THE PASTOR NOMINATING COMMITTEE OF INDEPENDENT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Reverend Kevin J. Long
MAY 2, 2021
IPC's Pastor Nominating Committee Dear IPC Family, It has been an honor to each of us to have been selected by our congregation to serve for the last year and a half on the Pastor Nominating Committee. We so appreciate your trust and prayers. We have been hard at work during this time meeting weekly, both in person and via Zoom; listening to hundreds of sermons; talking to seminary presidents and other references; and traveling east, west, north, and south, even during a pandemic, to hear ministers preach in their home churches. God has truly been in our midst as we have traveled on this spiritual journey, both personally and as a Committee committed to doing God’s will for our beloved Independent Presbyterian Church. It is with great joy and excitement that the PNC enthusiastically nominates Reverend Kevin J. Long to the congregation to be our eighth Pastor–Head of Staff. Kevin is currently the Pastor-Head of Staff at Sewickley Presbyterian Church outside of Pittsburgh, PA, where he has served for the last ten years. Kevin is not only an exceptional preacher, but he is a minister in every real sense of the word. He is passionate, smart, honest, humble, kind, and an intent listener. He cares deeply for the needs of his associates, staff, and congregation. He will lead the same at IPC with a common mission in the direction of God’s will. He is joyful to begin this inspirational journey with us as a family. Kevin is a spiritual leader, and Jesus is at the center of Kevin’s faith and teaching. He is committed to our tradition of mission and the beauty of our service of worship. Kevin is excited about how and where God will lead our congregation moving forward, both in our community and into the world beyond. Kevin is married to Rebecca, whom we adored from the beginning, when she and Kevin welcomed us into their lovely home to join them for a delicious lunch following worship. We have spent much time with Kevin and Rebecca in Pittsburgh and in Birmingham in prayer and fellowship, and we have shared many meals, car rides, and both light-hearted and serious conversations. They are a team in ministry and in marriage. We have no doubt our congregation will embrace them both as well as their wonderful children. James will be a senior next fall, and Jessica and Katelyn will be ninth and eight graders, respectively. We are excited about the future of our youth ministry at IPC and the energy and contributions this young family will bring to it. God has clearly led the PNC to Kevin and his family, and him and his family to IPC and Birmingham. God is very good and has certainly been in charge of this process from the beginning. We are thrilled and so joyful that Kevin and Rebecca accepted our call. We know the IPC Family will now join us in welcoming the Longs with open arms and hearts to our church and to our community. We pray for much love and happiness in their new family at IPC and in their new home in Birmingham. Faithfully yours, Teresa T. Pulliam, Chair PNC IPC's Pastor Nominating Committee Beth Adams Wendell Allen Sandy Bean April Deal (1953-2019)
Susan Dulin Betsy Holloway Robert Posey Teresa T. Pulliam, Chair
George Taylor III Oliver Williams III Emily Wykle
REV. KEVIN J. LONG'S
Statement of Faith I believe that Jesus Christ is the singular, saving Lord of the world and that I have been redeemed by him and given eternal life through him by God’s grace alone. Through the life, death, resurrection, and continuing ministry of the risen Christ, God has been revealed to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is these three distinct persons, coequal and coeternal, and yet the Lord our God is one. I believe in God the Father, the source of all that was and is and is to come. I believe that God loves all of God’s children and wants to encounter us in relationship through Christ. We know God as Father because we have been adopted into the Son’s relationship with the Father and because the Spirit calls out within us to the Father. The Father is the one who spoke forth the Word at Creation, the one who sent the Son, the one who raised Jesus from the dead, the one to whom the risen Christ returned at his ascension. I believe that Jesus Christ is the unique Son of God, fully human and fully divine. He is God-
with-us, the eternal Living Word of God. I believe that Jesus is the Way, and the Truth, and the Life, and that only through Christ may we come to the Father. Jesus is God’s true prophet, our true high priest, and our eternal king. I believe that human beings are by nature sinful, prone to wander from our Creator in selfish and destructive ways. Though intended for gracefilled lives in dependence on God, we reject God and God’s good purposes for our lives. Through sin, the image of God within us was marred, and the relationship between us was broken such that only God could bridge the distance and reconcile us. Because we are God’s beloved children made in God’s image, God came to restore that relationship through the Incarnate Son. Jesus lived a sinless life in complete faithfulness, obedience, and love to the Father, revealing what it truly means to be human as well as fully revealing God to humanity. He was crucified, yet he was resurrected bodily on Continued on the next page
