The Session of First & Franklin Presbyterian Church is very pleased to announce that it has unanimously agreed to hire the Reverend Christian T. Iosso, PhD. to serve as our Interim Pastor. He brings a wealth of experience, and a real energy and enthusiasm to the position. Session is looking forward to his leadership.
Rev. Iosso (pronounced eye-oh-so) is a minister and Christian ethicist who has served the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as a pastor and member of the denomination’s national staff. For almost 13 years he was pastor of the Scarborough (NY) Presbyterian Church, a congregation with some similarities to First & Franklin. He then became Coordinator of the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy for 14.5 years, supervising many studies of social ethical concerns, including several reports on urban ministry. Prior to those longer calls, he received his PhD from Union Theological Seminary in New York City while teaching part-time for Mercy College and NY Theological Seminary at Sing Sing Prison and other campuses. And before that academic period, he staffed corporate social responsibility work for the United Church of Christ and the United Presbyterian Church in New York City.
Chris has edited or co-edited several books, including Prayers for the New Social Awakening (2008) and Christian Ethics in Conversation (2020), and authored Five Risks Presbyterians Must Take for Peace (2017).
He received his BA at Johns Hopkins University (1973-76) and his Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary (1976-79). He is originally from New Providence, NJ, and is the father of three adult children: Caleb, Jacob, and Caroline; and one grandchild, Genevieve.
Part of his attraction to First & Franklin was through his wife, the Rev. Robin Hogle, who was a member of our church prior to going to seminary, 25 years ago. She served as pastor and prison chaplain in Virginia and New York and is now the Pediatric Intensive Care and Cardiac Chaplain for Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville. Chris will occupy half of the second floor of Backus House and commute back to Louisville several days per month, remaining available for virtual meetings, email, and consultation as needed. Robin will certainly visit Baltimore, a city where she lived for 11 years and still considers her hometown.
Chris’s first Sunday of preaching will be March 14th, and there will be a chance to meet him during an already scheduled after-church event (more on that in this week’s Update and Sunday bulletin). Please plan on being with us on March 14th to welcome Chris and Robin back to Baltimore and First & Franklin.