City of Delafield – Although it is 150 years old, Delafield Presbyterian Church on Sunday, Oct. 23, will, for the first time, observe the ordination of a new Presbyterian minister.
The ordination ceremony for Nicole Blanks of Milwaukee will take place the day before the Presbyterian Church USA observes the 60th anniversary of the ordination of the church’s first woman minister, which occurred Oct. 24, 1956.
That woman, the Rev. Margaret Towner, served Delafield Presbyterian Church from 1972-89 and is now in retirement.
Blanks became the new pastor of the church in June, replacing the Rev. Robert “Bob” Jensen, who retired.
A seven-member committee selected Blanks from more than 100 applicants for the position, according to church elder Jane Lurvey.
Her selection marks the first time the church has chosen a newly ordained minister as its pastor.
Lurvey said the committee was impressed with Blank's youthful energy and enthusiasm.
“We were looking for someone with a Christian education background, which she has,” Lurvey added.
Raised in Mequon, Blanks is a 2000 Homestead High School graduate who earned dual degrees in college ministry and painting while attending North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In 2005, she was ordained as a minister in the Assembly of God Church and served in Louisiana and Texas before leaving the church for what she described as “theological reasons.”
In 2007, she returned to Southeastern Wisconsin and enrolled at Cardinal Stretch University, where she earned a master’s degree in religious studies in 2009.
She served for three years as director of Christian education at First Presbyterian Church of Racine.
In 2013, she entered McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago; she graduated in May with a master’s degree in divinity.
She said one of the reasons she was interested in the Delafield church was so she could be closer to her parents, who live in Germantown.
“I have been at the church for a couple of months now, and I feel confident it is a good fit,” she said, adding that she believed she is earning the confidence and trust of the congregation.
The ordination ceremony will take place at the church at 4 p.m.