In 1883, Deacon Raymond established a Trust to hire a circuit-rider pastor to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout our conference. This year, we re-envisioned the Trust to provide three preaching fellowships to YDS students to focus more intensively on the art and craft of preaching while offering free pulpit supply to churches and pastors who welcome that support. The Raymond Fellows are available, free of charge, to support you and your congregation with pulpit supply.
You can contact Laurel Carr, firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to engage one of our Fellows for an in-person preaching engagement, or you can simply download and use any one of their sermons for your virtual services.
Meet Our Raymond Fellows
M.Div ’23, Yale Divinity School
Raised in Minneapolis, MN, Natalie and her husband Alex moved to New Haven this August to begin her path to UCC ministry at Yale Divinity School. Natalie was raised Unitarian Universalist and found belonging in the UCC after college. After graduating from Macalester College in 2011, Natalie became a teacher in rural Mississippi through the Teach for America program. She has worked for equity in education ever since, in both independent and public schools. She was most recently Executive Director of the Breakthrough Collaborative program in Minneapolis, providing academic enrichment for Minneapolis Public School students. While a member at Mayflower Church – Minneapolis, Natalie was a member of their Church Council and an Associate Minister Search Committee, a co-facilitator of the Mayflower Young Adults group, and a frequent summer guest preacher. Ministry has been on her heart for a long time, and her call to ministry is rooted in preaching. She loves to be a part of worship to proclaim what God is still speaking to us! She also loves to sing, cook, swim and canoe!
M.Div ’22, Yale Divinity School
A native of the Ozarks in Southwest Missouri, Zak is a recent but glad convert to the Northeast. After studying Politics and International Relations in college, Zak followed his call (and his wife) to Yale Divinity School, where they are both second-years pursuing their Master’s. Alongside his studies, Zak has enjoyed interning at the Congregational Church of New Canaan for the past two years, where he has been able to preach, help facilitate Confirmation, and work with the Children’s Ministry. A cradle Baptist, current Congregationalist, and enthusiast for wherever the Lord leads, Zak is passionate about sharing the Gospel and being an agent of change in others’ lives.”
M.Div `21, Yale Divinity School
An advocate & artist born groomed in the suburbs of Atlanta, JaQuan Beachem is a third-year Master of Divinity candidate and diploma seeking student at Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School. JaQuan is thrilled to be a member of the inaugural Raymond Fellowship cohort with God’s Acre. JaQuan is a Member in Discernment with the United Church of Christ and practices ministry that is love-centered, joy-seeking, trauma-informed, and justice-oriented. JaQuan believes preaching has the power to shine light in the darkness, inspire hope in times of despair, and liberate from the margins! In their leisure, JaQuan enjoys jamming out to music, honing his yoga practice, tasting a new recipe, and noticing things bloom. Looking forward to attuning our hearts and minds to what God is saying at such a time as this!