A Message From Pastor Rob

Please watch this excerpt from Pastor Rob's February 7 sermon for more information on the upcoming pastoral transition. You may also click the button below to read Pastor Rob's February 8 enote.

Meet Pastor Emily

Please watch this video greeting from our incoming pastor, Emily Moore-Diamond. You may also click the buttons below to watch two sermons and a benediction from Pastor Emily.

Questions for Pastor Emily

The wee ones are wondering! Watch the video to see what some of our children want to know about Pastor Emily. Then click the button below for more questions and answers with our incoming pastor.

Meet Pastor Jeff

Please watch this video greeting and get to know our incoming associate pastor Jeff Harrison and his wife, Alacia. Then click the button below to find more questions and answers from Pastor Jeff.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please refer to the FAQ's below for information about the pastoral transition. Check back often, as updates will be posted as soon as they are available.

Who decides who will be Ebenezer’s Pastor?

In the United Methodist Church, pastors are appointed by the Bishop. After Pastor Rob discerned he was departing vocational ministry, our District Superintendent, Rev. Dr. Charles Bates, worked with members of our church known as the Staff Parish Relations Committee to discern the gifts and graces needed for our next pastor. The Bishop then worked with our Superintendent to locate the next lead pastor, the Rev. Emily Moore-Diamond.

Who will be the next lead pastor at Ebenezer?

Rev. Emily Moore-Diamond has been appointed by Bishop Sharma Lewis to be the next lead pastor at Ebenezer. Pastor Emily comes to our church with 30 years of ministry experience, both as a staff member and as clergy. She grew up in Halifax County, Virginia and is married to Scott, a senior policy advisor in the field of international trade. She has a stepson, David, who is a student at James Madison University. Pastor Emily currently serves Aldersgate UMC, a large church in Alexandria, Virginia and has previously served churches in Richmond, Harrisonburg, on the Northern Neck and in Northern Virginia. Pastor Emily received her undergraduate degree from Bridgewater College and later attended Union Theological Seminary in Richmond. She spent a year serving as a chaplain with Mary Washington Hospital. As Pastor Rob shared in the introduction to her video welcome, Pastor Emily has born tremendous fruit throughout her ministry career, helping churches grow in worship and mission.  In her down time, she loves to run and read.

Why is Pastor Rob leaving?

Pastor Rob began discerning a call on his life over a year ago that he was being led to a new vocation. He spoke with Conference and Church leaders and enlisted the support of a counselor to help him discern. While he is not yet certain what the next step is for his family, he has agreed to follow that call on his life.

Is COVID-19 a factor in his departure?

The short answer is no. Though the last few months have been difficult for all of us, we remain hopeful we will emerge this year back into fully interactive worship and ministry. As the church begins that process, it will make sense to have the next leader in place to assist in helping define the future missions and ministries at Ebenezer.

When will Pastor Rob leave?

All United Methodist Pastors transition at the same time. Pastor Rob’s last day will be June 13 and our new lead pastor will begin on July 4. We are grateful to Pastor Monica for providing continuity during this time.

Will Pastor Monica remain at Ebenezer?

Yes. Pastor Monica will be appointed to Ebenezer this summer for her third year of ministry with us. However, her ministry focus will be new. With the help of grants from our conference, Pastor Monica will begin leading the expansion of the ministry outlined in our Focus 2025 vision, the NOVA Missional Hub, offering opportunities for worship, discipleship, and mission across multiple communities. She’ll be sharing more about this throughout the spring.

Why are we moving from two pastors to three?

As Pastor Monica begins work with the Missional Hub, the church will add an associate pastor to accomplish the ministry she is currently fulfilling. This centers on supporting our Family Ministries and congregational care.

Who will be our new associate pastor?

Rev. Jeff Harrison has been appointed as our new associate pastor at Ebenezer. Pastor Jeff comes to us from West Austintown First United Methodist Church in Austintown, Ohio, where he has served as lead pastor for the past five years. He is married to Alacia and they have one son, Xavier, and are expecting a baby daughter in August. Pastor Jeff grew up in Northeastern Ohio and graduated from Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio with a B.A. in Religion with a concentration in Practical Theology. He then earned a Masters of Divinity degree with a concentration in Practical Theology and Youth Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. In his free time, he enjoys walking his dog, Sampson, and cheering on the Cleveland Browns.

In his sermon, Pastor Rob discussed wrestling with anxiety and depression. If I feel the same way, where can I go for help?

If you feel that you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression, please know that help is available. Consult your doctor or a mental health professional as soon as possible. Ebenezer’s Biblical Counselor, Keith Priest, offers counseling free of charge. Visit ebenezerumc.org/counseling to schedule a session or learn more.

I have a question that was not answered on this page. Where can I get more information?

If you have a question about Ebenezer’s pastoral transition that was not answered above, please email our Pastors’ Administrative Assistant, Jen Shoup, using the button below.

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