The Reverend Sansom Williams
Our Interim Pastor
As the congregation searches for a new pastor to replace Kelly, it has been blessed with the leadership of interim pastor San Williams. San and his wife Jan came to UPC after a 10-month interim assignment as associate pastor in Albuquerque, NM. He is retired from his most recent call of 20 years serving as Senior Pastor to the University Presbyterian Church in Austin, TX.
San's strengths, cultivated over 40 years of ministry to several churches in Texas, include a commitment to worship and preaching, as well as healthy staff development. Over his years at UPC in Austin, San worked with any number of seminary students, and even had the good fortune to have our new Executive Presbyter, Sallie Watson, on staff for a time as a Parish Associate. Sallie's observed that "San's staff was one of the healthiest I've ever served on."
In June, 2015, Dr. Ted Wardlaw, President of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, remarked on what a blessing it was to have had San as his pastor over his past 13 years in Austin - "an attentive, faithful, sacramental shepherd." Dr. Wardlaw, who knows both San and our church well, says, if asked for the rank order of his three choices to be our interim pastor, they would be San, San, and San - in that order!
San recently had a 10-month ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque as the Interim Associate Pastor. In that capacity, he served as pastoral staff for the Deacons, assisted in worship and preached once a month, taught adult education classes, and visited in hospitals and nursing homes. San says he is grateful that he has been given the opportunity to serve as Interim Pastor at University Presbyterian Church in San Antonio and engage with this strong, but grieving, congregation in our time of transition
The Reverend Kelly S. Allen
A Tribute to Kelly Allen
After serving at UPC almost seven years, the Reverend Kelly Sue Allen passed away Sunday, June 5, at the age of 50 after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke. Kelly was loved by her congregation and throughout the San Antonio community, the other communities where she has served, and beyond.
Kelly was ordained into ministry in 1992 and served congregations in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, St. Louis, Missouri, and Buckinghamshire, England before coming to San Antonio. She was especially known for her strong leadership as a mentor, a teacher, and an advocate for social justice, practicing Christian hospitality and inclusiveness with individuals and groups in need of support and belonging in order to build community among strangers. Before her death, she was co-chair of the Immigration Task Force of Mission Presbytery and the Interfaith Welcome Coalition. Hers was a vibrant, joyous life of service.
A colleague who knew Kelly during her entire ministry had this to say: “From her first call to a church in the context of the flood of the century, to her enduring passion for nurturing communities of resilience and joy, Kelly has not backed down from her belief that God is making all things new. Her deep compassion and pastoral tenderness are intricately woven with her scholarly inquisitiveness, punctuated with her persistence and perseverance. She offers strong perspective with clarity and laughter.”
Kelly is survived by her husband, John Rezentes, and two children, Clare and David, as well as her parents and the many foster children she and John cared for over the years.
Kelly is deeply missed by her family and all whom she touched. It brings comfort knowing that she was an organ donor, and her life will be continued in others.