|SFTS Alum Named as Senior Pastor at Historic Church
The Reverend John Weems, a Presbyterian minister and alumni of San Francisco Theological Seminary has been named senior pastor and head of staff of Calvary Presbyterian Church in San Francisco, California. After a twelve-month search, Weems, who earned his Masters in Divinity from SFTS in 2006, emerged above 200 other candidates to become pastor of the 158-year-old historic church located in the heart of San Francisco.
Growing up in Sun Valley, Idaho, Weems came to California to attend the University of Southern California in Los Angeles where he double majored in journalism and sociology. While in college, Weems met his future wife, Collen Lacy, a fellow journalism student. They recently celebrated their 16th wedding anniversary and now have two sons, Jacob 12 and Zachary 7.
After graduating from USC, Weems enrolled at Hasting College of Law in San Francisco. Discovering that he preferred business to law, Weems used the knowledge he gained in contracts, torts, civil procedure and legal writings, and applied these skills to his new career in organizational management. Weems spent the next ten years working in marketing management for large and small technology firms and for the San Francisco Business Times.
While living in San Francisco, Weems became a member of Old Presbyterian Church, where he was baptized and served as a deacon. His experience with Old Presbyterian helped him discern his call to become a pastor, ultimately leading him to enroll at San Francisco Theological Seminary.
Since graduating from SFTS in 2006, Weems has worked in ministry and most recently served as the associate pastor of Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church in Lafayette, California. During his call as associate pastor, the congregation saw its membership increase by 500 members. Weems also served the mission, outreach and family ministries of the now 1,900-member congregation. He also launched the Lamorinda Family Center, which features prominent speakers and programs to introduce new people to the church community. Weems also led numerous mission trips to the Gulf Coast, Guatemala and Zimbabwe.
In his new role as senior pastor and head of staff at Cavalry Presbyterian Church, Weems plans to use his life experiences and strong theological training to connect with all members of the congregation and those served by the many programs offered at Calvary.
“My time and subsequent years of wrestling with faith as a businessman, employee, husband, father and ordained minister have informed my understanding of the impact the church can have today,” said Weems.
There is a deep history between Calvary Presbyterian Church and SFTS. In 1861, Calvary opened a Presbyterian College, which then joined with another program to become San Francisco Theological Seminary. Since then, numerous students from SFTS have served in the ministry at Calvary and several in the ministry at Calvary have worked at SFTS. The most recent senior pastor from Calvary, Rev. Dr. Laird Stuart, served as SFTS interim president from 2010 to 2011.
“I am humbled to serve as the pastor and head of staff at Calvary, and I’m looking forward to listening and responding to God's call,” said Weems.