ERIN TIERNEY-HEGGENSTALLER / THE CHRONICLE Pastor Liv Gibbons in her favorite dress on the steps of Ebbert Memorial United Methodist Church.
SPRINGFIELD – On the corner of 6th and C streets in Springfield, stands Ebbert Memorial United Methodist Church, a quite large and peculiar brick building. The architecture is asymmetrical with large arches and wide staircases on every corner. The sanctuary is surrounded by ornate and colorful stained glass windows depicting religious figures and biblical stories.
Inside, the new pastor sits and admires the architecture, inspired by what’s to come.
Liv Gibbons (pronounced lEEv) is the new pastor at Ebbert, replacing recently retired June Fothergill who had served Ebbert since 2012. Gibbons has been enjoying spending time at a building with such character, but she is even more excited about the character of the people within.
Gibbons said that Ebbert has the potential to impact even more people in the community than it already has. “This church has worked so hard and loved God and neighbors so well. People should know about Ebbert and feel comfortable here,” she said.
Gibbons knew that she wanted to be a pastor since she was a teenager, something her parents always showed support of. With this in mind, Gibbons attended Grinnell College in Iowa where she majored in religious studies. She then attended University of Chicago’s Divinity School, receiving her master of divinity and then was ordained in 2011. Throughout her education and career, she has received an unbelievable amount of support from the ministries she has been a part of and is incredibly grateful.
A graduate of Sheldon High School in Eugene, after many years away in school and other ministries, she has moved back home with her young family to be close to her parents.
“I’m so happy to be back here. I’m ready to see this church thrive. I really want to work on being a welcoming presence and a place where people feel safe and feel physically and spiritually fed,” she said.
Gibbons said she is thrilled to be part of a church that has a heart for the hungry and seeks to bring people together. Moving forward, her hope is to continue to develop Ebbert’s outreach efforts like the community garden and housing projects. Gibbons also hopes to grow their children’s ministry.
“This is a beautiful space and I would love to see more community events happen here – don’t let the dandelions fool you,” she said with a wink and a smile.