Meet Rev. Justin McCreary

Rev. Justin McCreary has accepted the Hope Search Committee’s offer to become the next settled minister of Hope Unitarian Church. If “called” by the congregation at our annual congregational meeting on May 22, Rev. Justin would begin his ministry at Hope on August 1, 2022.

Justin M. McCreary began preaching periodically for his home congregation in Wheeling, West Virginia, at 12 years old. After many years of practice as an adolescent and teenager, Justin decided to get a formal education in Religion and Ministry, completing his Bachelor of Arts in Bible and Religion at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas and his Master of Divinity at Harding School of Theology in Memphis, Tennessee, with a focus in Hebrew Bible. During his time in seminary, Justin served in student government and was a frequent speaker during chaplain services where he began to hone his conversational and narrative preaching style.

During seminary, Justin worked in urban ministry as an apprentice at the Raleigh Community Church In Memphis Tennessee. After completing that apprenticeship, Justin moved on to work with a house church in the Greater Memphis area. Since leaving seminary, Justin has served as Chaplain Resident at Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center in Memphis Tennessee, then the G.V. Sonny Montgomery V. A. Hospital in Jackson Mississippi. After leaving residency Justin worked as the Spiritual Care Coordinator for AseraCare Hospice in North Mississippi.

Justin left North Mississippi to marry his wife, Alicia. Justin and Alicia currently live just outside of Jackson, Mississippi. They raised two children together and spent many hours watching softball games and attending choir concerts. Being a stepfather is one of Justin’s greatest honors in life.

Justin officially became a UU in 2010 and began serving the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Jackson in 2013. Justin received Preliminary Fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association in 2019 and was ordained by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jackson on November 3, 2019.

During his tenure at UUCJ, Justin has had the opportunity to serve not just the church but the greater Jackson area in regular social action, along with the Mississippi Immigrants’ Rights Alliance, Mississippi Religious Leadership Conference, NAACP, and other grassroots organizations. In 2015, Justin performed one of the first legal gay marriages in the state of Mississippi. In the years to follow he would participate in many protests and actions with the Poor People’s Campaign and Black Lives Matter of Mississippi.

When Justin isn’t at church or in a protest you may find him working one of his many hobbies: hiking, baking, cycling, ham radio, and computers.