SIDNEY — The Rev. Carol Pierson was installed as pastor of Sidney’s First Presbyterian Church in a ceremony held recently at the church. Pierson is the 19th pastor of Sidney’s oldest congregation. The ceremony was held on the 11th anniversary of Pierson’s ordination.
Local attorney and First Presbyterian Ruling Elder Scott Kelly welcomed the congregation and guests. Kelly then introduced the speakers who would be taking part in the ceremony.
The Rev. Terry Kukuk, executive presbyter of the Presbytery of the Miami Valley, brought greetings from Presbytery. “We celebrate today God bringing Carol to this congregation,” Kukuk said.
Commissioned Ruling Elder Lora Manon of the Tontogany Presbyterian Church and Clerk of Session of the First Presbyterian Church of Bryan, Ohio, used as scripture passages from Mark and Corinthians celebrating the harvest season.
“Although Sidney and Shelby County are manufacturing powerhouses,” Manon said, “Shelby County ranks eighth among Ohio’s counties in agricultural production. As an important part of her ministry, Carol will be planting seeds and watching them grow.”
“Some of us in the audience are old enough to remember when The Byrds released ‘Turn! Turn! Turn!’ in 1965,” Manon said. “Just as the song suggests, everything has a season. There is a time to plant and a time to reap that which is planted. Carol will be planting seeds in Sidney for a harvest we cannot yet see.”
Manon noted she had met Pierson on a couple of previous occasions and found her to be a naturally curious individual. “I found myself wondering if there would be a place in the Miami Valley Presbytery where Carol would be called. Indeed there was, and it was Sidney!”
The Rev. Sarah Sparks-Franklin, moderator of the Presbytery of the Miami Valley and pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Springboro conducted the installation ceremony. She asked Pierson a number of constitutional questions all of which Pierson answered affirmatively.
Kelly then asked a series of constitutional questions of the congregation, including whether they would support Pierson in her ministry. All of the congregational constitutional questions were answered affirmatively as well.
The Rev. Lynn Bova, the stated clerk of the Presbytery of the Miami Valley, invited those present to make an offering for the benefit of the Miami Valley Presbytery Committee on Preparation for Ministry. “The funds will be used to assist men and women in their preparation for the ministry, and to provide for the unmet needs of clergy and church professionals in times of difficulty.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Pierson offered a blessing to those in attendance. Those in attendance then enjoyed refreshments, provided by the Deacons of the First Presbyterian Church.
Pierson grew up in Jonesborough, Tennessee. Jonesborough is the oldest municipality in Tennessee, and her family still resides there.
Prior to coming to Sidney, Pierson has served congregations in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and North Carolina. She most recently served as the interim pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Bryan, Ohio. Prior to her ordination, she served as a Christian educator in churches in Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee.
Pierson received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Milligan College in Milligan, Tennessee in 1990. She received a Master of Arts in Religion from the Emmanuel School of Religion in Johnson City, Tennessee in 1997. She then earned a Master of Divinity from the Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia in 2011 and a Master of Arts in Religious Education from the Union Presbyterian Seminary in 2020.
“Sidney feels like home to me,” Pierson said recently. “I enjoy learning about the places in which I live. I’ve already taken the opportunity to meet community leaders and learn more about social programs that serve the community.”
“From the United Way to Jobs and Family Services to Catholic Social Services to the local police and fire departments, I’ve been impressed with the efforts the community takes to care for local citizens,” Pierson said. “The scope of local services is nothing short of outstanding.”
“The congregation of First Presbyterian has found ways to contribute to that community-wide effort to serve. Now in its 16th year, the Turkey Trot has raised thousands of dollars to help feed the hungry. The ‘Munch Bunch’ provides weekend meals for local school children. The ‘Blessing Box’ outside the church is certainly utilized by those in the neighborhood. I look forward to working with the congregation to find additional ways our congregation can give back to the community.”
The First Presbyterian Church will be celebrating her Bicentennial in 2025. First Presbyterian is the oldest congregation in Sidney. The current church building is the third to serve the congregation. It stands on one of the lots originally set aside by Charles Starrett for a house of worship, and is the only congregation still located on their original site.
The church is located at 202 N. Miami Ave., Sidney. Sunday worship service begins at 10 a.m.