Introduction to Pastor Carol Kirkpatrick
First Presbyterian Church of Kent, Washington

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From Pastor Carol's Desk

 

Carol is a woman of genuine spirit and we are impressed by her trust in God and faithfulness to His will for her life. She is compassionate, contemplative, engaging and a joy to be around. She has strong gifts of preaching, counseling, creativity and the ability to empower people to discover and use their gifts.

When asked what attracted her to Kent First, Carol responded that she appreciates our sense of community with each other, our focus on children and our love of music. She is our partner in ministry as our church searches for God's will.

Carol received a BA (Physical Ed. major, Health Ed. minor) from Western University in 1973. She received her Masters of Health Science in Health Education with a concentration in Wellness from Whitworth College in 1987. She attended the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, receiving her Masters of Divinity in 1991.

After graduating from Western Washington, Carol served for 7 years as a Physical Education and Health Instructor at Bethel High School in Spanaway. She was also the Head Coach for volleyball, tennis, and track teams during her tenure there. From 1982 to 1985, Carol was the Preschool Parent Coordinator for the Preschool Co-op Program of Spokane Community College. During the period of 1985 to 1987, she was a Health Educator for Group Health in Spokane. While attending the University of Dubuque, she was an instructor for Health and Physical Education at the University.

While attending seminary, Carol became acquainted with the church where she would begin her pastoral ministry. The church was Hanover Presbyterian Church in Illinois. She came to Hanover as a Student Pastor in 1989. Hanover was an elderly congregation of about 100 located in a rural farming town of 1,000. Before her arrival, the church was in danger of closing its doors. The permanent pastor had taken another call because the congregation could no longer afford a full-time Pastor. After graduation from seminary, Carol became a three-quarter-time interim Head Pastor. With Carol's encouragement and enthusiasm, the church grew in numbers, programs, and their involvement in mission. In 1994, she left a much healthier congregation then she had found five years earlier.

Carol's next call came in the town of Benton, Wisconsin. Located about 35 miles north of Hanover, Benton is a similar town in many ways. The call was also similar in that it was a difficult one. The church was Benton United Methodist. Geographical limitations and lack of Presbyterian openings led Carol to accept a call with the Methodist Church (although she remained a  PCUSA Pastor and active member of Blackhawk Presbytery). During this period she moderated Session for two Presbyterian churches that had Student Pastors.

The church in Benton had been through many changes in pastoral leadership creating challenges for Carol in gaining trust and assuring the congregation of her genuine care for them. Her personality, enthusiasm about her faith, compassion and leadership abilities helped her to build trusting relationships with the members.

Carol enjoys walking, hiking, cross-country skiing, tennis, water activities, and music. She has a particular special interest in reading about pioneer women.


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