Meet our Pastor

More about Carolyn...

More about Carolyn...

Lead Pastor

Originally from the Chicago area, Carolyn came to Indianapolis to study music at Butler University – Go Bulldogs! After graduation, Carolyn decided to stay in Indianapolis, where she worked in an office during the day, sang with her band at night, and spent Sundays at her church working as a soloist and eventually Children’s Music Director. After starting a successful program at Geist Christian Church, Carolyn was called to St. Luke’s UMC to work as the Children’s Music and Fine Arts Director.

It was from St. Luke’s that Carolyn felt called to explore full-time ordained ministry. She graduated with a Masters of Divinity from the Christian Theological Seminary in 1997 and was ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in 1998.

In 2005, Carolyn graduated with a Doctor of Ministry from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. After graduation, she went to San Francisco to serve as an Intern at GLIDE Memorial UMC, a community known for its great diversity, community service, and outreach. She was at GLIDE until she was called to Avon Christian Church in west Indianapolis.

She and the Reverend Dr. Andrew Holmes, Lead Pastor at Roberts Park UMC, met while they were both working at St. Luke’s UMC and were married on 11/11/11. Carolyn says she and Andrew are a great example of how opposites attract or how faith can come together from different perspectives.

Carolyn and Avon Christian Church had just finished a building campaign. She was looking forward to catching her breath, but the UMC Bishop contacted her about coming to The Garden. The congregation was about to go independent from St. Luke’s UMC, and the founding pastor Dr. Linda McCoy was retiring.

At first, she was reluctant to take on such a challenge. Coming to The Garden was not in HER plans; however, it was in God’s plan. (And we know that God doesn’t always call one to what they want to do but to where we are needed.) And it seems we, both The Garden and Carolyn, needed each other.

Since September 2015, Reverend Dr. Carolyn Scanlan-Holmes is the spiritual leader for The Garden Community Church. Pastor Carolyn is deeply ingrained into the life of the church and dedicated to The Garden’s future.

Pastor Carolyn’s faith is driven by the music of all types, so The Garden’s progressive spiritual approach and blending of the sacred and secular truly fills her soul.

In her free time, she enjoys watching movies and reading. Carolyn has a creative spirit and enjoys living in that spirit. In fact, although it has never been published, Carolyn wrote a children’s book entitled “My Neighborhood” about a group of children coming together in spirit amongst great tragedy.

The Garden Community Church is truly honored to have Pastor Carolyn as our Lead Pastor, guiding us through what God has in store for The Garden’s future!