For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish, foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.Corinthians 1:18

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.1 Corinthians 2:9

The Reverend Steven P. Blackburn, Ph.D.


Having grown up in a Midwestern Bible Belt church, I did not become a Congregationalist until I was halfway through high school, when my parents and I found a small church within walking distance of our home. It was that church - Pilgrim Congregational - which ordained me to ministry in 1982. Colebrook is my third pastorate, the first having been the First Congregational
Church of Barkhamsted, followed by an Interim position at South Egremont, Massachusetts. In addition to parish ministry, I have served as Executive Secretary of the Connecticut Fellowship, and taught at Hartford Seminary for over 25 years in their Islamic Studies programs.

But before there was ministry, there was music! Before I ever knew I loved God, I knew I loved music. Piano lessons began at age 7, followed by bagpiping. I sang in the junior church choir, was a bass in the Men’s Glee Club during the second half of my undergraduate career, and formed a madrigal quartet while in my first pastorate, singing Bass. Although I have not pursued music professionally, I cannot say that it is “the path not taken” since I never really left music behind: I own a harpsichord (a bicentennial reproduction of an 18th century Flemish spinet), my own set of bagpipes, play the recorder - and still own the baby grand piano my paternal grandmother gave to me at age 7. Recently, I have joined the Greenwoods Consort.

Among my favorite hymns are the National Hymn (“God of Our Fathers”), “Jerusalem” (the unofficial national hymn of the U.K.), “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind,” (the setting by Charles Ives is arresting), and the second verse of “I Vow to Thee, My Country.”

I married the Rev. Susan E. Wyman in 1980; she is currently minister at Barkhamsted Center Church. We met at Divinity School in Saint Andrews, Scotland in the late 1970’s. It was at Saint Andrews that I majored in Old Testament, and then proceeded to obtain a Ph.D. Religion
there as well. Susan and I now live in Pleasant Valley. Our daughter, the Rev. Averill E. Blackburn, is winding up her first pastorate: she has served for over two years at Founders Congregational Church in Harwinton as their Interim Pastor. Our son, Jamey Blackburn, is married to the former Jennifer Bradshaw, whose grandfather, the Rev. Duncan Brockway, was pastor here at Colebrook Congregational during the 1970’s.