Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church of Oak Ridge has called the Rev. Dr. H. Lawrence Boudon as its new pastor, effective January 1, 2018. Boudon is a graduate of the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina with a Masters of Divinity. He was ordained May 29, 2010.
Boudon graduated from the University of Rochester with a B.A. in Political Science/Spanish. He has a PhD in International Studies from the University of Miami, and a Master’s degree in Government from the University of Virginia. Prior to entering the ministry, Boudon worked as a journalist, then as a college professor and as editor of the Handbook of Latin American Studies at the Library of Congress.
He was born in Olean, New York, and grew up in Port Allegany, Pennsylvania. He is the oldest of three children. Raised Roman Catholic, he became a Lutheran in 2003. He was drawn to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) by the “openness of dialogue at all levels of the denomination.” He is married to Laura, who holds dual U.S.-French citizenship and is presently Director of Study Abroad at Florida International University (FIU). Their son, Lucas, was adopted from Guatemala in 2007. Lucas is in the 6th grade and plays violin and soccer.
Boudon speaks fluent Spanish, having lived for three years in Bogota, Colombia. He also speaks conversant French and a little Portuguese, He loves music and has sung baritone with the Civic Chorale of Greater Miami. In addition, he loves to cook, golf, travel, hike/walk, and garden.
His areas of expertise in the ministry include preaching/worship leadership, teaching, multicultural ministry, pastoral care and visitation, and social ministry. Additional areas of strength are youth and family ministry, global service, innovation/creativity, and evangelism/mission.
Boudon served as dean of the Miami-Dade-Monroe conference in the ELCA’s Florida-Bahamas synod. He worked part-time as a chaplain in 2011-2015.
Grace Lutheran Church is the only ELCA congregation in Oak Ridge and Anderson County or counties north and west. Grace has a long history of serving the community. It is a founding member of CONTACT Care Line and the Ecumenical Storehouse, offers a Food Pantry on Friday mornings, and offers free classes in English for Speakers of Other Languages several days a week. It also offers free classes in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Russian taught by native speakers and open to anyone in the community. Pastor Boudon is excited to be coming to Grace and is especially interested in its ministry to the international community.
Grace holds two Sunday services: 9 a.m. (contemporary) and 11:15 a.m. (traditional). Everyone is invited to attend. Grace Lutheran Church is located at 131 West Gettysburg Avenue in Oak Ridge. For more information, call or go online at (865) 483-3787 or www.graceoakridge.org.