Rev. Ed Rowe, senior pastor of Central United Methodist Church Detroit, will retire after 37 years of ministry
Rev. Edwin A. (Ed) Rowe will preach his last sermon at the 10:30 worship service, June 22, followed by a reception, light meal and program in his honor.
Rev. Rowe has been in the ministry for over 40 years. He grew up on Detroit’s east side and attended Denby High School. He did his under graduate studies at Adrian College before he attended Garrett Theological Seminary in Chicago. In 1974, he was appointed to Pontiac Ecumenical Ministry (his first appointment); in 1979 as director of the Wesley Foundation at Wayne State University; in 1981 to Detroit: Cass Avenue UMC; and finally in 1994 to Detroit: Central UMC.
He is only the second pastor in Central’s history to serve 20 years (the other was Dr. Henry Hitt Crane who served Central from 1938-58). Throughout his ministry Rev. Rowe has worked tirelessly for the rights of the underprivileged. He has worked for the rights of homeless, battling to ensure all had shelter; as such he allowed a tent city to be built on the property of Cass United Methodist and was instrumental in starting the winter rotating shelter program.
Rev. Rowe has protested against shutting off utilities of impoverished people. He has fought for workers’ rights by supporting striking unions. His life and actions define the phrase “there is no Peace without Justice.” He went to Palestine and to Iraq on peace missions and often speaks at anti-war rallies. He also debated the Quran burning “minister” on a local TV interview show.
Rev. Rowe has provided amazing pastoral care. He has been at the bedside of many members of the congregation as they recuperate from illness or surgery.
In addition, Rev. Rowe sits in on almost every church committee meeting and often can be found (or not found) on Saturday evenings preparing his sermon for Sunday morning.
Rev. Rowe has won numerous awards locally and nationally. He holds several honorable doctorates including from his Alma Mater, Adrian College.
Rev. Rowe’s last Sunday as pastor will be June 29. He will not preach that day, but he will serve communion to everybody in attendance. There will only be one communion station that day.
Dr. Jill Hardt Zundel who is currently pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in Chesterfield, Mich., will be the new pastor of Central United Methodist, Detroit.
Central United Methodist Church is located at 23 E. Adams, Detroit (next to Comerica Park). The church’s phone number is 313.965.5422.