The Rev. Amos J. Disasa founded Downtown Church in Columbia, South Carolina
May 14, 2019
The Rev. Amos J. Disasa, whose family emigrated to the United States from Ethiopia when he was 3, will preach his first sermon at the historic downtown church Sunday.
The 39-year-old pastor comes to North Texas after founding Downtown Church in Columbia, South Carolina, where he most recently served as co-pastor. The membership of that congregation doubled in size after it was chartered in 2014.
“I drank a lot of cups of coffee with people,” he said, explaining the church’s rapid growth.
He said he hopes to help grow Dallas’ oldest Presbyterian congregation with a similar blend of personal relationships, compelling preaching and a commitment to serving the city’s most vulnerable residents.
“It’s an honor to serve in Dallas with the members and staff of this church,” said the man who helped start organizations to serve the homeless in South Carolina and worked with street children in Brazil after college. “I’m eager to start and see what God’s got planned for our future.”
Born in the busy village of Dembi Dollo in Western Ethiopia, Disasa arrived in the United States when his father enrolled in graduate school in South Carolina.
Disasa earned his undergraduate degree from Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, and a Master of Divinity from Wake Forest University School of Divinity. He was ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 2007.
He met his wife, Sarah, a speech therapist and the granddaughter of a Presbyterian pastor, while in college. The couple have two children.
“We are honored and pleased to welcome Amos and his family to Dallas and our church,” said William D. Cobb Jr., the church’s clerk of session and chair of its pastor nominating committee. “We believe God chose him for this church, where he will serve as an inspiring leader and an important voice in our city.”
Disasa succeeds the Rev. Dr. Joe Clifford, who was called to lead a church in North Carolina after a decade in Dallas.
First Presbyterian Church of Dallas is a 163-year-old congregation located near the Dallas Farmers Market. The church founded and operates The Stewpot, a safe haven for homeless adults that includes medical, dental and mental health care; assistance applying for identification and benefits; art therapy; casework; and other services. The church also has a day school for young children, actively participates in international mission work in Mexico and Haiti and supports community ministries in North Texas.
First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, Special to Presbyterian News Service
Today’s Focus: Native of Ethiopia to lead First Presbyterian Church
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Let us pray:
God of eternity, you call us to be a people faithful to your call. May we find our prophetic hope in your voice. May we find our compassion in the depth of your heart and love. In Jesus’ name, we pray these things. Amen.