A La Porte County Life in the Spotlight: Ericka Kilbourne

A La Porte County Life in the Spotlight: Ericka Kilbourne

Since May 16 of 2011, Erika Kilbourne has been the reverend for First Presbyterian Church, in Michigan City. After two years of being a reverend, Kilbourne decided to take her faith and education even further by getting her doctorate in ministry. As of today, Kilbourne is referred to as Reverend Doctor and is so happy to hold these titles for all their worth. 

Kilbourne decided to go in the direction of ministry because she had grown up in the church setting and always loved learning. As a reverend, she’s able to preach the word of the lord, celebrate the sacrament, be a part of the larger community, and speak for the deceased at funerals. 

“I grew up in the church. I started attending church camp when I was in fourth grade, and I believe that’s when my passion for church really began. I loved singing all the church songs while being around the campfire and being able to have self-reflection time just for God. After I started getting older I kept finding ways to get involved with the church, and I eventually started going on mission trips. Once I got involved with those, I knew being where I am today was the right decision,” said Kilbourne

Before being at the Michigan City church she currently preaches and attends, Kilbourne was an associate of a church in Richland, Michigan for seven years. Kilbourne knew after some time she wanted to be in a church setting where there were more than just the everyday small-town individuals, she wanted to preach to all walks of life. Thus, the decision to become the pastor at First Presbyterian Church came from Kilbourne’s dream to preach and serve in an urban church community. 

“I was looking at places from California to New York, but where I ended up has been so much more amazing. I just really wanted to be a bigger city/urban area pastor. I dreamt of being with a church not only on Sunday mornings, but every day of the week. When I got to the Michigan City First Presbyterian, I saw just how much they gave back and were involved with the community. They were the most involved in their community, more than I had ever seen. I knew they were the right place for me to be,” Kilbourne said. 

In her opinion, being the reverend comes with some huge responsibilities, but the best part about her career is being able to preach, embody, connect, plan, raise, and embrace the words of love from God to her congregation. 

When thinking of preaching and sermons, Kilbourne believes that the best one she ever heard came from Charlene Arrington-Moore with the title of “It’s time to get back to work.” 

Kilbourne believes the best sermon she’s ever preached was one she made last year in February about ending racism. 

Aside from being a devoted church member and pastor, Kilbourne enjoys her time listening to Broadway show tunes, riding bikes, spending time with her kids, reading poetry, listening to her favorite podcast “Unbound Love”, and playing the guitar.