Al Butzer’s three greatest joys in ministry are:
1) Helping people make sense of the intersection of the ancient world of the Bible and the modern world in which we live;
2) Encouraging people to develop mature and authentic lives of faith that reach upward to God in praise, wonder and worship, and reach outward to others with grace and compassionate service;
3) Standing with people in their moments of great joy and deep sadness.
Al grew up in a Presbyterian family in Buffalo, New York, where his grandfather was a minister, his father an elder in the church, and his mother the music teacher in the church’s weekday nursery school. A graduate of Tufts University near Boston, Al holds two degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary. Prior to his call in 2007 to First Presbyterian Church, Virginia Beach, he served churches in Short Hills, New Jersey, Oak Park, Illinois and Fairfax, Virginia. In addition to work in the local congregation, Al has been active in presbytery throughout his ministry and was elected the 1992 Moderator of Chicago Presbytery. He has served three times as a commissioner to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church. He is the author of a book of sermons entitled, Tears of Sadness; Tears of Gladness, and has another volume of sermons scheduled for publication in 2016.
Betsy and Al have been married since 1980. Betsy, a self-employed interior decorator, grew up in Snyder, New York, a suburb of Buffalo. They are the proud parents of two young adult daughters. The Butzers enjoy sailing their boat, Morning Star, on the beautiful waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Additionally, Al is an avid photographer with an enthusiastic interest in seascape and landscape images.