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Statement of Faith the third day. Through Jesus’ faithful life and death on the cross, he became the ultimate atonement sacrifice for humanity’s sin, defeated the powers of evil, conquered death, and restored the relationship between God and humanity. After his resurrection, he ascended into heaven where he continues to intercede before the Father on our behalf. I believe in the Holy Spirit who resides within the heart of all believers. As the facilitator of Christ’s continuing presence with us, the Spirit moves through and among us, gifting us with faith, strengthening us, guiding us, and teaching us. It is the Spirit who unites believers to Christ, adopting them into the family of God. I believe that the Spirit inspired the writing of Scripture, upholds the church, and continues to speak today. I believe that Scripture is the Word of God, the unique and authoritative witness to God’s selfrevelation and covenant with us in Jesus Christ. I believe in the one, universal church whose head is Christ alone. As the body of Christ, the church is the sign and outpost of God’s kingdom here on earth. Called together by Christ through the Spirit, the church participates in Christ’s ministry to the world, engaging in acts of service, justice, love, peace, and reconciliation.
The thing that makes Kevin Long such an incredible preacher is that his sermons are written in his soul. And he has the soul of a pastor. Every sermon makes it clear that he has maintained an ongoing, sacred conversation between the congregation, the world, and Jesus the Savior. He’s also a compassionate leader who’s not afraid of conflict, complexity, or messiness, because he’s never far from that Savior." ~ Rev. Dr. M. Craig Barnes, President, Princeton Theological Seminary, and former pastor, Shadyside Presbyterian Church
I believe that Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the two Sacraments instituted by Christ as signs of God’s love and means of grace, given for the building up and nourishment of the body. In Baptism, God takes the initiative and claims us as God’s own. Baptism is our initiation and adoption into the covenant family of faith, uniting with Christ as we die to ourselves. It is a sign of the forgiveness of our sin and spiritual rebirth. In Holy Communion, we are lifted into Christ’s presence by the Holy Spirit and nourished by the body and blood of Christ. Through this “family meal,” we are reminded of who we are, sanctified, and strengthened to go forth to serve in the name of Jesus as we proclaim the good news of Christ’s victory, God’s grace, and our redemption until he comes again to usher in a new heaven and a new earth.
Long Family Kevin Long was born in Newport Beach, CA, as the son of a Presbyterian minister. The middle of three boys, he grew up in Southern California, Pittsburgh, and Atlanta, where his father served as pastor. After graduation from high school, Kevin attended Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, where he studied pre-med, biology, and psychology. He then went on to do graduate work in psychology at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. From there Kevin moved to New York City, where he worked as a private tutor for six-and-a-half years. During his time in New York, Kevin attended the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church where he met his wife-to-be, Rebecca Ager, in the church’s young adult group. Rebecca grew up in the Southern Baptist church in Richmond, VA, along with her older sister and brother. After graduating from the Virginia School of the Arts, she moved to New York to train with the Joffrey Ballet Company. Two years after they met, Kevin and Rebecca got married, and Kevin began to sense a call to the ministry, which he says, “was the one thing I swore I would never do.” But after much prayer and discernment, he surrendered to the call. They took their five-month-old son, James, and moved to Pittsburgh where Kevin attended Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, just like his father. During his senior year, the Longs were blessed with their second child, a daughter named Jessica. Over the course of his time in seminary, Kevin won multiple awards in the areas of academic excellence, pastoral care, and preaching. After graduating from seminary, the Longs had their third child, Katelyn, before moving to Indianapolis, where Kevin had received a call to be the Associate Pastor for Preaching at Orchard Park Presbyterian Church. There Kevin gained much valuable experience in the pulpit as well as being a part of a large staff.
