Rev. Dr. Rob Townsend

Lead Pastor

Rob came to be Hockessin’s Senior Pastor in July of 2014. He previously served as Senior Pastor at Bethesda UMC, Salisbury, MD from 2008-2014, pastor at Grace UMC in Millsboro, DE. from 2003 to 2008 and as pastor of Asbury UMC in Millington, MD., Crumpton UMC in Crumpton, MD and Double Creek UMC outside of Crumpton, MD from 1999 to 2003. Rob grew up on an Eastern Shore farm in Rock Hall, MD and was called into ministry his senior year of high school. 

He holds a B.A. in Religion from Wake Forest University (1992), a Masters of Divinity (1999) and a Doctorate of Ministry (2017) from Asbury Theological Seminary. Rob was commissioned a probationary member of the Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in 2001 and ordained a full elder in 2004. He was inducted into the Order of the Flame of World Methodist Evangelism of the World Methodist Council in 2005. In 2011 the Northeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church awarded Rob the Kim Jefferson Award for significant and effective urban ministry along with the covenant pastors of Salisbury Urban Ministries.

Rob has served the Annual Conference on many teams over the years, including Hispanic ministries and partnering with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rob currently serves as the Chair of the Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, and as a member of several Conference committees: Board of Pensions, Insurance Committee, Vision Team, and Sessions team. Rob was part of the Conference’s 2016 delegation to General and Jurisdictional Conference.

Rob has been married to the love of his life, Elizabeth, since 1993 and together they have three children: Sarah, Leanne and Joel. Rob is a diehard fan of the Baltimore Orioles, Baltimore Ravens, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, and Auburn Tigers. He has a love for missions, reading, gardening, hunting and smoking meat. Rob competed for 6 years on the Kansas City Barbeque Society competition circuit with his team the Holy Hogs. They were "Smokin' for Jesus." His life verses are Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (NIV) and Amos 7:15 "Then God took me off the farm and said, 'Go preach to my people." (MSG)