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Rev. Grace Imathiu to Deliver 162nd Commencement Address at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

March 13, 2019
Rev. Grace Imathiu

EVANSTON, Illinois – Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is pleased to announce Rev. Grace Imathiu, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Evanston, Illinois, will speak at the seminary’s 162st Commencement on May 17, 2019. Imathiu has been in ministry over several decades and continents, working to create communities of love, hope, and inclusion. The Commencement service will begin at 10:00 a.m. at First United Methodist Church of Evanston. All are welcome to attend.

“We are particularly excited and honored that Rev. Grace Imathiu will be our commencement speaker. Garrett-Evangelical and First United Methodist Church of Evanston have long collaborated together for the benefit of the seminary and the congregation. We continue to be blessed by First United Methodist’s hospitality in hosting our commencement services,” said Dr. Lallene J. Rector, president of Garrett-Evangelical.

Imathiu was appointed to First United Methodist Church of Evanston after serving for six years as senior pastor of Community United Methodist Church in Naperville, Illinois. Imathiu had previously served eight years as lead pastor in Brown Deer, Wisconsin, and earlier as senior pastor at Green Bay United Methodist Church. Imathiu has also served churches in Kenya as a church planter; a superintendent minister overseeing 68 rural churches in the Nkubu Circuit; and an urban minister to an ecumenical congregation in Nairobi with strong outreach to the neighboring slums of Kawangware. She is intimately familiar with the Church in its many theological expressions and social locations.

Imathiu is a citizen of the world for whom “the world is her parish.” She is an African who is married to a European and raising an American son. Imathiu is fluent in three languages, was educated in Kenya, the United States, England, and Israel. She has preached in Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Togo, Liberia, Denmark, Australia, Malaysia, Brazil, and throughout the United States. In 2016, Imathiu was a speaker at the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women. She preached for the third time at the 2016 World Methodist Conference held in Houston, Texas, an event attracting over 3,000 participants from more than 80 countries.

Imathiu earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from West Virginia Wesleyan College, a master of divinity from Methodist Theological Seminary, and a master of arts from Cambridge University. She has also studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and pursued post-graduate work at Vanderbilt University. She is the author of Matthew Message: Good News for the New Millennium, and a book of sermons titled, Words of Fire, Spirit of Grace. She is a founding member of the Kenya Methodist University and the African Christian Communities and Theologies.

Imathiu is married to David Hay Jones and together they are the parents of Erik Imathiu-Jones, a senior at Providence St. Mel School in Chicago who will be attending the California Institute of Technology in the Fall.