After several years in Indy, the Longs were called back to Pittsburgh as Kevin became the Pastor-Head of Staff at Sewickley Presbyterian Church, where he has served for the last ten years. What Kevin loves most about being a pastor is helping people see the redemptive work of the risen Savior in their lives by finding themselves in the great Biblical drama of salvation. He also loves dinner parties, which he believes are a foretaste of the Great Messianic Banquet in the kingdom of God. During their time in Sewickley, Rebecca has enjoyed being involved in various aspects of the life of the church, including teaching children’s Sunday school, planning mission projects for the Continued on the next page
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Reverend Kevin J. Long
youth, going on mission trips, helping with Vacation Bible School, and leading children’s worship, among other things. She has also enjoyed hosting meals at their home for new members, new elders, young adults, and the staff. Outside the church, her work has included preparing and serving meals for a local mission partner of the church as well as tutoring and teaching ballet lessons for an urban ministry in Pittsburgh.
As the Longs prepare to move to Birmingham, Rebecca, who loves to cook, is excited to start creating a home for their family and getting to know their new church family and community. James (17), who loves baseball, basketball, and Steelers football, will be a senior in high school next year. Jessica (14), their rising ninth grader, enjoys tennis and babysitting. Katelyn (13), who will be in eighth grade, loves school and spending time with her friends. Their fivemonth-old miniature poodle, Biscuit, will be in puppy school, hopefully learning some manners. And Kevin, who is an avid wine lover and diehard Steelers fan, can't wait to try all the great restaurants in Birmingham. All the Longs love to visit the beach together and enjoy connecting with their extended family.
Sewickley Presbyterian Church Sewickley, Pennsylvania, Pastor-Head of Staff
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary M. Div. Wake Forest University BA-BS Psychology, Biology, Pre-Med Old Dominion University Master’s Degree Program, Psychology
Orchard Park Presbyterian Church Indianapolis, Indiana, Associate Pastor Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Seminary Internship Shadyside Hospital Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Chaplaincy Program
PAST AND PRESENT SERVICE TO CHURCH AND COMMUNITY Executive Committee Pittsburgh Presbytery Committee on Ministry Whitewater Valley Presbytery Board of Directors Center for Hope, Ambridge, Pennsylvania Youth Worker Advisory Committee Quaker Valley School District Board of Directors Foundation of Middle Eastern New Testament Studies Breakout Speaker 2019 Urban Impact Man-Up Conference Preacher Synod of the Mid-Atlantic Presbyterian Men’s Conference
Above: Rev. Long on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic with two local pastors.
Reverend Kevin J. Long Dear IPC Family, Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Rebecca and I cannot wait to meet all of you in person. We have learned so much about you over the past nine months as we have enjoyed getting to know the members of the PNC, with whom we have truly fallen in love. Each of them has given us insight into who you are as a church, and we believe that God has great things in store for IPC. Through much prayer and discernment, and the PNC’s gracious persistence, we have heard the Lord speaking to us, calling our family to become a part of your wonderful family of faith at IPC. Therefore, it is with great excitement and anticipation that I accept the call to become your next Pastor-Head of Staff and make Birmingham the next home for the Long family. We have just celebrated the incredible news that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. Because he is alive and at work among us, we know that there is a future filled with hope awaiting us ahead. We are so excited to discover all the mischief that the risen Savior will be up to in the life of our church family in the years to come as he invites each one of us to participate in his mission to transform this world into the kingdom of God. Yours in Christ with great anticipation, Kevin
Above: Rev. Long pictured on a mission trip in Haiti.
Kevin Long was raised in a Christ-centered home with parents who took their baptismal vows seriously! I knew Kevin and Rebecca when they were single young adults in New York City, and I watched them date and fall in love in our congregation. I had the honor of performing their wedding and baptizing their first child, James. I have walked alongside Kevin as his pastor as he decided to respond to God’s call to the ministry. What a joy for me to watch Kevin grow into one of the finest preachers, pastors, and leaders in America! I can assure you that under Kevin’s Christ-centered preaching Independent Presbyterian Church is entering the most exciting chapter in your history!" ~ Rev. Dr. Thomas Tewell, former pastor, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, and founder of Macedonian Ministry
Welcome Long Family KEVIN, REBECCA, JAMES (17), JESSICA (14), KATELYN (13), AND BISCUIT
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