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Our Ministerial Staff

The Reverend Beth Miller

Interim Minister Beth Miller has served as minister for five UU congregations, directed the department of ministry and professional leadership at the Unitarian Universalist Association, and worked as an organizational development consultant to many congregations. She has volunteered with the UUA as a mentor and coach for other ministers. Beth earned her Master of Divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary and was jointly ordained in 1990 by her home congregation, the UU Church of Rockville, Md. and her internship congregation, Paint Branch UU Church in Adelphi, Md.

She will be here from mid-January till mid-July 2019.

 

 

The Reverend Nathan A. Ryan

Associate Minister Nathan Ryan attended the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge while a student at Louisiana State University from 1998 to 2002.  In August 2012 he returned to Baton Rouge to begin his ministry as the church’s full-time Assistant Minister, joining the Senior Minister, The Reverend Steve Crump. When he was ordained by the congregation in ceremonies in 2013 he made history as the church’s first ordination in its 61 year history.

A native of Slidell, Ryan attended the North Shore Unitarian Universalist Society in Lacombe with his family as a child and through his pre-teen years. As a youth he attended the First Unitarian Universalist Church in New Orleans, where his participation in youth activities both locally and regionally provided a deeper connection to his faith and a response to the call to ministry. The foundation for ministerial preparation was laid at LSU, where he majored in psychology, minored in religious studies, and organized and led the Unitarian Universalist student group.  He also participated actively with the Louisiana Environmental Action Network and the developing Baton Rouge Progressive Network, which  brought the community radio station to Baton Rouge.  

Nathan Ryan brings to his ministry a vast range of training and experiences. A credentialed Religious Educator,  he served as Director of Lay Ministry, Religious Education Administrator, and Director of Lifespan Religious Education at Unitarian Universalist churches in Dallas and Cedar Park,  Texas. In 2009 he matriculated at Chicago’s Meadville Lombard Theological Seminary, and in 2011 served a twelve month internship at a Washington, DC area Unitarian Universalist church where he gained experience in all aspects of ministry.  He received the Master of Divinity degree in the summer of 2012.  Ryan’s successful candidacy for the position of Assistant Minister came as the culmination of a rigorous search process, conducted over a period of more than a year by a seven-member Board-appointed Search Committee. He received the affirmative vote for appointment by the Church’s Board of Directors in June 2012, and began his tenure as Assistant Minister on August 1, 2012.

Ryan joins a roster of ministers who have served the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge in its long history and transition from a small Fellowship to a large and thriving  congregation. Unlike previous ministers and the current senior minister who were ordained prior to assuming their ministry with the Baton Rouge church, Ryan’s is the first request for ordination, and received the unanimous vote of the congregation - a single and historic honor for the church. His ordination follows the deeply rooted Unitarian Universalist tradition of ordination by the congregation, the only body that has the power to ordain, enabling full participation in the rights and privileges of ordained clergy in the church and society at large. It is of no small significance that he returns to his Louisiana roots and to the city of his student days at Louisiana State University, where he began training for a career in the ministry upon which he now embarks.

Read his newsletter Associate Minister's Column.  

 

The Reverend Dr. Steve J. Crump, Minister Emeritus 

The Reverend Dr. Steve J. Crump faithfully and meritoriously served the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge as Senior Minister for 36 years, having begun his ministry at our church in 1983. He received his M.A. from the University of Chicago Divinity School and Doctorate of Ministry from Meadville-Lombard Theological School in Chicago.

The title Minister Emeritus is granted to honor long and meritorious service to a congregation where the minister has given devoted and competent ministerial leadership. Due to our congregational polity, and more directly because the service has been to that particular congregation, only that congregation can bestow this title. The congregation voted on December 16, 2018 to pass the resolution to bestow the title of Minister Emeritus upon The Reverend Dr. Steve J. Crump. 

Read his newsletter columns, Crump Expressway.

In an article, “From Abortion To Guns, Retiring Unitarian Pastor Steve Crump has Faced the Controversies,” published January 11, 2019 on The Advocate.com, writer George Morris highlights Dr. Crump’s ministry.

“We’d better agree on how to love one another and how to be a face-to-face community.” (The Reverend Dr. Steve Crump, January 6, 2019)