Getting to Know Rev. David Lindsey

The Conference welcomed Rev. David B. Lindsey earlier this month as Transitional Conference Minister. (Read the announcement here.) We asked David to share answers to a few questions to help us get to know him better!

What drew you to this position as Transitional Conference Minister?

I was drawn to this position for a host of reasons. I had a positive experience with the Minnesota Conference and its staff during my tenure as a pastor at Lynnhurst UCC in Minneapolis from 2007 to 2014. The Conference is one of the healthiest in the entire United Church of Christ, and the opportunity to serve on the Minnesota Conference staff is truly exciting. I’ve long been drawn to conference ministry and have been working for years to prepare for such an opportunity, including through mediation training, chairing conference committees, and attending conference ministry preparation events at the national office. When word of Shari’s transition went public, I felt a strong desire to serve in this role to help the Conference prepare for her successor.

Tell us what you’ve been doing over the past few years.

Over the past decade, I’ve been serving in and on behalf of the UCC in the Washington, DC, area. From 2014 until 2020, I was the Senior Pastor of Little River UCC in Annandale, Virginia just outside the Beltway. Since the pandemic began, I’ve been serving as an Executive Director for interfaith nonprofits dedicated to nurturing understanding, building coalitions, and advocating for social justice (especially prison reform) in the mid-Atlantic region. Through it all, one of the major throughlines of my ministry over the past decades has been racial justice work and becoming a better and more antiracist ally and advocate over time.

Describe the work you intend to do with the Conference over the next 18 months.

My task as the Transitional Conference Minister is two-fold. On the one hand, I’m here to make sure that the usual work of a Conference Minister – church support, staff management, fundraising, representing the Conference in the wider world, etc. – continues to be accomplished. On the other hand, I’m also here to help the Minnesota Conference through this interim period. Interim ministry is often defined by five core tasks:

  • Coming to terms with history
  • Discovering a new identity
  • Managing shifts of power
  • Re-thinking denominational linkage
  • Committing to new leadership and a new future

These are the same tasks that a local congregation undergoes during a pastoral transition, but doing them as a conference will require creativity and adaptability. I’m dedicated to ensuring that the Conference accomplishes these tasks so that the settled conference minister and the future Minnesota Conference are set up for faithful and vital ministry together. I estimate that this work will take 18 months, with the understanding that God’s timing will trump even my best guesses.

Tell us a little about your family and background.

I grew up Southern Baptist in Owensboro, KY, and Greenwood, IN (an Indianapolis suburb). At the time (the late 20th century), the Southern Baptist Convention was going through a major internal fight, and I wound up spiritually homeless in my youth. During those years, multiple faith traditions nurtured me, especially Tibetan Buddhism, even as I felt a deep internal sense of call to Christian ministry of some kind. On the advice of my college chaplain, I attended seminary in southern California after graduating from college in Kentucky. There, I encountered the United Church of Christ for the first time, and I’m proud to have called the UCC home for more than two decades now. I’m also delighted to report that my family of origin came with me, becoming members of St. John’s East UCC in Evansville, Indiana.

My wife, Carrie Dobmeier, is a lay member of Georgetown Lutheran Church (ELCA), but we actually met in Minnesota thanks to the 20/30 something group of UCC clergy and laity in the Twin Cities. We met through mutual friends at a social gathering in 2010 and were married at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis in 2015. We’re proud parents of Felix Dobmeier-Lindsey, who just turned seven months old, and we’re excited to raise him in Minnesota where his mother has deep family roots.

What do you most like to do in your spare time?

More than anything, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. Beyond that, though, I love to make things. Whether I’m cooking dinner, writing poetry, or acting in a play, I always have to be doing something hands-on and creative or I go stir crazy. Throughout my life, I’ve primarily nurtured this creative urge through writing music and playing guitar, which I’ve been doing for more than 30 years.

© Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ | 2023