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Attorney, Community Activist To Head Local Church

Rev. David Hart

Sherman Avenue United Methodist Church of Madison has announced that it will have a new pastor, Reverend David Hart, and is pleased to welcome him back to the community. Reverend Hart was appointed by the United Methodist Church of Wisconsin earlier this month and his first Sunday of worship will be July 3.

Hart’s wife, Azure, and two sons will join him as he transitions into this role.

“I’m excited to be part of this dynamic congregation,” Hart says. “Sherman Avenue offers a spiritual home for all of us who seek both inner peace and a better world.”

Hart, an ordained clergy from the African Methodist Episcopal Church, is a former Wisconsin Department of Justice prosecutor and supplemental court commissioner. He is currently a trial attorney in the Wisconsin Public Defender’s office.

Hart graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1999 and worked for the Wisconsin Public Defender’s Office immediately after graduation. Hart has also worked in private practice where he focused on criminal defense and civil rights.

With over 15 years of legal experience as both a criminal defense attorney and a prosecutor, Hart has a unique, holistic perspective of the criminal justice system and has written and published noted papers and commentary of the same.

Sherman Avenue United Methodist Church of Madison
Sherman Avenue United Methodist Church of Madison

Hart comes to Sherman Avenue with significant ministry experience. He has led a jail ministry for eight years, and founded The Trinity — a dynamic coffee-shop worship service that employs hip-hop, spoken word, and jazz to reach souls. He has also led Henderson Church in Beloit and Justice Church plant in Madison.

Hart is very active in civic, volunteer and arts communities and has served on a number of community boards. He was elected to serve on the Wisconsin Bar Association’s Board of Governors for two terms.

Hart is a volunteer mentor, tutor, and coach and his community work was recognized as he received the “Individual Partner for Justice Award” from the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence and was featured in In Business magazine in their annual “40 Under 40” issue, among many other community organizations and awards.

As a result of his work in the criminal justice system, Hart will focus on the prevention of violence against women, and building community relations while at Sherman Avenue.

“My life has been a journey toward love,” Hart says. “With all the opportunities granted me, I’ve always felt called to serve others, to make a difference in the world — first through law, and now ministry. With each transition I’ve tried to share more power, to diminish self and enlarge other, to be less fuel and more catalyst.”

Sherman Avenue is one of the oldest churches in Madison. Located on Madison’s north side, the church provides active ministries and comfort and counsel to all souls. Sherman Avenue currently has a 9:30 a.m. traditional service in English and an 11:30 a.m. service in Hmong led by Reverend Luke Thao.