ABOUT THE LEAD PASTOR
Rev. Andrew J. Bierkan
Andrew Bierkan was born and raised in central Connecticut and graduated from Farmington High School. He went on to Bates College in Lewiston, Maine where he earned a B.A. with Honors in Philosophy. His theological studies took place mostly at Hartford Seminary (CT) where he earned an M.A.R.S. in Church History and then a Master of Divinity with emphasis in Church Administration and Leadership. After a two year internship at his home church, First Church of Christ, Congregational, 1652 in Farmington, he was ordained by the Farmington Valley Association of the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ in June of 1974. He was soon called as the Associate Minister in a Congregational Church in southern Connecticut. During that time he did further post-graduate study at Yale Divinity School before serving in the Massachusetts Conference for a decade and a half. In 1992, after serving an internship as a Chaplain in Rhode Island Hospital, he began a fifteen year Senior Pastorate in St. Paul U.C.C. in North College Hill, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Retiring from the settled pastorate in early 2007, he received training in Transitional Ministry and was soon invited to serve as Interim Senior Minister at David’s U.C.C. in Kettering, Ohio. From early 2009 to late 2011 he served at Interim Minister in St. Paul’s U.C.C. in Alexandria, Kentucky. Then, from February of 2012 to August, 2015 he ministered as Interim in St. John’s United Church of Christ in downtown Dayton, Ohio.
He been active in Association, Conference and national denomination work throughout his entire career, most recently serving as Chair of the Post-Ordination Team of the Committee on Ministry here in SONKA.
In the fall of 2016 he came to St. John’s, Newport as our long term pulpit supply minister and in February 2017 he was selected as our Interim Sr. Minister. His hobbies are snow skiing and all manners of boating. Andrew plays six and twelve string guitar and is also an avid photographer and reader. Along with over 42 years of experience in pastoral ministry, he brings to St. John’s his belief in the healing opportunities presented by this “in between” time in the life of our church as well as his commitment to share kindness, hope and peace with our entire church family during his tenure among us.