Shari Prestemon – Acting Associate General Minister / Co-Executive of Global Ministries (Appointed Member) began her service as Acting Associate General Minister and Co-Executive of Global Ministries on January 16, 2024.
She previously served as the Minnesota Conference UCC Conference Minister (2013-2023), as Executive Director at the UCC’s Back Bay Mission in Biloxi, Mississippi (2000-2013), and as pastor to local UCC congregations in Wheaton, Illinois and Stevens Point, Wisconsin.
Shari received her Bachelor’s Degree from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa and her Master of Divinity from Chicago Theological Seminary. She has served on multiple Boards of Directors in the wider UCC, including on the United Church of Christ Board, as Chair of the Board of Trustees of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, Co-Chair of the Common Global Ministries Board of the UCC & Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and Vice Chair of the Cornerstone Fund Board. She also served as Chair of the Council of Conference Ministers of the UCC, on the Steering Committee of the UCC Palestine-Israel Network, and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Minnesota Council of Churches.
Shari’s faith journey has been profoundly shaped by direct experiences with the ministries she now supports in her current role with the National Ministries. She served as a Peace & Justice Intern for one year with the United Church of Christ in the Philippines in Dumaguete City on behalf of the (former) United Church Board for World Ministries. She has participated in and led multiple study trips to Palestine and Israel and has journeyed with Global Ministries delegations to Haiti, Columbia, Germany, Indonesia, and East Timor. She partnered extensively with Global H.O.P.E. when Hurricane Katrina devastated Back Bay Mission and the Gulf Coast region in 2005. Of her experiences Prestemon says, “I have personally witnessed the life-giving, life-changing power of our ministries in so many places and ways. What we do together as Church makes God’s love real in the world and has tremendous, inspiring impact. I feel incredibly blessed to be in a position where I can nurture and strengthen this amazing work.”
Special recognitions Prestemon has received include the Reinhold Niebuhr Award for Service by Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis (2007), and the Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award from Chicago Theological Seminary (2008). She received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Heidelberg University (Tiffin, Ohio) in May 2010 and a Distinguished Service Alumni Award from Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) in 2014.