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The Rev. Dr. Timothy C. Downs

The Rev. Dr. Tim Downs is the conference minister of the Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ, based in Atlanta, GA.

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United Church of Christ

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Southeast Conference, United Church of Christ

The Rev. Dr. Timothy C. Downs

United Church of Christ

Southeast Conference, United Church of Christ

The Rev. Dr. Tim Downs is the conference minister of the Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ, based in Atlanta, GA.

Elected as Conference Minister in 1996, Tim served local congregations in Pennsylvania and New England for 22 years prior to coming to the Southeast Conference. Tim's deep commitments to strengthening the life and witness of local congregations, and to social justice and mission, have ushered in an era of renewal in the Conference, bringing a dramatic increase in attendance at Conference events, in contributions to OCWM (Our Church's Wider Mission) from our congregations, and in new church development.

Timothy Downs was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. At the age of two his family moved to Thailand where his mother and father, Ray and Betty Downs, were Presbyterian missionaries. Baptized Presbyterian, he was confirmed in the Church of Christ in Thailand, and ordained in June 1974 by the Chicago Metropolitan Association of the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Tim is a graduate of Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota (B.A. International Relations) and Chicago Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois (D.Min.). He is married to Carol E. Kobayashi. Tim and Carol have two sons.

For most of his 22 years of ministry before being elected Conference Minister, Tim Downs served local congregations. He was committed to urban ministry and to the equipping of local congregations in urban settings to be "blessed communions, where we are opened to God's touch of grace, and opened to promise of transformation within our lives as a people of God ... communities which are called to wipe the tears and attend to the sorrows that mark our lives." He understood local congregations as places where people are gathered to be healed, to be strengthened, and then to go forth for the "living of these days." The local congregation is a people called to be beacons of love and justice in the name of Jesus Christ. Throughout his ministry, Dr. Downs is committed to living out the prayer of Jesus, "That they may all be one," and has sought to work ecumenically, as fully as possible.

As Conference Minister, Dr. Downs has been committed to the renewal of local congregations as a "basic unit of mission," and has understood that the United Church of Christ is most visible and present through the ministry of its local congregations.


Latest Content by The Rev. Dr. Timothy C. Downs

The Rev. Dr. Timothy C. Downs

Jesus Means Freedom

Galatians 5:1; 13-25

23rd Sunday after Pentecost

November 14, 2004

The Rev. Dr. Timothy C. Downs (UCC)

I begin today with a story. Several years ago I was staying in a motel in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, the kind of motel you want to keep the lights on low because the level of cleanliness is not particularly high. I had been invited to speak to a panel of leaders concerning Christian unity in this time and this place. Now I worked very hard sitting in that motel room reading, studying, writing, trying to prepare for as constructive a presence on that panel as I could bring. I then showered and dressed, and as I stepped out of the motel room, I felt a little bit like a glass of water too full. I had a lot of information that I wanted to hold on to. I just didn't want to be distracted; I didn't want to be tripped up.

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