On August 5, Brown Memorial’s congregation unanimously voted to welcome Michele Ward as our new Associate Pastor. Michele is scheduled to begin at Brown Memorial on Sept. 16. Her installation date will be set for this fall.
Michele comes to us from Broad Street Ministry in Philadelphia, where she is the social engagement minister and coordinator. She has a bachelor’s degree in English/Writing from Whitworth University, and a master of divinity from the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology.
June Fletcher-Hill, Chair of the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee, said that during her conversations with Michele’s references, each representing different periods of Michele’s life, certain words and themes showed up again and again—”relational,” “collaborative,” “confident,” “empathetic,” “a visionary,” “one who gets things done.”
“It was exciting to learn about the breadth of Michele’s experience as well as the type of person she is: one who is deeply dedicated to her call to ministry in an intentional, thoughtful way,” June said.
The following was shared about Michele in a brochure that was sent to the congregation July by the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee:
Michele grew up in the San Joaquin Valley in Modesto, California. She was the fifth generation in her family to live in that region. She comes from a long line of educators, pastors, farmers, and business owners. Her great-grandfather’s furniture store is still open today.
Embracing her ancestors’ wanderlust, Michele moved to the Pacific Northwest in college and stuck around to enjoy good coffee, excellent hikes, and mountainous skylines. It was in Seattle she met her husband, Matthew “Parker” Park, a fellow Whitworth graduate and performer.
Modesto gave Michele lessons on the importance of dreams, Seattle taught Michele resilience, and Philadelphia taught Michele the power of a meaningful invitation. Michele looks forward to what Baltimore will teach her!