As Senior Minister for 10 years at Central Congregational UCC, Rev. Dr. Shannon Michael Pater is the third longest tenured pastor of the 135-year-old congregation in Atlanta.
Shannon Michael has served the Conference as Vice Chair and then Chair of the SEC Commission on Ministry, shepherding many candidates through the ordination process. He led Central to become a major supporter of the SEC capital campaign.
Under his leadership, Central accomplished two successful capital campaigns to retire a $1 million mortgage and establish a significant capital reserve fund. But even more, it has been his preaching style and scholarship that have distinguished his time at Central. He is a fervent, articulate voice for progressive Christianity. At this time, he is stepping away from the pulpit to give time to writing and reflection. He uses the term “uber pilgrimage.”
He has visited India six times, the first when he was 14 on a work/mission trip. In 2014 he spent his three-month sabbatical in the home city of the Dalai Lama. Now he makes his seventh “voyage,” on a one-way plane ticket, answering the call of a journey still unfolding.
His work for the Conference and his wise, laughing, supportive presence will be missed. Central will celebrate Shannon Michael on January 27 with a “Southern Sendoff” brunch in their Fellowship Hall following 11:00 worship.