Ernest L. Gardner III
Ellen Lucille Campbell Gardner and I were married at First Presbyterian Church; Norfolk, VA on May 16th 2009. Almost 10 years to the day we met for the first time at a Presbyterians for Renewal event held at Austin Seminary. Rev. Ernest is a Virginia native, and later moved completing high school in Spring, Texas. He earned his Bachelor of Music Education/ Choral from Liberty University. Following his senior internship with Houston Grand Opera, he sang four seasons as a core member of The Dallas Opera Chorus and pursued graduate study in Voice/Opera at the University of North Texas. He was a member and sang with the Highland Park Presbyterian Church Sanctuary Choir, and Highland Chorale during the pastorate of Rev. Dr. B. Clayton Bell. Following his call to ministry HPPC took him under their care through the completion of his Master of Divinity from Austin Seminary.
Rev. Ellen is a native of Pennsylvania, growing up in Erie and raised as a member, and then Ruling Elder at First Covenant Presbyterian in Erie. She earned a Bachelor of Music in Voice from Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC, and later studied Interior Design. Later in response to her call to ministry she served on the staff of Coalition for Christian Outreach ministering to students at Carnegie-Mellon University through Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Her home church took her under their care as she completed her ordination studies at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
Ernest has served as the installed pastor for two pastorates in Virginia. Coming to First Church Pittsburgh this is his tenth call as a Transitional Pastor, and his ninth as Head of Staff. He has completed Interim Training Week I & II in the PC(USA) and is also recognized as a Certified Transitional Pastor in the ECO Presbyterian denomination. He has served in several leadership capacities as a Board Member, Moderator and Conference Director of the Montreat Wee Kirk Conference, as well as a member of the Committee on Ministry for Charlotte Presbytery (PCUSA), including serving as the co-moderator of the North Cluster of churches.
Ellen has served multiple churches as an installed pastor and stated supply pastor in the PCUSA. She completed Five Units of Clinical Pastoral Care Training (15 months), Week I of Interim Training in the PCUSA, and she is also recognized as a Certified Transitional Pastor on the ECO. She currently works as a Visioning and Long-Term Planning consultant with the pastoral search firm, Knot Navigators.