Vogado comes to Salem from North Carolina church
Salem Presbyterian Church announced earlier this month that the Rev. Christopher Vogado would be joining the church as its new pastor. He comes to Salem from New Hope Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, North Carolina.
“I’m happy to be at Salem Presbyterian,” Vogado said. “This congregation has a deep commitment to serving the community which is definitely one reason I felt called to come to Salem Presbyterian. The congregation has a proud and strong history of being rooted in Salem, but their focus is about the future and being relevant to the needs of others around the church. It’s an outward focused congregation, which welcomes all people to join in their ministry. Their warmth as a church is obvious to me both outside and inside the walls of the physical building. It’s a joy to see what is next and where God is presently leading us together!”
Vogado, a worship leader and musician, was ordained as a pastor in the Presbyterian Church USA in 2014. The lifelong Presbyterian was born and raised in Maryville, Tennessee.
He graduated from the University of Tennessee with an undergraduate degree in religious studies in 2008.
After a stint in a riverboat cruise jazz band, Vogado entered Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, and received a graduate degree in divinity in 2013. He also met his wife, Rachel, at Columbia. She is also ordained as a pastor in the Presbyterian Church USA, with a passion to use the arts to articulate faith and deepen spirituality.
Prior to his pastorate at New Hope, Vogado served as pastor of Williams Memorial Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina from 2015-2017, and as a chaplain resident at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis from 2014-2015 in cardiac, palliative care and behavioral health units. Before that, he worked in churches in Kingsport, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia, serving youth and young adults and as a worship leader and musician.
“The search process took nearly two years,” said Fran Ferguson, chair of the pastor nominating committee. “We were impressed with Chris’ energy, his Bible scholarship and insightful preaching, and his friendly, outgoing personality.”
Chris plays the guitar, dulcimer, upright and electric bass and mandolin, with an eclectic taste in music that spans Bluegrass, Jazz, Classical, and other styles. His other interests include kayaking and being outdoors, Nascar, social justice issues, backyard astronomy, and his two cats.
Located on the corner of Main and Market Streets in downtown Salem, Salem Presbyterian Church is one of the oldest worshipping congregations in Salem. Special candlelight services will be held on Christmas Eve at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. Worship will be held on Christmas—and every Sunday—at 11 a.m. The church says all are welcome to attend.
-The Salem Times-Register