The Reverend Kay Hooper has been appointed to be Lead Pastor at Collegiate United Methodist Church and Wesley Foundation. Dr. Greg Halverson, chair of the CUMC/WF Staff-Parish Relations Committee, made the announcement in both worship services on Sunday morning, March 6. The appointment will take effect July 1, 2016, following the retirement of Rev. Scott Grotewold. The appointment was made by Bishop Julius C. Trimble of the Iowa Area through Rev. Harlan Gillespie, Superintendent of the North Central District of the Iowa Annual Conference.
Kay Hooper is a native of Indianola and a graduate of Iowa Wesleyan College. Her seminary degree is from Duke University. She was ordained a deacon in the Iowa Annual Conference in 1985 and an elder in 1988. She has served Iowa UM churches throughout her career: Melcher/Dallas-Columbia (1983-1986); Waterloo, First (Associate, 1986-1989); Minburn (1989-1997); Garner (1997-2003); Spirit Lake (2003-2008); Indianola, First (2008-2013); and Spencer, Grace (2013-present).
In a statement from Rev. Hooper, read by Dr. Halverson, she said, “It was a joy to meet with the Ames Collegiate/Wesley SPRC this past Wednesday (March 2) and to get acquainted. We had a delightful time sharing our stories and shared values. While you had known that Pastor Scott was planning to retire for months, I had no idea that I would have a part to play.
“I was not planning to move, nor had my Spencer Grace folk requested a new pastor. But I tell you this: It took me less than half a second to say ‘yes!‛ My head is spinning and my heart is singing.
“You may or may not be aware of your reputation in the conference, but this is the kind of appointment over which many pastors lust! What long shadows your predecessors cast! I am humbled and grateful to be counted in their number.
“Pastor Scott, most recently, has had an incredible ministry in an incredible church. It is my aim to follow and lead in his great footsteps. His grace and care for me during this season leads me to believe that we will all work toward a smooth transition. I look forward to partnering with you in the work of the Gospel. That is my prayer. Thanks be to God!”
In response to the appointment, Rev. Scott Grotewold said, “I am thrilled with the appointment of Kay Hooper to Collegiate/Wesley. I have known Kay for nearly thirty years. She is an excellent pastor, preacher, and administrator and has the respect of all her peers in the Conference. I am so glad I can leave ministry here in her capable hands. I could not be more certain that great things are ahead for this congregation and campus ministry and I am excited about Collegiate/Wesley’s future. You are going to love Kay Hooper, and she is going to love you!”