Rev. Dr. K. Nicholas Yoda was born and raised in Georgia, attending the First Presbyterian Church of Marietta until he graduated from seminary. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Philosophy, and a Minor in Child Development from Berry College in Rome, Georgia. He went on to receive a Master of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia and a Doctor of Ministry from the Graduate Theological Foundation in South Bend, Indiana. He has also received a Certificate of Youth & Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey, and a Certificate in Christian Apologetics from Biola University in Los Angeles, California. He was ordained on May 31, 1998 and has served as Associate Pastor for Youth & Mission at First Presbyterian Church of Sumter, South Carolina from 1998 - 2003, and as Associate Pastor at Avon Lake Presbyterian Church in Avon Lake, Ohio.
Nicholas Yoda on the Church
"To be simple and to the point, I want to serve a church that desires to bring the grace, the truth, the mercy and ultimately the love of Christ to a world in such need of Good News... To be the church and run the risk of living in total union with Christ is to be people willing to love. It is not about our buildings, our programs, our budgets, and the number of persons on our active roles. As the song goes, "They will know we are Christians by our love." They will know we are the church when we are there with grace, truth, mercy and love for anyone who has grown discouraged and weary along the Way. Anything less is to miss the Gospel of Christ - the reality that the all holy God, who breathed the breath of life into humanity, loves us and brings to our wounds "the balm of acceptance and love." (Rich Mullins) This is the church that I would need in my burdens, I would join in my joy, and I would serve as a pastor."
Nicholas Yoda on Leadership in the Church
"Two of the most important entities in leadership are the ability to know who you are and to know why you are there. Over the past ten years in ordained ministry, these are the qualities that have been in development in my personal and professional life, becoming foundational principles concerning my congregational leadership. When a pastor is in touch with these two principles from an ontological standpoint, they are in a place to shepherd a congregation where pastor and parish are discerning who they are together and why they are there. With great clarity and honesty, with energy and passion, with value and purpose, this marriage of pastor and church will do transformational ministry according to the will of God."