The Rye Presbyterian Church has announced the selection of new co-pastors to fill the vacant pastor position at the church. On September 15 the congregation voted unanimously (and to a standing ovation) to approve the recommendation of the search committee to call the Reverend Dan Love and the Reverend John Miller as co-
pastors. Reverends Love and Miller will officially begin their ministry on November 1, 2013. A formal installation ceremony will held sometime in January.
Prior to beginning the search for a new pastor, the church went through an exhaustive self-evaluation “mission study” to identify how the church could best live out its divine calling and what credentials would be required of a new pastor to lead the church to that end. After that process was concluded, the church spent the next ten months on comprehensive national search that identified over 200 qualified candidates for the position. It was ironic that after having conducted a search across all corners of the US the new co- pastors ultimately would come from the local Westchester area.
The Rev. Dr. John Miller previously served as the pastor of Hitchcock Presbyterian Church in Scarsdale NY. Prior to the Hitchcock Church John served as Pastor for 23 years in San Antonio and Dallas. In addition to strong church leadership skills, John also has deep expertise in youth ministry and adult education. John is regarded as one of the most exceptional leaders in the Hudson River Presbytery, serving as co-moderator of the Committee on Ministry. According to John, he likes to deliver sermons with “compassion, biblical insight and contemporary application, moving listeners to consider how to live a more authentic Christian life”.The Rev. Dan Love is well known to the Rye community. He has held the position of Associate Pastor of the Rye Presbyterian Church for the past 16 years. RPC’s renowned youth program is an outgrowth of Dan’s creative knack for shepherding young people in matters of faith and everyday living. Rev. Love has helped lead the church through several previous transitions and has gained the respect and admiration of the congregation for his steadfast dedication to the church.
While it is a model of ministry that has long been a part of the Presbyterian denomination, the co-pastor model is new for RPC. Initially the search committee had focused its search for a singular “head of staff” candidate. Ultimately they concluded that the co-pastor model with these two gifted pastors working in tandem offered the most powerful and exciting leadership platform to move RPC forward in the years to come. Having met and worked together at the Hudson River Presbytery, Dan and John developed a mutual respect for each other as well as a strong collegial relationship. According to both Rev. Love and Miller, the two pastors felt a deep, heart felt calling to serve together as co-pastors, not just for any church, but specifically for Rye Presbyterian Church.
“Having felt the hand of God at work from the very beginning of our conversations about this model of ministry, we are thrilled to be looking to the future of Rye Presbyterian Church as partners in leadership! As we partner with the strength of RPC’s staff, lay leadership and congregation, we are confident that God’s dreams for this church will become reality: a community gathered by God’s grace, growing in faith and love, and sent into the world to be a blessing to all.”
For more information about Rye Presbyterian Church visit their website at
www.ryepc.com or contact the church office at 914-967-0842
Bios of the new pastors follows:
Rev. Dr. John W. Miller
John’s gifts of ministry and personal qualities will serve RPC well. Over a 23-year period, John has led three diverse churches, embodying a Christian faith in action we desire in our church leaders. John’s warm, congenial personality and inclusive, servant-style leadership encourage others onward in faith to make a difference in their local communities and beyond. Likewise, his sermons are delivered with compassion, biblical insight and contemporary application, moving listeners to consider how to live a more authentic Christian life. Compounding his pastoral leadership, John is regarded as one of the most exceptional administrative leaders in the Hudson River Presbytery, serving as co- moderator on the Committee on Ministry. Adult education and youth
ministry are areas of deep expertise and interest to John. Finally and importantly, John feels a strong, Spirit-led calling to serve RPC as co-pastor.
What does John love? “...to interact with and listen to people, to assist them in ways that my gifts and skills will allow; and to equip others so that the body of Christ, the Church, is built up to do the work to which it has been called.”
John was raised in San Jose, California, the youngest of five siblings, and graduated from Pioneer High School in 1974. He received a degree in Religious Studies from California State University, Hayward and entered San Francisco Theological Seminary from which he earned a Master of Divinity degree. While Pastor/Head of Staff of the University Presbyterian Church (300 members) in San Antonio, he earned his Doctor of Ministry degree from McCormick Theological Seminary.
John was ordained in 1982 coincident with becoming Associate Pastor for youth ministry and education at Chula Vista Presbyterian Church (300 members) in California. His other calls were as Associate Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church (1900 members) in Fort Worth, Texas and pastor of the NorthPark Presbyterian Church (560 members) in Dallas, Texas, and his current call at Hitchcock Presbyterian Church (460 members) in Scarsdale. John has served on many presbytery and national task forces and committees. His continuing education programs have included pastoral counseling, Stephen Ministry leadership, church growth, visioning and evangelism.
John and his wife, Heather, have a blended family of three children, Jake (b. 1988), Davis (b. 1989), and Charlotte (b. 1994), who is a sophomore at Loyola University, Maryland. Heather is Co- Director of the Hitchcock School. Her educational background is in early childhood and special education.
Rev. Daniel H. Love
Dan has served RPC extraordinarily well the past 16 years as the Associate Pastor. His abundant faith, strong Christian character, exceptional commitment and leadership skills have been a blessing to the life of the church. During his tenure, he has used his gifts in ministry to become an outstanding preacher of God’s Word. RPC’s renowned youth program is an outgrowth of Dan’s creative knack for shepherding kids in matters of faith and everyday living. Throughout RPC’s challenging times, Dan led our congregation with extraordinary energy, Godly wisdom, and loving compassion. Finally, Dan’s personal discernment process is one in which he feels a strong, Spirit-led calling to continue to serve RPC in this new co-pastor role.
What does Dan love? “I love being a pastor...I seek the ways that God’s story translates into our day- to-day life, and the ways that our daily life finds its deeper meaning in the story of God. I work to connect people to God, to their truest selves, and to one another, as we continue to discern God’s leading in our life together.”
Dan grew up in New Hartford, NY with his parents and his two siblings. He graduated from Middlebury College in 1986, where he earned a degree in biology, Magna Cum Laude. He redirected his higher education from medical school to the ministry, serving as senior campus minister at the University of Virginia. He earned a master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1995. Thereafter, he served as a hospital chaplain in the Hershey Medical Center Clinical Pastoral Education Program. He was ordained in the Utica Presbytery coincident with his acceptance of the call to be Associate Pastor at Rye Presbyterian Church in August of 1997.
Dan has continued a program of professional development at Yale Divinity School and as a participant in numerous conferences, retreats and trips. He has served on many Hudson River Presbytery committees, including the recent search committee for a Stated Clerk.
Dan and his wife, Carol, have been married for 23 years and have three children: Taylor, a sophomore at Bowdoin College; Audrey, a freshman at Hamilton College and Hyelom, who is entering the tenth grade. Carol has been active in RPC, in particular playing a leadership role in the Stephen Ministry program.