Rev. Sharon Ketchum was installed as the first minister of the newly organized Unity Spiritual Center of Lansing in July 2016. Ordained in 1999, Sharon previously served as senior minister of Unity Kitchener, Ontario, Canada for 16 years. (Under her leadership, this pastoral size community was the first Unity church to receive the Website Excellence Award (2004) and the first certified as a Unity Earthcare Congregation (2009) in the world.) Unity Canada awarded her the Northern Lights Award in 2015.
Rev. Sharon lives in Lansing with her wife Maxine Thome, NASW ED and MSW, and a house filled with dogs and cats. Her son Damion Ketchum and his wife Darcy live in Toronto Canada with 3 children, Luke (15), Logan (13) and London (11). Her daughter Dallas New lives in Wellington New Zealand.
Rev. Sharon serves on the Unity Worldwide Ministries board of trustees as chair emeritus, 1st Vice Chair. and as board liaison for the Music Team, and liaison to Unity in Canada. She also serves on many of the Unity Worldwide Ministries' Task Teams, including Finance and Budget Team, Annual Summit Team and liaison to Unity Earthcare. She served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of UWM from June 2018 to June 2019.: In 2019, Empower Music and Arts awarded Rev. Sharon the Kathy Gee award for her work in supporting New Thought Music and Musicians.
Originally from Johnson City, New York, Sharon enjoyed a variety of careers (and addresses) before becoming a minister. In the 60’s, after graduating from Stephens College, Missouri with an Associate degree in Radio, TV & Film production, Sharon traveled the US and Canada as an advanced publicist for Disney on Parade, as well as working in Toronto as an assistant for Paul Simmons Artist management and a writer for the CBC. She settled in California for 10 years where she worked for NBC and ABC as a production assistant. After some additional schooling at California State University at Los Angeles, Sharon began a new career in the sales and marketing in the garment industry. She worked at Commercial Uniform in Los Angeles and subsequently accepted a position at Action Line Uniforms in Dallas, Texas. In 1981, Sharon moved to Canada and worked as Vice President of Sales & Marketing for St. Hill Uniforms. When the company closed in 1993, Sharon went back to school at the University of Toronto and studied Psychology and Religion. At the same time, she began taking classes at Unity Village in Missouri and officially entered Unity’s ministerial program in 1997.
One of her passions is reflected in her Thesis paper for her Masters, “My Search for the Voice of Jesus” which explores the metaphysics of the Gospel of Thomas and compares the synoptic Gospels to these apocrypha writings. Her personal mission statement is ”to embrace, empower and inspire passion for life and creativity in myself and others.”