Asbury Theological Seminary is proud to announce the appointment of Rev. Jessica LaGrone as the next Dean of the Chapel. Rev. LaGrone is currently an Associate Pastor of the 10,000-member The Woodlands United Methodist Church near Houston, Texas. One of her key responsibilities was the oversight of the weekly worship services, including liturgical, blended and contemporary services. Working closely with a staff of over twenty worship personnel as well as numerous volunteers, Rev. LaGrone has been well equipped and prepared for her new role at Asbury Seminary. She is also an excellent preacher and teacher. Not only did she preach regularly at The Woodlands and as a guest preacher around the United States, but she coordinated sermon series with the preaching pastors at The Woodlands and is the founder and teacher of the Radiant Bible Study which brings together nearly 400 women every week for the study of God’s Word. Dr. Doug Matthews, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost commented, “After completing an exhaustive national search, the Dean of Chapel committee, comprised of faculty, staff and students is thrilled with the selection of Rev. LaGrone. Her acceptance of this position is a blessing to the entire Asbury Seminary community.”
In 2005 Rev. Jessica LaGrone became an ordained elder in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and is also a 2002 M.Div. graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary where she was awarded the 2002 Stanger Preaching Award. President Tennent remarked, “I am so delighted that Jessica LaGrone is joining the ministry of Asbury Theological Seminary. At its heart, Asbury is a worshipping community and our daily chapel and Eucharist services are the deepest reflection of that identity. To have someone like Jessica LaGrone leading us speaks well for our future. Jessica’s life and ministry have been forged in the local church and we will be deeply blessed by her leadership in helping to spiritually form this community.”
Rev. LaGrone holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. She is married to Jim LaGrone and has two children, Drew and Kate, aged four and one. She is the author of two books, Namesake and Broken and Blessed. Rev. LaGrone states, “The Chapel is the heart of Asbury Seminary, undeniable holy ground. I’m thrilled to return to a place that formed me for ministry in such a powerful way to serve and invest in the lives of those in the community.”
Rev. LaGrone will move to Wilmore and begin her ministry here in June. At that time, Rev. Bob Stamps will retire as Dean of the Chapel, but will continue, along with his wife Ellen, to minister to the students at Kalas Village. A formal commissioning service for Rev. LaGrone will take place in the Fall of 2014.