The Rev. Dr. Sharon Ledbetter

The Rev. Dr. Sharon Ledbetter

Passed on Sunday, 19 February 2023
The Rev. Dr. Sharon Ledbetter passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 19, 2023 in her home in Columbia, CT. The cause of death was cancer.

She is survived by her husband, James Ledbetter; and her five children, Laura Baird, of Wethersfield, CT, James Ledbetter, Jr., of New York, NY, Ellen Clifford and her husband Jim, of Ashland, MA, Charles Porter and his wife Anne-Marie, of Medford, OR, and Kathleen Rishel and her husband John of Lower Macungie, PA. She also leaves behind six grandchildren: Walker Baird, Ari Heinemann, Olivia Palmer, Jaden Heinemann, Jocelyn Heinemann, and Henry Ledbetter.

Sharon Ann Stoughton was born in Hartford, CT and grew up on a dairy farm in Suffield, CT. She was the youngest of three children; her brother Robert is deceased; her brother Richard lives in Maine. She married James Ledbetter in 1986.

Sharon attended Heidelberg College in Tiffin, OH. She began raising her family in the mid-1960s, while working part-time jobs and volunteering in her church. In the late 1970s, she decided to pursue a full-time career in the ministry, a field dominated by men at the time. In 1978, she entered Andover Newton Theological School, in Newton, MA and went on to earn Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees.

Sharon served as Associate Pastor for the United Church of Christ in Keene, NH and as Co-Pastor of Southbury Congregational Church in Southbury, CT. In 1990 she was called as Pastor of the First Congregational Church in Lebanon, CT.  where she served the Lebanon church and community for 25 years before retiring as the fourth longest serving pastor. In retirement Sharon and Jim became active members of the Gilead Congregational Church in Hebron, CT.

Sharon is deeply missed by her family and the communities which she tirelessly served. A memorial service will be held later this year.

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