Rev. Dr. William (Bill) Lyons
Designated Conference Minister, Southwest Conference UCC
The SWC Executive Board unanimously selected the Rev. Dr. William (Bill) M. Lyons as our Designated Conference Minister, and he began his ministry with us on January 1, 2016. Bill was ordained in the U.C.C. on October 13, 1985 and has 30 years of pastoral experience.
Dr. Lyons served St. John’s United Church of Christ in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as their pastor for 11 years. During his ministry the congregation adopted new vision, mission and welcome statements, expanded their wedding policy to include all couples regardless of gender, became open and affirming congregation #869, and shifted from beliefs-based to values-based ministry – in that order. Along the way St. John’s reconfigured staffing and programs to reflect its identity and size, and crossed the threshold to financial sustainability. While he can’t tell you their average worship attendance, he will tell you that since 2013 when the congregation changed the way it measures their success, St. John’s has documented at least 365,721 people’s lives impacted through the ministry of their 123 members.
“I am coming to the Southwest Conference with excitement, ready to listen and learn how this conference and the national church can empower and equip you for more vital ministry in your communities and congregations. Together we will continue to be the most innovative conference in our beloved United Church of Christ, while we discover what new calling God has placed upon us in our life together.”