Our Pastor

Rev. Shawn T. Mitchell, Pastor

Rev. Shawn T. Mitchell is proud to be Pastor of New Hope UMC, marking his return to congregational ministry. He is an appointed full-time Local Pastor in the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church and has previously served as the director of the New Focus Community Mission and Chief Executive of the New Focus Foundation, a United Methodist Church mission. Rev. Mitchell is originally from Philadelphia, PA, where he was born, raised, and gained his education in Philadelphia public schools.

Prior to his arrival in Halifax County, Rev. Mitchell served on the Board of Directors of the Storytelling Arts Council of the Southeast and in many other leadership positions. Some of his leadership positions include Vice Chair Scotland County Ministers Association, Living the Word Robeson County clergy leader, and President of the NC Conference Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members (Rockingham District). He has also been a focal voice for food insecurity and homelessness in our state.

Rev. Mitchell has served as Assistant Pastor of Galilee UMC (Laurinburg, NC) and as Pastor at Walls Chapel UMC (Raeford, NC) and Mt. Zion UMC (Maxton, NC).

Rev. Mitchell served eight years in the US Navy serving on Joint Task Force Middle East and also on the Middle East flagship USS LaSalle (AGF-3). He also served aboard the USS Clark, USS Estocin, USS Clifton Sprague (Readiness Group 4), and the USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55). Rev. Mitchell served in the Persian Gulf during Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield as well as Operation Praying Mantis. He also served as the Harbormaster at the US Submarine base Groton, CT, where he earned the distinguished craftmaster qualification.

Rev. Mitchell has earned an AAS degree in Phlebotomy and Medical Assisting from the Craft Institute, Philadelphia, PA. He earned a BA in Religious Studies and a BA in Women’s Studies from St. Andrews University, Laurinburg, NC. He also has degrees from Duke Divinity School and Oxford University, Oxford, England in Religion and Theology.

Rev. Mitchell is married to the former Angela Ervin of Bennettsville, SC and they have four children (Shawn Jr., Precious, Avanti, and Albert) and two foster children (Candace and Kenneth). They are also the proud grandparents of 11. They believe that family is the root of everything that God gives us and therefore the family must be nurtured in order to make the world strong.

Rev. Mitchell has a true passion for education and strives to make every opportunity in life a learning opportunity. It is his personal belief that every child can learn if taught. He strives to provide transparency and passionate leadership for ALL of our children.