“I feel a bit like being back home. My ordination was in Northwest Ohio. Twice I served in the Northern Kentucky portion of SONKA [Southern Ohio Northern Kentucky Association], once in Central Southeast and once in Northwest Ohio,” Gantt said. “The 18 years I spent in Ft. Wayne at Crossroad-Fort Wayne Children’s Home (now Crossroad Child and Family Services) led to a great many speaking engagements in Ohio Conference congregations and attendance every year at Ohio Association and Conference meetings.”
Gantt graduated from Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio, and Eden Theological Seminary.
The journey back to Ohio included conference minister interims in Central Pacific Conference and Indiana Kentucky Conference, several interim pastorates within IKC, and twice as a staff member at Back Bay Mission, Biloxi, MS.
“I pray that those experiences and learnings will be helpful as we work together to grow the vitality and faithfulness of Ohio Conference congregations, Associations, the Conference itself, and our partnership in the wider UCC,” Gantt said. “Your prayerful encouragement regarding these tasks is cherished!”
Gantt’s understanding of God’s vision is about shalom-wholeness, wellness, and well-being for all, which result in the peaceable realm of God’s intention. He is deeply motivated by Micah 6:8, and is passionate about the gospel and social justice, compassion for those without privilege, and the command for the church to be in the world.
The Search committee, comprised of board members Jeff Roeger, Jay McMillan, Cynthia Tyson, Jim Meyer, Sam Buehrer and Mindy Quellhorst, interviewed and unanimously recommended Gantt to the Board of Directors. The search committee cited Gantt’s references who spoke of his leadership, capable guidance, listening skills, and quiet questions that challenge as well as offer hope.
“John is a person who is compassionate and caring,” said Conference Moderator Mindy Quellhorst. “His gifts include listening and building community as we grow together with the Holy Spirit. I am excited for him to help lead us in Ohio.”