A new chapter is beginning at Oak Ridge’s historical wartime church, the United Church, Chapel on the Hill, where members, at their December 2021 congregational meeting, elected the Rev. Suzanne Blokland as their new minister.
She succeeds Dr. Randy K. Hammer, who retired in September 2021.
“Raised in an historically inclusive church, where all participate equally, Rev. Blokland’s background and perspective complement UCCOTH’s tradition of inclusion, and together, they welcome everyone into the church family,” stated the release from the church.
In addition to her previous role as UCCOTH’s minister of education, she co-authored and published two resource books for children’s programs in the church, volunteered for over a decade in the city school system, and played an active role in local politics, helping to protect Oak Ridge’s nature preserves and to maintain the unique characteristics that make it such a wonderful place to call home, the release stated.
She is a summa cum laude graduate of Belmont University, having earned her degree in philosophy and religion. She completed her post-graduate work at Vanderbilt University, earning an MA in religion, with a specialization in medical ethics. She was ordained by the United Church in August 2019.
Blokland is the mother of three adult children, the youngest a sophomore at East Tennessee State University and the older children pursuing advanced degrees in physics and computer science, respectively.
She and her husband, Willem, a senior research engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have called Oak Ridge home for the last 20 years and enjoy the outdoors and the natural beauty of East Tennessee.
“Rev. Blokland and the UCCOTH family look forward to welcoming you with open arms,” the release stated.
This article originally appeared on Oakridger: New pastor at Chapel on the Hill