Brian Harroff of Canal Winchester, Ohio, will assume responsibilities as Transitional Pastor for Morning Star Parish in Portsmouth beginning February 1. Morning Star Parish consists of First Presbyterian Church at 221 Court Street and Second Presbyterian Church at 801 Waller Street. He will deliver his first sermon as Transitional Pastor at both churches on February 2. Second Presbyterian worship service begins at 9:30 a.m. with Sunday School for all ages at 11 a.m. First Presbyterian Church’s Sunday School classes are scheduled for 10 a.m. and the worship service there is at 11 a.m.
As Transitional Pastor, Harroff will serve the parish while the churches work through the process of finding a new permanent minister to replace former minister Stanley Webster who moved from the area to become pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Erwin, Tennessee.
For the past five years Harroff has been serving as minister of the Bloom Presbyterian Church in Lithopolis, Ohio, a rural community bordering Canal Winchester. He was commissioned as a Student Pastor for Bloom in September, 2008 and ordained and installed as Designated Pastor in October, 2010.
Harroff earned a degree in Agriculture (Natural Resources) from The Ohio State University in 1989 and a Master of Divinity degree from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio in 2010. He earned certification in Clinical Pastoral Education Training and Interim Ministry Training in 2012 and was enrolled in a continuing education “Healthy Congregations Leadership Seminar” in 2013.
Harroff also worked for AT&T in Columbus for 18 years while earning his divinity degree and serving the Bloom Presbyterian Church. He will be joined in Portsmouth by his wife Lisa who works as an unemployment hearing representative for Equifax. The couple has two daughters, Caitlin who is employed as a nurse’s aide in a nursing home, and Taryn, who works for Donato’s Pizza while she attends Columbus State College.
“Lisa and I are really excited about joining the Portsmouth community,” said Harroff. “We’ve heard wonderful things about the churches I’ll be serving. We’ve already experienced great kindness and hospitality from folks in and around town. We look forward to adding our hands to those currently working for good in Portsmouth.
“Morning Star Parish Council, consisting of three members each from both First and Second Presbyterian Churches in Portsmouth, was charged by the Sessions of both churches to perform a search for a Transitional Pastor,” said David M. Wear, Chairman of the Pastoral Search Committee. “After a diligent search we were very pleased to have located a pastor that we felt was more than qualified to serve in this post in both aiding and guiding the churches forward. The recommendation to hire Pastor Harroff was presented at a joint session meeting where the hiring was approved by unanimous vote. We feel that Brian Harroff and his wife Lisa will fulfill our expectations completely.”
Harroff has been an integral part of leading changes in the structure of the Presbytery of Scioto Valley through his work on the former Presbytery Council, as well as the Coordinating Team and the Vocations Commission of the Presbytery. Recently as a Presbytery-endorsed consultant, he has been guiding his congregation through a transition in ministry with successful results.