The Rev. Ross is currently serving as the Designated Pastor at Pilgrim Congregational UCC in St. Louis, Missouri. where he has worked to integrate his church more deeply into the work of the Conference, instigated new community partnerships, and collaborated with other faith bodies to enhance Pilgrim’s reach, effectiveness, and impact. Another priority has been to help transform the congregation’s large physical plant into a source of revenue and, more significantly, an important community resource.
A native of Alabama, The Rev. Ross previously served as the Minister of Justice Formation at the First Congregational UCC in Washington DC. In that role, he led the launch of the Downtown Drop-In Center for Homeless Youth, and partnered with lay members of the church to begin the development and implementation of a comprehensive strategy to advance racial justice and confront white privilege. Part of this work involved planning and hosting events that addressed topics such as racism, police violence, xenophobia and anti-Muslim sentiments. He previously served in positions at two other DC churches.
The Rev. Ross also served as the Director of Outreach and Engagement for the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth in DC, where he says he saw the holy in the transformation, forgiveness, compassion, and mutual love among people sentenced as children to die in prison, their families, and the families of victims and survivors.
“I am convinced that this deeper understanding of the heart, who we are in the world, and what it really means to partner with God to bring forth the beloved community gives us the unquenchable thirst to serve in the most meaningful ways,“ The Rev. Ross wrote in his cover letter.
A former journalist, The Rev. Ross has served as a newspaper reporter and editor and an organizational communications professional. He was director of communications for the Denver-based Gill Foundation, which was then the largest funder of LGBTQI-related issues and causes, and served as a mayoral appointee in two cities, including New Orleans, where he led media programs, marketing initiatives and community engagement strategies following Hurricane Katrina. He holds an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Alabama, a Master of Arts in American Culture Studies from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and a Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.