We Are About Relationships
Dear Friends in Christ,
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior! I wanted to reach out to each of you just to express my deep joy and excitement about coming to work with your wonderful staff and congregation there at Christ UMC in July. Having worked as a District Superintendent for the past six years, I have had the opportunity of getting to know a lot about many of the churches in the Tennessee Conference, and Christ is one which stands out as a vital, missionally engaged, welcoming congregation. What a privilege to be a part of this kind of church!
I have been ordained in the United Methodist Church since 1977, coming out of the Holston Conference where I grew up in a parsonage family. It was there that I met my husband, Barry who grew up in Pennington Gap, Virginia. We attended seminary at Vanderbilt Divinity School, returned to the Holston Conference after graduation to serve churches, then in 1981, moved back to Nashville where Barry began his work as a chaplain, then later as director of Pastoral Services at Vanderbilt Hospital, a work he continued for 32 years. Four years ago, Barry took early retirement from Vanderbilt and began serving two small churches in Smyrna. In the Tennessee conference, I have served as an associate pastor at Donelson Heights, pastor of College Grove and Epworth churches in Williamson County (where we lived for 18 years and our children attended schools K-12), and senior pastor of Madison Street in Clarksville. Ministry, for us, is an adventure of building wonderful relationships which enable us to live life in the abundant way Christ proclaimed. Both Barry and I have been truly blessed on this journey.
As many of you may have heard, our son Ben, at age 34, died in March. This has been a difficult season of grief, but we continue to trust our journey and Ben’s into the faithful hands of God. We have been greatly strengthened by the prayers of so many, including the prayers of the people there at Christ. We thank you. Our younger son, Gavin, lives in Denver with his spouse, Yuefeng. Gavin is a project manager and IT specialist for the Denver Botanic Garden. Yuefeng is an accountant for a nonprofit organization housed at the University of Denver.
Once again, let me just say how thrilled I am for the opportunity to come and serve as your senior pastor. I look forward to meeting each of you and finding new ways to enter into the next chapter of the story of Christ UMC!
Grace and peace,
LeNoir H. Culbertson
LeNoir Hilten Culbertson grew up in the Holston Conference as a pastor’s child (PK). She received her M.Div and D.Min degrees from Vanderbilt Divinity School. LeNoir has served the following appointments: Asbury/Mt. Wesley Charge (Holston Conf.), Chaplain Nashville V.A. Hospital, Donelson Heights, College Grove, Epworth, Madison Street. In 2011 LeNoir received the honor of becoming the Murfreesboro District Superintendent, where she served until her recent appointment to Christ UMC. She is married to Rev. Barry Culbertson; they live in Murfreesboro. LeNoir and Barry have two adult sons: Gavin, who is married and lives in Denver, and Ben, who unfortunately passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in March.