Asbury First's minister for faith formation, the Rev. Dr. Stephen M. Cady II, has been named the next senior minister for the church. He will assume his new role on July 1, 2015 upon the retirement of the current senior minister, the Rev. Susan S. Shafer.
The announcement of the Rev. Cady's appointment as senior minister was made on January 18, at all Asbury First church services, by Rev. Susan Shafer. The announcement followed a unanimous affirmation the previous day by the Staff Parish Relations Committee of the appointment, made by Bishop Mark Webb of the Upper New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
In her announcement Rev. Shafer, referencing Rev. Cady's wife and children, said "The wisdom of the Bishop and our SPRC, our prayers, and Stephen and Emily's faithfulness, is proof that God is good, God works in great ways, and God will work through Stephen, Emily, Ellie, Charlie and Hannah in the years to come – and we will benefit greatly from it."
Rev. Cady received his Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2014, where he wrote a dissertation titled "Creative Encounters: Toward a Theology of Magnitude for Worship with United Methodist Youth." While at Princeton, he was named a Timothy Scholar, an honor given to teaching scholars by the Foundation for Evangelism. He was also awarded a John Wesley Fellowship by the Foundation of Theological Education, and a Dempster Graduate Fellowship by The United Methodist Church.
Prior to his arrival at Asbury First in 2012, Rev. Cady served as minister at Kingston United Methodist Church in Kingston, New Jersey and associate minister for Park Ridge Community Church in Illinois. He has given many keynote speeches and addresses throughout the country and abroad, many of them related to youth ministry and the need for the church to find new ways to meet the needs of young people.
Rev. Cady is an adjunct professor at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester.