Meet our Senior Pastor
Rev. Marti Swords-Horrell
The Rev. Marti Swords-Horrell, Senior Pastor, arrived in Troy with her husband the Rev. Dana K. Horrell in July 2014 from Syracuse, where she had been serving as Project Director of Syracuse Westside Urban Mission and Pastor of Brown Memorial United Methodist Church since 2010. Rev Marti was born in Newburgh NY and grew up in a UM parsonage in downstate New York, including 12 years in New York City. She was educated at Colgate University (B.A., High Honors in Religion), Yale Divinity School (M.Div.) and the University of Chicago (Ph. D. Candidate, Ethics and Society). Rev Marti and Rev Dana have two grown children: Nathan (who works as a labor analyst for Unite Here! in Manhattan; he and his wife Rhiannon live in Brooklyn, NY) and Madeline (who teaches music in two middle schools outside Houston, TX.)
Although she grew up in a UM parsonage, Rev Marti also gives thanks for her ecumenical and interfaith experience, from attending Yale Divinity School where she worshipped weekly with persons from every corner of Christianity to her urban ministry experience working alongside a rainbow of neighbors from every faith, class and racial and ethnic background. “We can accomplish so much more when we listen to voices and viewpoints from many cultures and walks to life,” she reflects.
Ordained in 1983, Pastor Marti has served churches in Chicago, in Maryland, and here in New York, in Ithaca, Lansing, Clay, Fayetteville, and Syracuse. “Pastoral ministry is a great privilege,” she says. “It is an honor to be entrusted with the nurturing of a congregation through good times and hard times, and with the deep and personal questions of meaning and purpose of persons both within the congregation and the community. The church today is at a crossroads, not only here in upstate New York but throughout the world, and I’m delighted to be called to be part of the birthing of a new day.”
Besides her ministry here at Christ Church United Methodist, Pastor Marti enjoys working out at the Y, swimming, biking, hiking, camping, and just about anything else in God’s beautiful creation; as well as cooking and baking, especially for large crowds, and all kinds of music.