INDIANAPOLIS – The Rev. Dr. Kent Millard, 69, senior pastor of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis and leader of one of the ten largest United Methodist churches in the country, recently told his 6,000-member congregation he will retire this coming summer.

He told The Indianapolis Star that he is retiring this year so he can focus more attention on helping his wife, Minnietta, in her battle with pancreatic cancer.

Millard’s last day as pastor of St. Luke’s will be June 30.

Indiana Bishop Mike Coyner said a successor, whom he will choose in cooperation with a St. Luke’s transition team, should be in place by fall.

Millard had been a minister in South Dakota, his native state, when he came to Indianapolis in 1993 to follow the retiring Rev. Carver McGriff.

In a Dec. 27 letter to the St. Luke’s congregation, Millard wrote: “I am deeply thankful that Bishop Woodie White appointed me to serve as Senior Pastor at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church beginning on October 1, 1993, after consultation with the Staff Parish Relations committee of St. Luke’s. I am also grateful that Bishop Mike Coyner has continued to appoint me to serve this congregation since he became our Bishop in 2004. I have loved serving God through the ministries of St. Luke’s for what will be nearly 18 years when I retire.”

What’s next for Millard? He said, “After I retire I am eagerly looking forward to spending more time with Minnietta and our family. I also plan to continue volunteering with the Interfaith Hunger Initiative to help end child hunger in Indianapolis and in a country in Kenya, working with charter and district public schools in improving public education in Indianapolis, working on Indianapolis Police community relations, serving other congregations in their stewardship and capital campaigns when needed, and responding to other opportunities to serve as they arise.”

He also said he will be working with the Governing Board of the congregation in a capital campaign to meet the future needs “so that we will not have to reduce our staff and program ministries to provide the facilities, which enable our many ministries to thrive,” he said.

St. Luke’s has a strong and growing worshipping congregation of about 3,000 members and guests each week in ten different services in three different locations. In addition to its Sunday sanctuary services, St. Luke’s provides worship experiences through The Garden, Later@St. Luke’s, Taize, Family Fuel and Youth services.

For more information about St. Luke’s UMC in Indianapolis, visit


” I have loved serving God through the ministries of St. Luke’s…”

– Kent Millard