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First Church’s New Pastor

JeremyforWebRev. Jeremy Smith

Bishop Elaine J.W. Stanovsky intends to appoint the Rev. Jeremy Smith as Pastor of First United Methodist Church beginning July 1, 2017.

Rev. Smith is currently serving as Minister of Discipleship at Portland First UMC in Oregon.


From the Seattle District Superintendent, Rev. Rich Lang:

To the Body of Christ at Seattle First UMC,

After prayer and careful discernment with the Bishop and the Cabinet, I am pleased to announce that Bishop Elaine J.W. Stanovsky intends to appoint the Rev. Jeremy Smith as Pastor of Seattle First United Methodist Church in Seattle, Washington beginning July 1, 2017.

Rev. Jeremy Smith comes to you with his partner Chelsea Paxton, and their daughters Anjali (four years old) and Caeli (“Chay-Lee”, 17 months old). Jeremy currently serves as Minister of Discipleship at Portland First UMC in Oregon. Since entering ordained ministry in 2006, he has pastored churches in three jurisdictions: Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Oregon.

Jeremy graduated from Oklahoma City University (BA Religion) and Boston University School of Theology (MDiv).  He is best known for social media advocacy and his blog Hacking Christianity, featured on UM news sources, National Public Radio, The Progressive Christian magazine, and Sojourners. Jeremy received the 2011 Young Alumnus award from Boston University School of Theology for his blog and ministry.

He has served on 2 Conference Camp boards, 5 district committees, and the Board of Ordained Ministry in Oregon-Idaho. Jeremy has attended four General Conferences (last time as a Reserve Delegate) and was elected to the Board of Directors of the General Commission on Archives and History 2016-2020.  His passion is removing obstacles to ministry and missions and enabling every person to move forward in their discipleship so they can better transform the world.

In other words, please receive one of our best and brightest as you take your next step of spiritual leadership within the Seattle United Methodist District. We pray God’s blessing on your congregation as you both grieve and celebrate the long and effective ministry of Pastor Sharon Moe, while also preparing to embrace and welcome Pastor Jeremy and his family. May all be done with gracious heart, and expansive hospitality.

We have solidarity in Christ,




Rev. Rich Lang
Seattle District Superintendent