Rev. Shawn Garvey
Rev. Garvey holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Long Island University and a Master of Divinity Degree from Andover Newton Theological School. In 2018 Rev. Garvey celebrated 20 years in ministry, and he has served as Senior Minister to First Congregational Church of Winter Park since 2013.
Selected as one of Winter Park Magazine’s “Most Influential People” in 2016, Rev. Garvey sits on the Executive Board, the Governance Committee and the Board of Directors of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce. Rev. Garvey also participates as an original member of the "No Name Civility Posse," a gathering of Winter Park leaders seeking to create a more civil, compassionate dialog in Winter Park around issues important to the city while building a better sense of community.
He also served as Interim Dean at Knowles Memorial Chapel at Rollins College from 2014 – 2016, during which he served as Faculty Advisor for Rollins’ Interfaith Group “Coexist,” on task forces for homelessness, hunger, and domestic violence, led retreats and workshops for student leadership groups, and was instrumental in acquiring space in Knowles Chapel for a new Interfaith space on campus.
Rev. Garvey sits on the Board of Directors of The Mayflower Retirement Community, which the church founded in 1989. He regularly participates in providing worship throughout the year at both the Mayflower and Winter Park Towers, as well as providing special music at local service events, services of worship, city events and the Sunday afternoon “Music At The Casa” series at Casa Feliz Historic House Museum in Winter Park.
In 2015 Rev. Garvey began an annual event in Winter Park called "Side-By-Side" which celebrates the gifts of the city by bringing people together from all walks of life in the community. Politicians, First Responders, Clergy, Business People, Educators and Artists all gather to celebrate the unique gifts of Winter Park and it's residents, and it has become a favorite event each year for the residents of the city.
After the tragedy of the Pulse nightclub shootings, Rev. Garvey was instrumental in inviting and organizing the national leadership of the United Church of Christ to Orlando to make their presence known and make a national press statement. He was also asked to lead the prayer vigil at Rollins College after Pulse and was an invited guest at the Service of Prayer at Aloma Church in Winter Park – one of the city’s largest Southern Baptist congregations.
After the Parkland shooting, Rev. Garvey held a vigil at the church as host to a number of organizations including the Coalition Against Gun Violence and the Council on American - Islamic Relations that was attended by over 400 people seeking healing and next steps in the face of continuing violence in our midst.
Additionally, Rev. Garvey is a “Preferred Officiant” for Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings at Walt Disney World, and was the featured officiant on Disney's FreeForm channel during the 2018 holiday season for a special Mary Poppins-themed wedding on "Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings Holiday Magic 2."
An accomplished singer and guitar player, Rev. Garvey brought his friend Livingston Taylor to Winter Park in 2015 for a sanctuary concert at FCCWP where he opened for Livingston and joined him in a duet of “City Lights”: a song Livingston recorded with his brother James Taylor that Livingston and Shawn first sang and bonded over together six years before.
An avid John Denver fan and tribute artist, Rev. Garvey brought his dear friend Steve Weisberg, Denver’s lead guitarist from 1973 – 1977 to FCCWP in 2014 for what would be the last of the John Denver tribute shows he and Steve had been performing annually for many years before Steve's passing from cancer.
Rev. Garvey also enjoys woodworking, being at the ocean, travel, all things “tech” and is completely addicted to the “Lord of The Rings” trilogy, which he watches every year for his birthday (Extended Edition, of course!)
Above all, he adores all the time he can spend with his wife and two boys all of whom he loves "to the moon and back."