Rev. Kyle Delhagen


One of the things you learn growing up as the son of a minister, is that a pastor’s family is as much called to a congregation and place as the pastor themself. My wife, Elena, and our two children,

Jumah - 15, and Atticus - 4, not only keep me grounded and remind me of God’s love and joy every day, but they deepen my ministry in profound ways. As a husband, a biological father, and a father of an adopted daughter, my understanding of our relationship with God has been stretched, challenged, and changed in amazing ways.

My life of faith has been profoundly shaped by many people and in many places. As a young person, I found my spiritual life being influenced by the church family and friends I was always around. My church youth group provided many opportunities to study God’s Word, talk about what it means to be a Christian, and also to put our faith into action. Some of the most formational moments in my spiritual development were on service trips during school breaks to Staten Island to work with the homeless, hungry, and those suffering from HIV/AIDS. All of this set me on a very early path to ministry.

Throughout college, I struggled with my call to be a pastor. Having grown up as a pastor’s kid, I tried to avoid where I sensed God was pulling me, but when God has a desire for your life, it is hard to ignore! I spent six summers during and after college working at Camp Fowler in the Adirondacks, and then two years working in youth ministry before going to seminary at New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Jersey. Following graduation from Seminary, I spent a year working as a Resident Chaplain at a Philadelphia Hospital, which taught me a lot about being a pastoral presence in times of grief and trauma.

In the few years following, I turned to teaching at a private Christian school in center city Philadelphia, where I taught tenth and twelfth grade English. During that time I was a part-time pastor of a small Reformed Church outside of Philadelphia. In that experience, I found myself drawn more and more to full time parish ministry. Since October of 2016, I have served as Pastor of Western Presbyterian Church in Palmyra, where I have continued to be challenged and stretched, finding fullness in this particular time and place of God’s family.


On May 2, 2021, Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church will welcome Reverend Kyle Delhagen, our new pastor, to our (virtual) pulpit to lead our congregation in worship. As previously announced by the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC), Reverend Delhagen comes to us from Western Presbyterian Church in Palmyra, New York, where he has been Pastor for the past four and a half years.  He brings a friendly, easy-going nature matched with a sound theological background, strong preaching style and a passion for social justice.  The PNC especially appreciates his commitment to mission (“anything that takes us outside the doors of the church”), his energy and enthusiasm, his thoughtful and relevant sermons and his creative approach to using technology to enhance the worship experience.  Reverend Delhagen equally is excited to be coming to Hamilton Union and is eager to get to know us and join in our journey of faith, mission and stewardship.


Many congregation members took advantage of the opportunity to meet Reverend Delhagen and his wife, Elena, back in February when we hosted him and his family for a candidating weekend, featuring an outdoor “meet and greet” under a tent in our parking lot.  We plan to have additional (socially-distanced) opportunities for people to meet and get to know Reverend Delhagen, and them, over the coming months. He plans to relocate to the area, with his family, at the end of the current school year (to allow his 15-year old daughter to finish out the year at her current school).  In the interim, Reverend Delhagen will be assuming all pastoral duties and responsibilities and will lead weekly worship services, still via Zoom for now.  The Session is continuing to discuss plans to reopen the sanctuary for Sunday worship.  They will be working on that with Reverend Delhagen, following all current CDC and State protocols and requirements. We all hope to be able to gather together for worship in person soon, with Zoom continuing as a worship option moving forward.


The Pastor Transition Team (formerly, the Pastor Nominating Committee)