Rev. Nancy Johnston Varden is a lifelong Methodist. She was baptized at Edenton Street UMC in Raleigh, NC and confirmed at Wesley Memorial UMC in Wilmington, NC. She is a graduate of William Peace University (A.A., 1990) and North Carolina State University (B.S., 1993), Nancy married John G. Varden in May 1999 right after they both graduated Duke University (M.Div., 1999). After serving for one year in the British Methodist Church together John and Nancy moved to Crockett County, TN to serve their first congregations in the former Memphis Conference. Nancy commuted to Humboldt UMC where she served as Program Director and John was appointed to Maury City UMC. They are proud parents of three daughters: Virginia, Hannah, and Miriam.
Nancy was ordained on June 1, 2008, in Jackson, TN. She has served churches in both the North Carolina Conference of the UMC (St. Francis UMC and Orange UMC) and now the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference (Hickman-Beech Grove UMCs and Fulton First UMC, formerly in the Memphis Conference) for the last 10 years. She has also served on the Executive Boards of the Board of Ordained Ministry and Reelfoot Rural Ministries. Nancy also offers leadership as a board member and Gathering planner for The Ekklesia Project an ecumenical network of Christians rooted in their common love of God and the Church.
With a deep love for rural, farming communities and the strength of connectional ministry in the body of Christ, Nancy looks forward to her new work as Purchase District Superintendent. In this next chapter, Nancy hopes to continue to foster innovative and creative ministries alongside the clergy and laity of the Purchase District.