On Sunday, July 24, 2016, First Presbyterian Church members voted to call the Rev. Dr. Corey Nelson as the 22nd Senior Pastor of this historic church. We are excited to welcome Corey and his wife Miriam on September 11 for the kickoff of the 2016-2017 program year with one worship service at 10:00 a.m., followed by the annual All-Church Picnic. Read more about Pastor Corey below and be sure to join us for worship on Sunday mornings.
The Rev. Dr. Corey Nelson grew up the youngest of three in Michigan and Washington, playing the trumpet and serving as Drum Major in school. Intending to become a high school music director, he attended Whitworth University in Spokane because of its terriϐic Music Education program. During this education, God moved Corey from his Pentecostal origins to the Presbyterian church, where he was active in missions as a young adult. Through two years of service as a young adult volunteer in Northern Ireland and West Africa, God revealed to Corey the potential impact of the church in action around the world to bring healing, wholeness, joy, and abundance to diverse communities—and called him to full‐time pastoral ministry.
Corey attended McCormick Theological Seminary on a MENSA academic scholarship, where he received awards for preaching and church history, as well as serving as Choral Director and interning at Second Presbyterian Church in Chicago. During and after his Master of Divinity, he also worked for PC(USA) in missions, theater, publications, and education. Officially ordained, Corey’s ϐirst call as Rev. Nelson was at Community Presbyterian Church, a 650‐ member congregation in Clarendon Hills, Illinois, where he worked for two years with missions and outreach, Christian education, and worship, as well as serving in leadership roles for national church conferences.
During his next, nine‐year call at First Presbyterian Church in Lake Forest, Illinois, Rev. Nelson took his next step to become Dr. Nelson, achieving his Doctor of Ministry through Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary as a member of an inaugural degree program partnered with Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business. His dissertation focused on best practices for local churches to choose and engage in mission partnerships. As Associate Pastor for Missions at First Presbyterian Lake Forest, a 1,600 member church, Corey led the church’s missions organization, its weekly Sunday evening worship service, its stewardship team, many education offerings, several mission trips, and the entire staff and congregation as Senior Pastor/Head of Staff during a sabbatical term. He also continued to serve as a leader for national church conferences.
Corey is a relational, humble, intelligent, active, caring individual who loves spending time outdoors, who bakes cookies and breaks bread in hospitality, who uses laughter to build community, who enjoys meeting new people and exploring new terrain, and who is excited to join the FPC Fort Collins family in worship of and service to our Lord.