Scottsdale pastor to lead church in Hawaii - East Valley Tribune: Spirituallife

Scottsdale pastor to lead church in Hawaii

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Posted: Saturday, June 30, 2007 3:27 pm | Updated: 6:03 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The Rev. Larry Corbett, founding pastor of Pinnacle Presbyterian Church in Scottsdale, has been called to lead the largest church in Hawaii affiliated with the United Church of Christ. Corbett preached Sunday to Central Union Church, a 2,700-member, multicultural congregation in Honolulu, and the congregation voted to extend the pastoral call to him. He begins Sept. 1.

The Rev. Larry Corbett, founding pastor of Pinnacle Presbyterian Church in Scottsdale, has been called to lead the largest church in Hawaii affiliated with the United Church of Christ. Corbett preached Sunday to Central Union Church, a 2,700-member, multicultural congregation in Honolulu, and the congregation voted to extend the pastoral call to him. He begins Sept. 1.

Corbett began ministry in the Valley in 1977 and served five years at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Phoenix. He then joined the staff of Valley Presbyterian Church in Scottsdale as associate pastor. Valley became the “mother church” to launch Pinnacle on Oct. 1, 1989. For four years, Corbett shepherded the fledging congregation at the clubhouse at Glenn Moor in Troon Country Club. It purchased 15 acres (later five more acres) at 25150 N. Pima Road. With 110 members, it then moved into its chapel. A second service was added. Today it has about 1,300 members and is one of the three largest congregations in the Presbytery of Grand Canyon.

“They have been wonderful years,” Corbett said. “We came to Pinnacle at the right time — there has been tremendous growth in north Scottsdale in the last 25 years.”

“We have had wonderful staff, and we have had lots of children, a preschool of 180 3- and 4-year-olds,” he said. With the construction of its sanctuary and addition of a three-story, three-manual organ, the church developed a major concert series, and it has regularly hosted the Phoenix Symphony.

“It’s just been a wonderful experience,” said Corbett, adding that he was surprised that his age (63) was not a barrier in his being called by the Hawaiian church. “Their call process is very different from the Presbyterian system,” he said. “I spent 25 to 30 hours in front of the search committee and 11 other groups answering questions.” He said he had anticipated retiring from Pinnacle, but Central Union Church (www.centralunionchurch.org) “was like a magnet that drew me to it.”

Corbett is a graduate of Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio, and holds a divinity degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and a doctor of divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. He and his wife, Meredyth, have two children and six grandchildren.

“He is a very fine pastor and he is a careful and competent administrator, and he listens to people,” said the Rev. Wilson Kilgore, pastor emeritus of Valley Presbyterian Church, where they once worked together. Kilgore now attends Pinnacle.

“I am sorry to lose my pastor,” Kilgore said.

Corbett’s final day at Pinnacle will be Aug. 12.

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