Rev. Laura Sherwood
Interim Pastor / Head of Staff
Office Phone: 260-426-7421 ext: 107
Rev. Sherwood joined the First Presbyterian staff in the summer of 2015 as Interim Associate Pastor, and in March 2017 became Interim Senior Pastor and Head of Staff.
I grew up in the Presbyterian Church (USA), with a father who was Music Director of our neighborhood congregation and a mother who was active in ministries of teaching and nurture, with sensitivity to living, working and worshipping in communities of inclusion and equality of all people. After earning my degree in Political Science, with a Certificate in Russian and East European Studies, from the University of Cincinnati in my hometown, I went off into the world to try to find my place in it. This led me to a great adventure as an exchange student in Kharkov, Ukraine (formerly a republic of the Soviet Union) in 1991 and then to live and work as a teacher there from 1993-1994. Upon my return, I felt I was being called into ministry and entered the Master of Divinity program at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.
I was ordained Minister of the Word and Sacrament in 2000 and served my first Church in Cincinnati as Interim Associate Pastor. I then became the called and installed pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Decatur, Indiana. After my five years with that congregation, I found myself called to intentional Interim and Transitional ministry serving churches as Interim Pastor/Head-of-Staff and as Interim Associate throughout Northeast Indiana in the Presbytery of Whitewater Valley. I also have been a part of the Teaching Faculty for the denomination’s Interim/Transitional Ministry training at sites in Richmond, VA and St. Louis, MO since 2013.
I find great joy in ministry that helps congregations to reflect on who they are, who and what God is calling them to be in their communities, so they can seek their next installed pastor to be a true partner with them as they follow God’s vision for them into the future. I travel to Cincinnati regularly to spend time with my family (parents, stepparents, brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews) and to the west coast when possible to visit with extended family and friends. I love to read forensic murder mysteries, take care of animals, and explore new cultures and languages. I am also dedicated to the pursuit of social justice in every aspect of church and life so that all God’s children may see how much they are loved and valued – in every time and place.