Rev. David Hart celebrated his first anniversary as the pastor of Sherman Ave. Church, the same way he celebrated his arrival — on the streets of the north side.
On this occasion, however, there were no streamers. No food. No music. No balloons or other party favors. Just the sun peeking through the the clouds, and a somber quiet that hung thick and viscous in the air.
Rev. Hart was in a north side apartment complex, talking to residents who had been affected by recent gun violence. As Rev. Hart shared prayers and listened to stories, children rode their bikes cautiously through the crowded parking lot.
If it appeared that the Rev. Hart was at home in that environment, its because he was at home. Rev. Hart was born and raised on the north side. He was educated in Madison public schools. He attended Lindbergh Elementary, Gompers Middle, and graduated from Madison East High School where he met his wife, Azure. They have two sons, Ronnie who is almost 17 and David who is 16. They both attend Madison public schools.
Rev. Hart is also an attorney. He has practiced law for 15 years and has served as a criminal prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney in Madison. Currently, Rev. Hart is trial attorney in the Wisconsin Public Defender’s office.
Rev. Hart is active in Madison’s civic and arts communities. He has served on several government and nonprofit boards, and ran for alder on the north side in 2003.
In his first year at Sherman Avenue Church, he has worked diligently and has successfully established relationships between the church and the north side community. For instance, with the assistance of Cyndy Hoffman, Outreach Coordinator for Sherman Ave. Church, he has established a long-term partnership with Mendota School. Rev. Hartalso serves as a weekly tutor and mentor at Mendota.
What’s more, through an initiative called “Know Your Neighbor,” Rev. Hart has invited community leaders, elected officials and business professionals to worship and speak to at Sherman Ave. church.
In the coming months, Rev. Hart looks forward to the work ahead including a domestic violence sermon series and a Trunk or Treat celebration, both in October. Rev. Hart is eager for the opportunity God has blessed him with to minister to the north side.
“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 beautiful north side at 3705 N. Sherman Ave., the church provides active ministries and comfort and counsel to all souls.