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Rev. Dr. Donovan Drake; 7th Minister (February 1998 - September 2010)

Rev. Dr. Donovan Drake; 7th Minister (February 1998 - September 2010)


The Rev. Dr. Donovan Drake (February 24, 1963)
7th Minister (February 1998 - September 2010)

Donovan Drake was born in Waukegan, Illinois, grew up in Orange City, Iowa and Vincennes, Indiana. Donovan graduated from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. He earned his Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary (1992) and received the Hugh Long-Grier Davis Prize in Preaching from Princeton Theological Seminary. Donovan is married to Beth Beran Drake, the only other Presbyterian that he found on the campus of Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa.

Donovan was ordained into pastoral ministry on July 19, 1992 at First Presbyterian Church, Morganton, NC. He served that congregation as an Associate Pastor from 1992-1998. He was called to Trinity Avenue Presbyterian and served as pastor from 1998-2010. Donovan earned Doctor of Ministry in Preaching from McCormick Theological Seminary (2005). The Drakes have two children - Michael and McKenzie.

While Pastor at Trinity Avenue, Donovan encouraged new fellowship and outreach initiatives. He helped establish two vibrant weekly worship services and the Wednesday Nite Lite program. More young adult and families joined the church and the church school flourished. Donovan served the Church and the community in many ways being a particular advocate for and so loved by Housing for New Hope. He served this organization from 2005 and chaired the Board 2009 - 2010. He also served in the following capacities:

Board Member, Durham YMCA, 2009-2010
Committee on Preparation for Ministry, Presbytery of New Hope, 2006-2010
Board Member, Durham Presbyterian Council, 1998-2010
President’s Council, Princeton Theological Seminary, 2000-2005
Evangelism and New Church Development, Presbytery of New Hope, 1998-2004
Board Chair, Presbyterian Urban Ministries, 2000

Rev. Drake was called to Westminster Presbyterian Church, Nashville, TN in 2010. In his 12.5 years of service to Trinity Ave, Donovan reported that he loved the people of Trinity. “I have encountered the living Word as we walked into valleys and onto mountaintops. Together we have grown in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The congregation so loved their Donovan, and it was particularly hard to let him go. “Donovan has grown TAPC into a respected church in the community and has left us a far better place than when he arrived.”

Written by Sally M. Adkin January 2016 drawing from TAPC archive news articles and personnel documents. Quotes from his exit interview.

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