. Between her undergraduate work and seminary, Kathy founded and managed for fifteen years, a small environmental consulting firm in Massachusetts. She attended Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School here in Rochester.
As Minister for Congregational Care, Kathy provides pastoral leadership in the areas of hospitality and on-going spiritual support. Kathy finds God in being with people throughout the ups and downs of their lives. Her deep and abiding relationship with God provides a constant source of strength, peace, and joy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has found a home in Zoom, where she continues leadership to many weekly groups, and where she has started several new groups. In her spare time, Kathy raises and breeds guinea pigs.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
Jackie, a native of Teaneck, NJ joined the Asbury First staff in August 2017. Prior to her arrival at Asbury First, she served as an Associate Minister at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Hackensack, NJ. From 2014-2015, while pursuing her academic studies, Jackie participated in field education opportunities as a student pastoral intern to the First Baptist Church of Princeton, NJ, and Hope Presbyterian Church of Memphis, TN.
Jackie received both a Master of Divinity (2016) and Master of Theology (2017) from Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS). Upon graduation, she received a Certificate in Black Church Studies, a Certificate in Women, Theology & Gender, and the 2016 Bryant M. Kirkland Award for Excellence in Practical Theology.
Jackie is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Human Development from the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester, and in her spare time enjoys traveling and reading.
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Mike joined the staff at Asbury First in August of 2013 as the youth minister. Mike grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, received a B.A. in Christian Education and Music (percussion) at Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA, and completed his M.Div. at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in 2017. Mike has a wife and two children, and loves to go on adventures. From geo-caching, to rock climbing, to mountain biking, it seems there is always a great reason to get outside and enjoy creation. The spirit of adventure also includes discovering new experiences, traveling, and trying new foods. As the Minister for Youth and Discipleship, Mike hopes that Asbury First is a place where everyone might be invited to partake in an adventure of faith. All are encouraged to engage, to listen, to question, and to help expand our understanding of what it means to come together as a diverse community seeking to do more good—even as we push the boundaries of our own comfort zones.
2 Timothy 1:7
...for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.
The Rev. Rachel Ann Dupont is excited to be joining the ministry team at Asbury First. Trained in Spiritual Direction, Congregational Formation, and New Faith Community Development, Rachel is passionate about guiding individuals, groups, and congregations in discerning and living out God’s unique call on their lives. She believes Christian Formation is all about living our professed values of love and grace, which transforms the world!
Baptized as a baby in the United Methodist Church, Rachel has never left. Rachel has lived her whole life in New York State and loves to explore this beautiful place with her family. She is a partner, a parent, a pastor, and a friend. She loves good food, fresh air, and reading memoirs.
Rev. Dupont is an ordained elder in the Upper New York Annual Conference, where she serves as the Coordinator for Annual Conference Worship, and as a delegate to General Conference. She has served as the pastor of four churches in Upper New York, as well as on the Oneonta District as a New Ministry Cultivator, and carries a high level of connectional and community participation. Rachel earned her M. Div from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York in 2010.
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.