Rev. Nathan W. Carlson, Associate Pastor and Youth Director

“So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” – Matthew 28:19

         I have been married to my wonderful wife, Amanda, since 2008. Together we have one rambunctious son, Cade. Our family relocated in 2016 to Florida from Pennsylvania as we discerned God leading us down here for the health and well being of our family, and discovered God had already laid out a pathway of ministry before us through Oakhurst UMC. We have long had a love of Florida as we honeymooned on both coasts, I endeavored to attend college and seminary here (before hearing God tell me no both times!), and made frequent trips to Disney and to visit family living in the area.

         Raised in a household where my father (La Mar) was United Methodist ministry, and my mother (Rachel) had many members of her family in the missionary field, I have always found myself at home inside the church and began serving Christ’s kingdom through my local church at an early age. Almost from the time of my public commitment to Jesus in second grade at a sold out Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, I was a part of evangelism teams, worship committees, and mission projects.

         My life in ministry has lead me on many great adventures already including into areas of coaching, consulting, continuing education conference design, seminary alumni councils, and conference higher education committees (in Western Pennsylvania). I have a deep love for ancient Christian theological study known as the patristics, as well as modern theologians who express deeply held Christological views in modern ways. All of this simply to say, I love Jesus Christ and His Church. Outside of church life, I enjoy gaming, traveling, reading good Young Adult, Sci-Fi, and mysteries. I am an avid Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins fan, but look forward to rooting on the Tampa Bay area teams. I was blessed to complete my undergraduate degree at Washington and Jefferson College graduating Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Business Administration, and from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity in 2011.

         I am a member of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and was ordained an elder there in 2013. My prior ministry appointments while there include Homewood and Koppel UMCs, Penn’s Wood UMC, Miller UMC, McKnight UMC, and The Heights Faith Community new church start. I am excited about the opportunities present here at Oakhurst UMC as I serve as the Assistant Pastor.

         My calling as a pastor is simply this: to see Jesus Christ glorified and served in and through my life and all those I encounter. Practically, what this means to me is that I view my role as a pastor as a broken vessel who, through the grace of God poured into me, is being made whole once again and whose responsibility it is to allow this grace to overflow so that others might see it, recognize it, and come to know it for themselves so that Christ might begin to do the same work in and through them. As a pastor then, my role is to participate in the ministry of Jesus as others are called, equipped, deployed, and active in transformational ministry to the whole world. At any give time, you will find me working and living somewhere along that same spectrum.