Meet Co-Pastors, The Harts
Rev. Dr. Andrew (“Andy”) Hart was born in Philadelphia, PA, and grew up in Wayne PA. He graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Wake Forest University where he majored in political science. Andy received a Masters in Political Science from the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Fulbright grant to study at McGill University in Montreal. Shortly thereafter, Andy was hired by Systems and Computer Technology as an Account Manager for five years working with clients in Eastern Canada. Feeling the call from God, Andy attended Princeton Seminary after serving as an Elder for Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church. Most recently, Andy obtained his Doctor of Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary with a focus on PTSD and Spirituality.
Rev. Laura Batten Hart was born in McRae, Georgia and graduated from Presbyterian College in South Carolina where she earned a B.A. in Religion with a minor in Music. Within her major, Laura specialized in Christian Education. After graduation, she served First Presbyterian Church in Orangeburg, SC for nearly 5 years as the Director of Christian Education and Youth. It was here that Laura began to realize her call to ordained ministry. Laura attended Princeton Seminary and graduated in 2003. While at Princeton, she interned at Hopewell Presbyterian Church and served as Chaplain at Princeton House, a 73 bed inpatient psychological and addictive recovery facility for Princeton University Medical Center.
Three weeks after graduating from Princeton, Laura and Andy were married and moved to South Carolina where Andy accepted a call as Solo Pastor at Douglas Presbyterian Church in Lancaster, SC. He served that congregation from 2003 to 2009. During that time, Laura served as Interim Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church in York, SC, from July 2004 to October 2005. While pregnant with their first child, Olivia, Laura felt God calling her to be a full-time Mom, and two years later Abigail was born.
In response to another call from God, Laura and Andy moved to Huntington, NY, where Andy served as Head of Staff at Old First Presbyterian Church from 2009 to 2014. Laura served as spiritual director and Mentor at Old First in addition to serving as regular pulpit supply for a yoked congregation. While there, Laura and Andy had two more children, Benjamin and Nathaniel. Andy also joined the Civil Air Patrol as chaplain where he received many awards for service.
Both Andy and Laura have passions that run parallel to their call to pastoral ministry. Andy’s commitment to veterans can been seen in his doctoral work at Columbia Seminary where he received his DM in with a focus on PTSD and Spirituality. Andy’s strong desire to serve veterans will continue to be a focus of ministry for him in the Chambersburg community and beyond. His work and studies are highlighted in several articles and book reviews he has had published, and a book entitled The Same God, Different Pulpits. Currently, he is working on a chapter for an upcoming book on clergy best practices entitled, “Creating Space For Those Experiencing Trauma Especially Veterans”. Laura’s passion can be found in the area of church leadership. She was recently accepted into McCormick Theological Seminary’s Certificate in Executive Leadership Program. This significant accomplishment demonstrates her commitment to understanding the evolving demands of church leadership, and we are excited that she will be able to apply her knowledge and experience at Falling Spring.