The Kentuckiana Association of the United Church of Christ (UCC) called Pastor Marsha Jean Moors-Charles in August of 2010 to provide pastoral leadership for a new church start in Lexington, Kentucky. The UCC had been searching for a pastor in the Lexington area for several years.
After a 20-year career in accounting and human resources, in August of 2006 Marsha answered a call to ministry that she had felt as a teenager and enrolled at Lexington Theological Seminary. Marsha graduated with her M. Div. degree in May 2010 and was ordained into ministry on June 27, 2010 with co-sponsorship of Woodland Christian Church (DOC) in Lexington, Kentucky and First Congregational Church of San Jose, California (UCC) and United Discipleship Fellowship of San Jose (DOC).
Pastor Marsha has dual ministerial standing with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ. As a bi-vocational minister, Marsha juggles her ministerial role with ownership and management of a local accounting and client relations company.
Raised in a rural Southern Baptist Church, Marsha became interested in studying biblical scripture and theology in an effort to reconcile messages of exclusivity and rejection that she had heard in more conservative, traditional denominations. As her faith developed, Marsha had deep questions of how God works in the world and in the hearts and minds of believers and seekers alike.
In her words, Bluegrass UCC is “a welcoming place of worship and a community where we can all meet one another where we are on our faith journey and discern how God might be leading in our lives as individuals and as a church.”
As a pastor, Marsha feels very committed to advocacy for a variety of social justice issues in our community and in our world and believes “God’s Spirit will lead us as we listen, learn, and grow in faith so that we can extend God’s message of inclusive love, grace, hope and peace to all, and specifically, to those who have been traditionally rejected or turned off by organized religion or churches.”
Marsha lives in Lexington with her wife Brenda. They have two dogs, Tessa and Bogie, and an extended family. Since its inception in January 2011, Bluegrass UCC has become another part of that ‘family’ and Pastor Marsha feels “very humbled and grateful to be the pastor of Bluegrass UCC. God has great things in store for us — it is a message I have felt from the beginning of this process. Although starting a new church demands significant time and energy, every day, the call to begin this new faith community is affirmed over and over again — thanks be to God!”
Rev. Marsha J. Moors-Charles