The Christian Church in Ohio is delighted to invite you to participate in a Regional Church Celebration and the Installation Service for our Regional Pastor and President, the Rev. Allen V. Harris. The celebration will take place on Saturday, October 23rd at 2 p.m. and will be accessible both in person (with COVID protocols in place) and online. The General Minister and President for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada, the Rev. Teresa Hord Owens, will be our special guest preacher. The theme for the service is “The Lord Is Near: Rejoice! Do Not Worry. Keep on.” Based on Philippians 4: 4-9.
Reverend Harris was called to the position last spring and began his tenure April 1st. Working with the Regional Church Council, Regional Elders, and Regional Staff he is responsible for the nurture, support, and equipping of 150 congregations, over 300 clergy, and innumerable lay leaders, and oversees the staff and programs for Camp Christian, the retreat and conference center located near Magnetic Springs, Ohio. His mandate also includes helping the Regional Church envision new and innovative ways of fulfilling the mission and ministry unique to the Christian Church in Ohio.
Reverend Allen V. Harris is a native of Roswell, New Mexico and grew up in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), having served in leadership in his local youth group and church, as well as in Area, Regional, and General Youth Councils. He received a B.S. in Religious Education at Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma and his M.Div. with a concentration in Christian Education at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas. He has served congregations in Grapevine, Texas, New York City, New York, and Cleveland, Ohio. Immediately prior to being called to the Christian Church in Ohio Rev. Harris served as the Regional Minister of the Christian Church Capital Area, which includes Maryland, Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, Delaware, and a small portion of West Virginia.
The Installation Service will be a festival of celebration of the life and vitality of the Christian Church in Ohio and leaders representing many different facets of the laity, clergy, and ministry groups across the life of the church will be sharing in the liturgy. Since this is a festival, everyone is invited to wear bright colors and fun patterns. Clergy are invited to robe if they wish and wear their most colorful, festive stole (no specific color is requested). An offering will be received, virtually and in person, to support the Regional Church’s 2021 Renewal Initiative specified for the Operating Fund.
Reverend Owens will lead the service of installation as well as preach for the service. Rev. Teresa “Terri” Hord Owens was elected as the General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in July 2017. She is the first person of color and second woman to lead the denomination. A descendant of one of the oldest African-American free settlements in Indiana and a Disciple since young adulthood, Rev. Owens was dean of students at the University of Chicago Divinity School and pastor of First Christian Church of Downers Grove, IL prior to her election.
Rev. Owens’ resume includes more than 20 years in corporate America leading diverse teams in data management in healthcare and other industries before she entered seminary. After ordination, she served 15 years at the University of Chicago Divinity School, shepherding a varied student body in both background and theology. She received her bachelor’s degree in Government/Afro-American studies from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA and her master of divinity from the University of Chicago Divinity School, Chicago, IL.
We hope that you will join us either virtually or in person for this wonderful celebration! The service will be live streamed at https://genderroadcc.com/livestream/ and simultaneously on the congregation’s Facebook and YouTube page. It will be shared on the Christian Church in Ohio’s Facebook Page after the event.
All persons in attendance at the Installation Service will require vaccination. We will also be following all guidelines for masks and social distancing throughout the event.
The address for the church is:
Gender Road Christian Church
5336 Gender Rd
Canal Winchester, OH 43110