Introducing Rev. Ann Conklin

November 16, 2021

Dear Members and Friends of FPCSB,

Thanks be to God!

Your Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) is overjoyed to announce the calling of the Rev. Ann Conklin as our next Pastor/Head of Staff at First Presbyterian Church of Santa Barbara. We are excited to introduce you to Ann, who was chosen out of 85 applicants and is the unanimous choice of the PNC.

Rev. Ann Conklin is originally from Michigan where she served as Pastor/Head of Staff at Eastminster Presbyterian Church (Grand Rapids), Minister for Membership Development at Westminster Presbyterian Church (Grand Rapids), and as Transitional Pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Ionia. Ann currently serves as Pastor/Head of Staff at First Presbyterian Church of Mesa, Arizona. Prior to her call to Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, Ann had a 15-year career as a physical therapist, having received a B.S. in Biology from the University of Michigan and a M.S. in Physical Therapy from Duke University. It was a smooth transition from healthcare to spiritual care as Ann considers her life’s work to be a ministry of healing and wholeness. Pastoral care is at the heart of Ann’s ministry as are mission and community ministry. Ann finds reaching out to neighbors in need with the love of God made manifest in Christ to be life-giving and spirit-nurturing. Communicating the deep and abiding love of God for all people and the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ in creative, engaging, and tangible ways that make a real difference in people’s lives is something Ann strives for in her life and ministry. Joining with the gathered people of God on Sunday morning to lead worship and proclaim God’s Word is Ann’s favorite time of the week! Ann and her husband, Peter, have been married for 34 years and have raised two wonderful young adults, Lily and Lewis. When not engaged in ministry or sermon preparation, Ann enjoys hiking, biking, reading, walking, and a newly discovered activity of stand-up paddle boarding.

Ann’s healing spirit, sharp mind, and naturally engaging style stood out immediately in the search process and the PNC felt a unanimous draw to her. As we got to know her more, we were struck with a sense that Ann was the leader who could help FPCSB discern a path toward a future of exciting opportunity while appreciating our rich history and the complex challenges of the present. Ann will bring many gifts to our congregation; she is:

  • naturally gifted in pastoral care
  • warm and gracious
  • collegial with an inclusive leadership style
  • a strong community builder
  • someone who will “make [things] happen” through empowering others
  • someone who will inspire and drive institutional change

What People Are Saying about Ann

Pastor Erik: “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to connect with Ann and learn more about her experience, compassion, and giftedness as a pastor. How grateful I was, as well, that in our conversation we could be candid about the dynamics of these four years of transition, and I could express to her my deep readiness to support what God has next for this church. Having a pastor, shepherd, and a colleague like Ann gives me great hope that our heart as a congregation will align ever more closely with God’s heart of love for this world.”

Pastor Charles: “I joyfully and enthusiastically support the call of Rev. Ann Conklin as your next Pastor. Ann’s dedication to pastoral care, community involvement and mission outreach make her an excellent choice for FPCSB. She is a splendid preacher and will be an outstanding colleague for Pastor Erik. Congratulations to Ann, this congregation and the SB Presbytery.”

Pastor Gordy Hess describes Ann as “holistic in mind, body, and spirit.”

One of Ann’s references shares, “Ann approaches the whole of pastoral work in a prayerful way, as a servant to help others to join in worship, to proclaim God’s Word in scripture, to offer pastoral care. She is a great listener, a team player, attentive to the gifts of others. She is an outstanding preacher. What she loves the most is helping to bring others into worship, into the presence of God, as the Triune God of scripture meets us through proclamation and sacraments. What excites her most? The good news of the gospel, and the Triune God’s ongoing work in the world. The treasure that she values most — the good news of Jesus Christ. She is captivated by the gospel. . .”

The Rev. Ann Conklin will be formally introduced to you on December 5th. She will preach at the worship service that morning. A congregational meeting will be held immediately after the service to approve the call. The vote will be by ballot and only members are allowed to vote.

From the moment we received Ann’s application, there was never any doubt that she should be moved forward in the process. At every step, we became more convinced that she has been called by God to everything she has done. We cannot argue with that!

We are really excited to introduce you to Ann and to introduce Ann to you. We are looking forward to December 5th with eager anticipation. We are sure you will feel the same about Ann as we do.

In Christ’s Name,
Your PNC

  • Dave Ardell
  • Tom Blabey
  • Judy Clark
  • Meryle Gaston
  • Amanda Hur
  • Bob Kanard
  • Michelle Martinich