Rev. Ken Ehrke

Pastor, Embrace United Church of Christ


Rev. Ken Ehrke is pastor of Embrace United Church of Christ – a vibrant, progressive Christian community of faith located in the heart of Dallas/Fort Worth.  He has a wide range of ministry experience, having served in a number of pastor, hospital chaplain/counselor, and social service case manager/educator roles over the past 29 years.  He was the senior pastor of Agape Metropolitan Community Church in Fort Worth from 2001 to 2008 and was senior pastor of the Open Door Metropolitan Community Church in Boyds, Md., from 1991 to 2000.


Prior to joining Embrace United Church of Christ (formerly Cathedral of Hope Mid-Cities), Ehrke served as a case manager at Fort Worth’s The Parenting Center, where he helped the homeless, immigrants, refugees, and people struggling with mental illness and addiction build and maintain healthy and successful families through the prevention of child abuse and the promotion of positive parenting skills.


In addition to his ministerial experience, Ehrke has served on the board of directors for a number of community organizations, including AIDS Interfaith Network in Dallas, AIDS Outreach Center in Fort Worth, and the Whitman-Walker community health center serving the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.


Originally from Nebraska, Ehrke received a Master of Divinity degree from the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Kentucky, and a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Rev Melissa Ashmore was ordained in January 2018. Rev. Ashmore is minister of Community Outreach and Children's Education Formation.  She has been with Embrace since 2014 and completed her Member in Discernment with us while attending Andover Newton UCC Seminary in Boston as a distance learning student. She is married to Lora Ashmore and they are mothers to two active boys!  

Melissa is busy finding ways for us to impact the greater community.  We support Mission Central in Hurst and AIDS Outreach Center in Fort Worth in their support for people in need.  We volunteer with Brookdale Assisted Living facility next door throughout the year.   


Melissa also supervises and supports our Children's Education Formation program.  She Destinee and Mehar along with weekly parents volunteers ensure that our children have excellent spiritual growth opportunities.