A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Rev. Kathryn Kibbie Laird (who goes by “Kibbie”) is a cradle Presbyterian. Her family went to church every week and always sat in the same pew of the large gothic church, affectionately known as Fort God. After graduating from Fort Worth Country Day School, Kibbie headed to New England and fell in love with ivy colored buildings, pumpkins, snowy winters, and spring blossoming trees. At Mount Holyoke College, she studied religion and could not get enough of it. She graduated as a Religion major with a concentration in Economics. Some of her college experience highlights were studying in Paris, France, and Madrid, Spain. She played varsity tennis and soccer.
After college, Kibbie attended Yale Divinity School, and it was there that she felt called to the ministry. She graduated from YDS in 1997 with a Master’s of Divinity but had time to spare before being ordained in the Presbyterian Church. So she worked on Wall Street for a couple of years. In December of 2000, she was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the PC(USA).
In the past 20 years, she has served churches in Pleasantville, NY (6 years), Greenwich, CT (4 years), and the First Presbyterian Church in New Canaan (10 years). Her passion is children and youth ministry. “Very few people will say that their favorite age group is middle and high school youth. I mean, who would admit that publically? But I cannot think of a more deserving age group. Those are tough years for everyone, and those years are fundamental for emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growth.” Kibbie has led more than 25 youth mission trips to Honduras (3x), Belize (2x), Costa Rica, Alaska, West Virginia (7x), New Jersey (3x), Kentucky, Virginia, Boston, Providence, Rutland, VT (4x), etc. “I have spent my career trying to raise a generation of youth to be life-long Christians. We mold and shape each individual youth to be Christ-like. One day they will grow up to run families and corporations, and they will have tremendous influence. If we can get them to embody love and compassion, I feel I will have succeeded in my calling.”
Kibbie serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council at Yale Divinity School and has enjoyed getting reacquainted with the Yale Divinity School community in recent years. She loves preaching, hands-on mission experiences, pastoral care, and building the Kingdom of God within the church for all ages.
Kibbie and Jim Laird have been married for 20 years and have lived in New Canaan for the past ten years. They have two children. Their daughter Avery is a sophomore at New Canaan High School, and son John is at East Elementary School. When she is not at church, Kibbie enjoys spending time with her family, walking at Irwin Park or the Nature Center, and reading good books.