Transitional Associate Conference Minister for Stewardship to Join Staff

Transitional Associate Conference Minister for Stewardship to Join Staff

Rev. Dr. David Cleaver-Bartholomew
A United Church of Christ pastor with extensive experience in finance, and in ministry in the local church and regional setting, has been called as the Transitional Associate Conference Minister for Stewardship and Financial Development. 

Rev. Dr. David Cleaver-Bartholomew, currently pastor at the Zion Lutheran Church in New York, will begin Feb. 10.  He is taking the place of Rev. Dr. Jonathan New, who resigned after serving for five years on the historic Massachusetts Conference staff in stewardship and financial development.

“David brings to this position significant experience and wisdom wrapped up in a pastor’s heart,” said Bridge Conference Minister Rev. Don Remick. “David brings biblical grounding, fiscal insight, denominational leadership and that pastor’s heart to all of his ministry.” 

“His references speak very highly of his keen insight, skilled leadership in transitions, gifted listening, and personal warmth,” Remick said.

Cleaver-Bartholomew has served as Association Minister for the Eastern Ohio Association and as a Conference Associate in New York – both positions similar to Associate Conference Minister roles in Southern New England.

He has taught Biblical studies and church finances at the New York School of Ministry as well as universities and theological schools in the Midwest.  He has an educational background in political science and accounting, holds separate Masters’ degrees in Religion, Divinity and Public Affairs, and has a Doctorate in Philosophy in Religion. 
Dr. David Cleaver-Bartholomew
Church Positions
Pastor, Zion Lutheran Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), New Hartford, NY, June 2016 to Present

Various Transitional and Interim Pastorates, ELCA in New York July 2012 to June 2016.

Sabbatical Supply Pastor, Trinity UCC, Rome, NY. May 2010 to August 2010.

Pastor, First Congregational Church of Chelsea, UCC, Chelsea, Michigan, October 1995 to October 2002.

Pastor, First Congregational Church, UCC, Union City, Michigan, February 1995 to October 1995.

Interim Pastor, Pilgrim Congregational Church, Chattanooga, Tennessee, March 1994 to February 1995.

Bachelor of Science (Accounting). The State University of New York at Oswego. Oswego, New York. May, 2015.

Doctor of Philosophy in Religion. Claremont Graduate University. Claremont, California, 1998.

Master of Arts in Religion. The Claremont Graduate School. Claremont, California, 1993.             

Master of Divinity. Yale University. New Haven, Connecticut, 1988.

Master of Public Affairs. The University of Texas-Austin. Austin, Texas, 1984.

Bachelor of Arts (Political Science). Southern Methodist University. Dallas, Texas, 1982.
Alongside these he is an enrolled agent with the IRS, allowing him to serve as a professional tax preparer and to represent people in tax cases. He has done this work with clergy and laity.

Along his vocational journey he has served in United Church of Christ congregations in Georgia, Tennessee and Michigan; his current Call is to the Zion Lutheran Church in New York. He has also served as Moderator of the UCC’s Oneida Association in New York and on a Lutheran Synod finance committee in New York.

Cleaver-Bartholomew said he was excited to hear about a position that allows him to pull together the various parts of his background.

“I like working in that judicatory level. I am excited to be able to return to Conference ministry work, and to be able to combine my interests in financial matters along with what I would call church revitalization and stewardship work,” he said. “I believe there is a close relationship between finances, money, stewardship and justice.”

Cleaver-Bartholomew also said he is excited to a part of the formation of the new Southern New England conference.

“It’s going to be fascinating to me to see what we can do with 600 churches. That is an incredible amount of resources,’” he said.

Remick said that when New announced that he would be leaving the Conference to return to interim ministry at a local church, the Board of Directors authorized the Bridge Conference Ministers to engage in a search for someone who could step into the role during this bridge year. Cleaver-Bartholomew will be eligible to be considered for a position in the new staffing model once it is finalized. 

“When David’s availability came to our attention we were immediately impressed by the depth of his experience,” Remick said.  “That was confirmed through strong affirmations from those who have worked with him in the past.  We are excited to be able to bring him onto our new Conference’s staff.”

Cleaver-Bartholomew will work with the financial/stewardship staff team led by Bridge Conference Minister Rev. Kent Siladi.

He will be living in Rhode Island where his wife, The Rev Canon Dr. Dena Cleaver-Bartholomew, serves as Canon to the Ordinary for the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island.  

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