Kathleen Rinearcropped22The Rev. Kathleen L. Rinear was installed Sunday, Feb. 6, as pastor and teacher of First Congregational United Church of Christ (UCC) during its regular 10:30 a.m. worship service. 

The Rev. John Vertigan, conference minister for the Florida Conference UCC, presided over the installation while the Rev. Dr. John P. Jewell, Rinear’s husband, delivered the message. 

Rinear, who resides in DeLand with her husband, moved to Florida after retiring in 2019 from St. John’s UCC in Monroe, Wis.  She began her ministerial career in 2005, serving as an interim pastor while in seminary. She received her Master of Divinity from Chicago Theological Seminary in 2006. 

Seeing a need for dedicated interim pastors, she sought ordination, under the sponsorship of her home church, Orchard Ridge UCC, and was the first UCC minister in the state of Wisconsin to be so ordained. 

After serving three rural Wisconsin churches as an interim pastor, Rinear was called to pastor Immanuel UCC in Darlington, Wis. from 2008-2010; Brookfield (Wis.) Congregational Church from 2010-2016; and St. John’s UCC in Monroe, Wis. from 2016-2019.

Prior to her ministerial vocation, Rinear was a college English instructor for 20 years, earning a master’s degree in English from California State University at Long Beach in 1983. 

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