Welcome Pastor Grace Imathiu

Pastor Grace


Pastor Grace Imathiu

In close consultation with the leaders of First United Methodist Church, Evanston, Bishop Sally Dyck has appointed Rev. Grace Imathiu as our next Senior Pastor effective 07/01/2018. The Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) Rev. Dean Francis, Rev. Jane Cheema, and Rev. Bonny Roth warmly welcome Rev. Grace.


The SPRC unanimously and enthusiastically approved the Bishop’s appointment of Rev. Imathiu after our meeting with her on Monday, January 15th.  We are confident she will continue the extraordinary leadership we have experienced with Rev. Dean Francis and look forward to her leadership and presence among us as our new Senior Pastor.

Jim Hagedorn
Chair Staff Parish Relations Committee

Staff Parish Relations Committee Members:

Mark Henry, Paul Kalil, Edna TerMolen, Pam Peters, Chris McGuire, Abbey Ogunbola, Martha Rudy, Bryan Wagner, Chris Nieuwsma, and Todd Bowen.

Rev. Grace Imathiu Biography

Rev. Grace Imathiu was appointed Senior Pastor of Community UMC in July 2012 after serving eight years as Lead Pastor in Brown Deer, Wisconsin and earlier as Senior Pastor at Green Bay UMC, a position which included season tickets to Packers games. Go Pack Go!  Rev. Imathiu has also served churches in Kenya as a church planter; a superintendent minister overseeing 68 rural churches in Nkubu; and an urban minister to an ecumenical congregation in Nairobi with strong outreach to the neighboring slums of Kawangware.  Pastor Grace is intimately familiar with the Church in its many theological expressions and social locations.

Grace loves people and has a passion and gift for inspiring and nurturing communities of faith to live out loud the prophetic story of Jesus. For Grace, the quintessential expression of the resurrected Lord’s presence is a community whose very DNA is a radical hospitality which births a loving and a healthy tension that is ideological, theological, racial, ethnic and cultural.  Grace thrives on diversity.  Needless to say, red is Grace’s favorite color and Pentecost is Grace’s favorite liturgical season.

For Rev. Imathiu “the world is her parish”. As an African who is married to a European and is raising an American son, Grace is committed to advocating for the inclusion of all people.    Her sermons are always exegeted as tools of justice on the intersections of religion, race, sexuality and gender. Grace has been an open ally and activist for the LGBTQI community since 1997.   She has preached in Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Togo, Liberia, Denmark, Australia, Malaysia, Brazil, and all throughout the United States.  In 2016, Rev. Imathiu was a speaker at the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women as well as preaching for the third time at the World Methodist Conference held in Houston, Texas  – an event attracting 3,000+ participants from more than 80 countries.

Grace is married to David Hay Jones and together they are the parents of Erik Imathiu-Jones an 11th grader at Providence St. Mel School in Chicago.

Conference Speaker

RMN: Gather at the River; World Methodist Conference Bible Teacher (Sao Paulo, Brazil, Brighton England; Houston, Texas); UMC Annual Conferences Bible Study teacher (Wisconsin; Desert Southwest; California-Nevada; Louisiana; Arkansas; Baltimore-Washington; New York Annual; Upper New York; West Virginia; Alabama; North Carolina; Holston; Rocky Mountain and many more!)

Founding Member

1) Kenya Methodist University
2) African Christian Communities and Theologies


Matthew Message: Good News for the New Millennium. Abingdon Press, 1998.
Words of Fire, Spirit of Grace, True North, 2003; second edition 2012.
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