By Janet Goetze
For the Hollywood Star News
Raised in New Meadows, Idaho, Rev. Richards received his undergraduate degree in English from Concordia University in Northeast Portland, where he met his wife, Brie. He went on to the Duke Divinity School in Durham, N.C., and was ordained by Mosaic Church of Clayton in Clayton, N.C. He has served as a student chaplain, a leader-in-training intern, a chaplain for transitional housing development and as a pastoral intern at a rural Methodist church and two Baptist church start-ups.
“Jeremy has the perfect blend of academic training, passion and energy,” said the Rev. Slayden Yarbrough, the church’s interim pastor since the retirement of the Rev. Gregg Sneller, who led the congregation for eight years.
“Our congregation is very open to all people in the Portland community.” said Yarbrough. “We stress freedom in belief and practice and we wanted someone who identified with who we are and the Grant Park community and Portland. And we have found that in Jeremy.”
“We really wanted someone who was young and professionally green who would have the freedom to create a new journey for our church,” Yarbrough said. “We feel like we’ve got a fresh perspective to take us into the 21st century.”
Richards said he and his wife and their dog, Winfield, are thrilled to be a part of the Grant Park Church family.
“We love how inclusive the church is, how welcoming and friendly everyone is, and that the church cares about touching people in real ways in this community,” he said.
In addition, he said, the congregation forms a community “that will minister to me, too. That means a lot to me.”