“How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the good news!” Those are the words proclaimed by the apostle Paul to the Church in Rome, as he writes about what it means to be a Christ follower in a complex and changing world. These words fascinated Susan when she unknowingly began her journey toward ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church. And they continue to inspire her as she seeks to serve the church by sharing the good news of Christ through relationship evangelism, witness, and discipleship.
Reverend Susan Holden grew up in a rural community near Nashville, TN and attended college at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where she studied dance choreography and teaching, and earned her BS and MS degrees. She later returned to school to become a Licensed Occupational Therapy Assistant, working with children and the frail elderly.
Susan is a life-long Methodist, but began to experience a significant shift in her assumptions about the Christian faith several years after moving to Las Vegas in 1999. Just when she was ready to leave the Church altogether, yet still hearing those words of Paul deep within, Susan felt a distinctive nudge from God to invest her time and energy in helping plant a new United Methodist Church in Northwest Las Vegas. Although reluctant at first, she soon found herself captivated by a fresh and compelling vision of the power and purpose of Christian community. And it was those very words of Paul that she found she was living out, not through her own efforts, but as a gift of the Spirit in the experience a new, yet ancient, Christian culture. One experience that profoundly affected her came after she was asked to help interview individuals who had a negative perception of the church. By engaging in these powerful conversations, Susan felt the desire to keep creating opportunities for folks to speak about faith. As a result of the work in that season of new church planting, the Foundation for Evangelism awarded Susan the Harry Denman Evangelism Award in 2009.
During this time, Susan also sensed a call to ordained ministry and began ajourney of discernment and study. She completed her Master of Divinity at Claremont School of Theology in 2015. She was appointed to a dual role in 2014, as Campus Minister to the University of Nevada and Associate Pastor to University United Methodist Church in Las Vegas. Rev. Susan was ordained as an elder in full connection with the Desert Southwest Annual Conference in 2017. She is currently serving as Sr. Pastor at Journey United Methodist Church, Las Vegas.
Susan and her husband Joe are parents of Rebecca, Emily, Stone, and daughter-in-law, Tracie. They are all grown, live in New York City, Miami, and Las Vegas,and are busy with their different careers, as theychange the world in their own distinct ways.
Joe is a recently retired project engineer. In their free time, Susan and Joe enjoy hiking and biking together, and they share a love of history. Both of them are looking forward to exploring their new home in Arizona, getting to know the folks at Desert Skies andtheir neighbors in Vail, and experiencing the beautiful outdoors.