The Rev. Kody Witt will assume the position of pastor of Emerging Generations on Sept. 15 for Epworth United Methodist Church in Rehoboth. In this new position, he will focus on ministry to and programs for the youth and young families of the Epworth congregation.
Witt received his bachelor’s degree from Clarion University, Clarion, Pa., in May 2009 and a master of divinity degree with a concentration in counseling and chaplaincy from Campbell University, Fayetteville, N.C., in May 2012.
Witt was born and raised in Brookville, Pa. His life was immersed in Methodist ministry with his grandfather, the Rev. Gerald Witt, now a retired minister, and an uncle, Kevin Witt, who is the national staff person for the United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministries. His parents, Keith and Kathi Witt, still reside in Brookville, and he has a brother, Korey, who resides in Rising Sun, Md.
Witt began to attend church camp as a teenager, when he quickly began to realize that camps such as these were “much more than just structured events where we sat around talking about things that didn’t relate to my life." He said, “Christianity wasn’t just something intended for adults, but rather was a way young people could share the aspects of their life with God, and use it to help both themselves and other people find fulfillment and satisfaction in their lives."
Witt said, “I wanted to use what I had been experiencing, and what I what I loved to do, to minister to other people like myself." As soon as he was old enough, he was appointed a camp counsellor, at the age of 18.
Witt started broadening his experiences by attending churches of several denominations. He also worked for a Presbyterian church as a youth minister, an Evangelical United Methodist Church as a music minister, and a Baptist church as a worship pastor.
While in seminary, Witt joined the U.S. Navy as a Chaplain Candidate Program officer. Upon moving to Fayetteville, Witt also joined Snyder Memorial Baptist Church, and after four years serving there in various capacities, upon graduation from divinity school, he was ordained a minister. After graduation he worked as a hospital chaplain at WakeMed Health and hospitals in Raleigh, N.C. He returned to Brookville, where he worked as a counselor and chaplain at Abraxas Youth and Family Services, an organization that treated youth and young adults who suffer from drug and alcohol addictions, as well as behavioral and mental issues.
Witt relocated to Delaware to be with family, and to look for a church and ministry to call home. The Rev. Dr. Pat Laughlin, Epworth associate pastor, said, “Just at a time when the church had this critical need to find someone to head its youth and family services programs, God supplied our need and presented us with Rev. Witt.”
Witt was warmly received by the Epworth congregation when he addressed all three Sunday services on July 13.
As pastor of Emerging Generations, Witt will primarily be responsible to minister to youth, young adults and families as well as participating in worship and pastoral care throughout the church.
Witt said a goal for his ministry at Epworth is "to open up opportunities for these emerging generations so they experience our alive and timeless God in ways that are meaningful and relevant to their lives.” He has already announced an expansion of the Sunday school program to include classes for senior high school students and is moving toward a revised schedule of classes that will accommodate more time for students to attend both worship services and Christian education classes.
Epworth UMC is a Christian community with open hearts, open minds, and open doors, striving to become a church of radical hospitality, extravagant generosity, passionate worship, risk-taking service and intentional faith development.