DENVER – The Reverend Valerie L. Jackson will make history on Sunday, Nov. 6 when she will be installed as the first African-American and first woman senior pastor of University Park United Methodist Church in Denver. This marks an important milestone in the church’s 122-year history.
Rev. Jackson officially began pastoring at University Park UMC on July 1. The installation service at 10 a.m. Nov. 6 will be a celebration of the bold and courageous ways the congregation is living out its faith within the community.
United Methodist Bishop Karen Oliveto will preach at the installation service, which will also feature mentors from Jackson’s ministry journey and community partners who honor this groundbreaking event.
Dianne Reeves, Colorado’s own six-time, Grammy-winning jazz artist, will offer special music along with University Park UMC’s Chancel Choir, Choristers, and Peniel Band assisted by gospel musician Daryl Walker.
Jackson is on the Board of Directors for the Colorado Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and the Center for Health and Hope. She is also a faith spokesperson for the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado and an adjunct faculty member at the Iliff School of Theology.
University Park UMC has served as a progressive faith community to its local and global neighbors for more than a century. Located across from the University of Denver and Iliff School of Theology, the church has a long history of community partnerships that ground its advocacy and theology.
Rev. Jackson’s pastoral leadership continues to expand the church’s strong values of inclusion and commitments to interfaith relationships while nurturing, challenging, and inspiring the souls of people in the community. The theme for the installation is HOME for a Beautifully Diverse World, highlighting Rev. Jackson’s belief that “Together, we can inspire and create spaces for courageously, beloved communities, thus forever transforming our worlds.”
Read the Iliff School of Theology article on the Rev. Jackson: Valerie Lomax Jackson is a Pastor for All People