Dear St. Marks Family,
Greetings to all! It’s a joy and a blessing to be a part of the church family. In the short time that I’ve been at St. Marks UMC, I’ve been amazed at the amount of welcoming love and kindness that I’ve been shown. While I have met many of you, some of you, I have not. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself.
I am a bi-vocational licensed pastor of the United Methodist Church. This means I serve in two professions. For the past 20 years, I’ve served the public as a law enforcement officer. During that time, I worked on cases ranging from petty theft to murder and everything in between. Nearly a decade ago, I explored my call to ministry and began the candidacy process. I was approved by the Board of Ordained Ministry to attend licensing school and after graduating in 2017, I was appointed as Senior Pastor to Celeste First United Methodist Church and Kingston United Methodist Church. I served both churches until January 2023 when I was appointed to St. Marks. In 2020, I published a book titled Fingerprinting Faith: 52 Faith Lessons from an American Cop. The premise of the book is the crossroads of both vocations.
Oddly, I never really wanted to be a police officer or a preacher. I wanted to be a professional baseball player, but God’s will is stronger than my own. Now it’s hard to imagine doing anything else. Seeing God at work in people and in communities brings transformative inspiration into the world. Being able to be a part of that is a blessing. I’m a fifth-generation Methodist minister, so perhaps it’s in my blood.
I have four children, three of which are adults. Jacob (23) is my oldest. He is expecting his second child with his wife and is employed at National Vision. My daughter, Ashlyn (22), is a Certified Nurse Aide at a rehabilitation facility. Mason (19) is a talented rock musician and performer and is pursuing an education in Music Business at Collin College. Walker (3) doesn’t really have a profession yet. He just charms people with his cuteness and talks a lot about dinosaurs. I also have a grandson, Odin Michael, who passed away during infancy in 2020. He is our saint in heaven. My better half, Diana, is a medical doctor and board-certified OB-GYN. She immigrated from Estonia and is now a U.S. citizen.
I am blessed to have the chance to get to know all of you. Undoubtedly, we will hit some bumps during the transition, but it’s also a period of great excitement and opportunity. I look forward to serving the church and the community. God is at work in St. Marks UMC, we are blessed to be a part of it.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Ash Harmon