Mission Hills United Church of Christ Calls New Pastor for Ministry with the Community

| December 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

After a national search, Mission Hills United Church of Christ (MHUCC) called The Rev. Dr. David Bahr as their new senior pastor. Bahr moved from Denver, Colorado, with his husband soon to follow, and began his ministry on Sunday, October 24.

“The congregation wanted a pastor who shared our commitment to social justice and who would push us out of our comfort zones to make sure we are truly meeting the needs of our community,” said Julie James, who co-chaired the search process. “David clearly stood out as the person called to join us in our work.”

During his first service, Bahr read from Amanda Gorman’s book “Change Sings,”

encouraging the children and youth to change the world through compassion and love for the world around them. 

Bahr said, “That’s who I believe we are as a church.”

MHUCC distributes free food every month from the parking lot and has helped young families and seniors alike for decades, supporting an on-site preschool and nearby Green Manor, which it founded in the 1970s to provide low-income senior housing. The church has also partnered with community-serving organizations including Just in Time for Foster Youth, El Nido and Special Delivery San Diego among many others.

“I’m excited to join a congregation that is so committed to making a difference in the community,” said Bahr. “Mission Hills UCC’s desire to support children and families in building a world that is open, inclusive, just, and compassionate speaks deeply to my own understanding of what God calls us to be as a church.”

Bahr came to San Diego after 14 years of ministry in Denver, where his congregation was deeply involved in racial justice and the Black Lives Matter movement, and hosted an overnight shelter for unhoused women.

“I see some of the same challenges here in San Diego that we faced in Denver, though of course the context is different.” said Bahr. “How do we, as a faith community, respond to a multi-pronged housing and homelessness crisis, or to the fact that law enforcement here stops Black and Latino residents far more often than they stop people who look like me?”

Originally from a farm in North Dakota, Bahr first discerned a pull toward ordained ministry as a teen and began pastoring two small congregations as a 20-year-old. He earned his Master of Divinity at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities and his Doctor of Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C, writing his dissertation on the then small number of Protestant congregations that had called an openly gay minister. 

MHUCC is inviting the community to an open house to meet Pastor Bahr on Saturday, January 15 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. More information about the event and the congregation is available at www.missionhillsucc.org.

Art Pate (left) and The Rev. Dr. David Bahr, the new senior pastor at Mission Hills United Church of Christ, will be present on Saturday, January 15 to meet the community.

Tags: ,

Category: Events, feature, Local News, Religion

About the Author ()

General articles by the Presidio Sentinel and Associated Partners.