We are thrilled to introduce and welcome Pastor Rick Oberle!

Pastor Rick Oberle

Meet Pastor Rick

Rev. Rick Oberle was born and raised in South St. Louis City and County, attended Mehlville High School, St. Louis University, University of Missouri- St. Louis and Harris- Stowe State College in St. Louis City.  He earned his Master’s Degree in Divinity at Eden Theological Seminary in Webster Groves, MO in 2007 and is currently attending Eden working on his Doctorate of Ministry Degree.  He anticipates completing his Doctorate in 2022.  At this time, his planned thesis work will center on “The Evolution of Church.”

Pastor Rick is second career clergy.  He spent 18 years in the grocery business before attending Eden.  He worked for National Supermarkets for 11 years, working his way up from bagger to Assistant Manager before they were bought out by a competitor.  After a brief stint as an Assistant Manager at a Grandpa Pidgeon’s store in North St. Louis County (Moline Acres) he worked for a grocery distributor selling, representing and merchandising grocery products and name brand labels in supermarkets all across the St. Louis area.

Pastor Rick’s call to ministry began when he was in Confirmation Class at Trinity United Church of Christ in South St. Louis.  His pastor, Rev. Don Gibson, expressed the Wisdom of God’s promises in such a way that Rick felt alive with the Holy Spirit.  For many years he denied his call, immersing himself with the work of the church in other areas; working with youth, serving on Church Council (4 years as president beginning at age 22) and various other committees.  But eventually he realized that God’s call was to ordained ministry; he quit his job in the grocery business and he followed God’s lead. 

Since taking this step, Pastor Rick served two churches while in Seminary: St. Paul’s UCC in Waterloo, Illinois and Parkway UCC in St. Louis, Missouri; and one church after graduation and ordination, St. John’s, Bem United Church of Christ in Owensville, where he served for over 10 years.  During this time he was very involved in the greater Owensville Community serving several elected positions in the Owensville Ministerial Alliance and the Salvation Army Owensville Extension Unit.  He has also held many elected and appointed positions in the St. Louis Association and the Missouri Mid-South Conference.

Pastor Rick is passionate about intentionality, integrity and extravagant generosity as we strive to embody God’s Love in Creation.  He is very excited about the New Beginnings he and the congregation of Columbia United Church of Christ will share together.  The people of Columbia United Church of Christ are poised for growth and new ministry opportunities in many ways; and Pastor Rick is eager to be on board and navigate the ministry they will share.  Anticipating a long term ministry at Columbia United Church of Christ with many exciting ministry opportunities along the way, Pastor Rick is looking forward to the first of many New Beginnings as we celebrate our shared ministry on Rally Day, September 10!   All are invited, all are welcome, all are called to come, be the church!