Westminster Presbyterian Church on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis announced today that the Rev. Dr. Tim Hart-Andersen will retire on October 31 from his role as senior pastor after nearly 25 years of ministry in Minneapolis.
In a letter to the congregation, Hart-Andersen wrote that the decision was not easy. “I recently turned 70 and sense that I am being called to move into the next chapter in my life. The same is now true for Westminster. I give thanks to God for the call extended to me by Westminster in the summer of 1999 to serve this historic Minneapolis congregation. This coming fall I will have begun my 25th year here. What a joy it has been!”
During his time at Westminster, Hart-Andersen has led the congregation through key moments for the nation and the City of Minneapolis. As senior pastor and head of staff of one of the nation’s largest Presbyterian churches, Hart-Andersen has preached regularly in worship, led the work of a dynamic staff, and provided strategic leadership as the congregation thought creatively about the future. Hart-Andersen has also served as moderator of the Westminster Town Hall Forum, an organization launched from the church in 1980 to invite guest speakers to engage the public in reflection and dialogue on the key issues of our day from an ethical perspective. The Forum also airs on Minnesota Public Radio.
Under Hart-Andersen’s leadership, in 2012 Westminster purchased the property next to the church and expanded the 19th century building with a new wing that opens onto Nicollet Mall and Marquette Avenue. The facility is a model of environmental sustainability, with an ecological design that added green spaces downtown. The expansion was funded through loans and a successful $65 million Open Doors Open Futures campaign. The congregation is currently in the middle a $30 million Enduring Hope campaign to retire debt and support the community. Both campaigns have included mission components, through which Westminster is investing $11 million in affordable housing in Minneapolis and in programs shared with partners to further racial and social justice and leadership development in the local community and beyond.
During his time at Westminster, Hart-Andersen has remained passionate about the church’s mission to engage in the life of the city and in transforming lives and systems in pursuit of the love and justice of Jesus Christ. “Westminster’s telling presence in the city is strong and healthy. The future is wide open for this historic downtown congregation,” Hart-Andersen said. “The congregation is blessed with wonderful leadership, outstanding facilities, a terrific location, and high visibility in the Twin Cities.”
Hart-Andersen is also an active member of the wider community, serving on the Macalester College Board of Trustees, the Downtown Council of Minneapolis, and as a member of the Downtown Minneapolis Interfaith Senior Clergy group. He is a founding Board Member of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians and one of the initiators of the NEXT Church movement. He currently serves as the chair of the board of Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico, and as a board member at his alma mater McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.
Born in Kansas and raised in Chicago, Hart-Andersen earned his undergraduate degree from Northern Illinois University, master’s degrees from University of Texas, Austin, and McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, and his doctorate in ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary.
About Westminster Presbyterian Church
An engaged, urban partner sharing the good news with a world in need of God’s peace, love, and justice, Westminster has been a telling presence in the city since 1857. With stirring worship services, beautiful traditions, and a progressive church culture, Westminster is a home for people of all ages and backgrounds to deepen their faith and make a difference in the world.
As an active and influential member of the city, Westminster collaborates with other faith, business, and social service partners to help make our community a place where justice flourishes, love is shared, and people are valued. Westminster is one of more than 10,000 similar congregations spread across the United States that, together, make up the Presbyterian Church (USA).