Rev. Rob Kirbach
Rev. Kirbach was elected pastor of our congregation in December 2010. Prior to his election, Rob worked in mental health doing research in sleep medicine and as a crisis counselor, specializing in suicidology, for a counseling agency in nearby St. Louis. He completed his Master of Divinity degree at Eden Theological Seminary in Webster Groves, Missouri, where he was awarded a graduate teaching assistantship in constructive theology. Passionate about ecumenism and liturgy, Rob continues to engage in research in areas of historical theology – especially sacramental and Eucharistic theology – and plans to begin doctoral studies in the near future.
Rob earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Greenville College, during which time he began his ministry as a part-time youth director at nearby First Baptist Church of Edwardsville. He went on to earn a Master of Arts degree in counseling with a focus on clinical psychotherapy from Missouri Baptist University. While in graduate school, Rob directed Protestant campus ministries at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Rob made his ordination vows and was ordained by the Great Rivers Region of the American Baptist Churches USA in March, 2010.
A native of nearby Alton, Illinois, Rob initially straddled two career paths, gaining experience in both radio broadcasting/journalism and law enforcement. He is also an experienced baseball umpire having formerly officiated college baseball in several NCAA conferences including the Great Lakes Valley, Ohio Valley and Atlantic 10. As a person with many interests, in his free time he is an avid motorcyclist, enjoys reading, loves to follow St. Louis Cardinals baseball, and has even been known to play keyboards in rock and blues bands around the St. Louis region. Rob and his wife, Julie, have been married ten years and have three young children.