Rev. Allen Ewing-Merrill
Rev. Allen Ewing-Merrill joined The BTS Center as its Executive Director in July 2019, succeeding Rev. Dr. Robert Grove-Markwood. A Maine native, ordained in the United Methodist tradition, Allen most recently served as the co-pastor (with his wife, The Rev. Sara Ewing-Merrill) of HopeGateWay in Portland. He is also the founder and former convener of Moral Movement Maine, a network of multifaith leaders and people of conscience that advocates for social justice in the state. For 11 years he served on the Board of Directors of the Maine Council of Churches, as well as six years on the Board of the United Methodist Foundation of New England; presently he serves on the Board of Maine People’s Resource Center, the sister organization to Maine People’s Alliance.
A graduate of the University of Maine (1992) and of Boston University School of Theology (2000), Allen is continuing his studies in a Doctor of Ministry program through Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. He previously served as pastor of First United Methodist Church of Hudson, MA and as founding Executive Director of Hope Acts, a nonprofit focusing on housing asylum seekers and helping immigrants succeed. Before attending seminary, Allen taught high school English at Bangor High School and Searsport District High School, both in Maine.
Allen has extensive experience in advocacy, direct action, and faith-based organizing around issues of social justice, such as immigrant solidarity, fair taxes, and health care justice. In addition, he is deeply engaged in conversations about progressive Christianity, about faithful responses to the climate crisis, and about the future of the church. In 2020, Allen was recognized as a Distinguished Alumni of Boston University School of Theology.
In regard to his work with The BTS Center, he says, “In this age of cultural and religious upheaval and uncertainty, The BTS Center is well positioned to focus on deeply compelling questions about what it means to lead faith communities for the 21st century. I am overjoyed to serve The BTS Center team in this pivotal moment, as we explore how faith leaders and faith communities can play an important role in the renewal of human hearts, the establishment of justice, and the restoration of creation.”
Allen lives in Portland with his spouse, Sara, and their three daughters.