The search committee of Sun Lakes United Church of Christ has unanimously voted to call Rev. Derrick Elliott as our pastor for an initial Designated Term of six (6) months, which he has accepted. Rev. Elliott will begin his pastorate with our regular, weekly service on Saturday, April 2, at 4 p.m. in the Sun Lakes Chapel. All are welcome, no matter where you are on life’s journey.
Rev. Elliott will continue to also be the part-time pastor at Desert Heritage UCC Church in Mesa. Both churches are relatively small and will be participating in a unique arrangement that will provide a part-time pastor for each church and, at the same time, full-time work for one minister. If at the end of the six-month period both churches are comfortable with the shared arrangement, Rev. Elliott will be called as the part-time settled pastor of both churches.
Rev. Elliott was ordained as an authorized minister within the United Church of Christ in 2016. In addition to being the part-time pastor of Desert Heritage Church in Mesa, Ariz., he is an Air Force Reserve Chaplain stationed at Schriever Space Force Base in the rank of Captain. Before serving as an Air Force Reserve Chaplain, he spent 12 years in the Louisiana National Guard as an enlisted Administrative Assistant and a Military Intelligence Officer.
Rev. Elliott has been an elementary school teacher, Community Outreach Specialist for Homeless Veterans, a Correctional Chaplain, a Hospital Chaplain, a Youth Worship leader, and a member of the Board of Directors for United Church of Christ and Global Ministries. He currently holds a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary and Master of Education and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He has completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education and is pursuing his Doctor of Ministry at Wesley Theological Seminary with an anticipated graduation date of May 2024.