Welcome New Pastors – Rev. Elbert Dulworth and Rev. Shawn Lewis-Lakin

Appointment of Rev. Elbert Paul Dulworth as Senior Pastor of Birmingham First UMC

Elbert Dulworth lo resThe SPRC with District Superintendent Charles Boayue are pleased to announce Michigan Area Bishop David Alan Bard’s appointment of the Rev. Elbert Paul Dulworth as the new Senior Pastor at Birmingham First UMC effective June 11, 2017. Rev. Dulworth was born and raised in the metropolitan Detroit community of Eastpointe and nurtured in his faith journey in Jesus Christ at Peace UMC (Eastpointe) which later merged with Immanuel UMC (Eastpointe) where his family continues to be active.

Rev. Dulworth earned a B.A. from Adrian College in 1997 with a double major in Religion and Spanish, as well as a minor in Theatre. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He previously served churches in southern Wisconsin and Michigan, and currently serves as the Marquette District Superintendent where he has been appointed since 2012.

Before serving on the Cabinet, Rev. Dulworth served as the chairperson of the Crossroads District Committee on Ordained Ministry, the chairperson of the Conference Leadership Team’s Personnel Committee, and as a member of the Detroit Annual Conference Conflict Transformation Cadre. During his time as the Marquette District Superintendent, he worked together with district and conference leadership to start the first new church in the Marquette District since 1978. Marquette Hope is a multi-site church consisting of three campuses in the greater Marquette area.

As a member of the Michigan Area Conference Cabinet, he has served as the representative to the Conference Council on Finance and Administration, the Conference Program Committee, and the Conference Leadership Team. He is currently serving as the first Dean of the Michigan Area Cabinet, which is the group of eleven District Superintendents who work with Bishop Bard.

Elbert married his wife, Dawn, in 1997, and they look forward to celebrating 20 years of marriage this August. Together, they enjoy camping in their travel trailer, cooking great foods with friends, spending time with family, choral and orchestral concerts, theatrical productions, and traveling to new places around the world. Elbert and Dawn look forward to returning to the metropolitan Detroit area and serving in ministry as part of the excellent team that are the staff, leaders, and members of the Birmingham First United Methodist Church.


Appointment of Rev. Shawn Lewis-Lakin as Senior Associate Pastor of Birmingham First UMC

Shawn Lewis-LakinOn behalf of the SPRC along with District Superintendent Reverend Dr. Charles Boayue, we are pleased to announce Bishop David Alan Bard’s appointment of the Rev. Shawn Lewis-Lakin as the new Senior Associate Pastor at Birmingham First UMC, effective July 1, 2017.
During our meeting with Shawn, we heard that this opportunity had been placed on his heart to consider that this might be the right time and the right place….to make such a move. We believe that in this church’s mission it is the right time and place to bring this set of skills, along with his preaching and support of our multi-campus ministry, to our staff. His experience will help divide up the responsibilities and assume more of an administrative focus to support the increasingly difficult job of managing a complex organization like ours

Ordained an elder in 1990, Shawn Lewis-Lakin has been a full clergy member of the Detroit Annual Conference for over 25 years. He has served as a Lead Pastor at both Pontiac St. James and Trenton First, and Associate Pastor at Dearborn First UMC.

Shawn’s most recent ministry has been as a teacher and school administrator in the communities of Trenton, Monroe, Chelsea, Manchester, and Royal Oak. This June, he will complete his tenth year as a superintendent of schools, with the past six of those years as Superintendent of Royal Oak Schools. As Superintendent, his current responsibility is chief executive of a multi-site organization including 500 employees and an annual operating budget of $55 million. This is the position he will be leaving effective June 30, 2017 to assume his role as Senior Associate Pastor with our church.

While working in Education, Shawn has been an active member in United Methodist congregations in Trenton, Chelsea, and currently at Birmingham First UMC, where he also serves as a Trustee. Many of you may already know or recognize Shawn and his wife, Barbara. Shawn is a graduate of Michigan State University and also received his Masters of Divinity Degree from Yale. In addition, he has an Educational Specialist Degree in General Administration and Supervision from Wayne State University.

Shawn is married to the Reverend Dr. Barbara Lewis-Lakin. Barbara is retired from the Detroit Annual Conference and works two days a week as a staff counselor at the Samaritan Counseling Center. Shawn and Barbara have three children and a granddaughter living in the Bloomfield Hills, Waterford and Chicago areas.

In addition to enjoying time with family, Shawn enjoys reading fiction, running, swimming and cycling. He has completed a marathon, multiple half marathons, and a variety of triathlons.

The timing of our needs at Birmingham First to find a Senior Associate Pastor with strengths in human resources and administrative functions of the church, and Shawn’s desire to combine both his call to pastoral ministry and his experience in organizational leadership and administration, has truly been a movement by God’s Holy Spirit.

As SPRC continues to review our staffing needs together with our new leadership, we have been assured by the Bishop and his Cabinet that they will continue to support our church and work with us to make additional appointments to our clergy team as we assess our future needs and direction. There is so much to be thankful for and celebrate in the days and months ahead. God is with us and will continue to guide us into the future. Thanks be to God!

Read about  Rev. Shawn Lewis-Lakin in the Royal Oak Review.