The installation service, on October 23, 2016, capped a two-year national search headed by First Presbyterian’s 10-member Pastor Nominating Committee, whose decision to issue a formal call to Rev. Haberer was reviewed and approved by Lehigh Presbytery.
Rev. Haberer is well known in the Presbyterian Church (USA), having served on several denomination-wide committees and task forces, most notably the Theological Task Force on Peace, Unity and Purity of the Church from 2001-2006. He previously served PC(USA) pastorates in Houston, Texas, Satellite Beach, FL, and Naples, FL; two of them long-term positions as Lead Pastor. Rev. Haberer was Editor-Publisher of The Presbyterian Outlook for nine years and is the author of three books.
The installation service opened with bagpipes—a reflection of PC(USA)’s historical Scottish roots—and included clergy and leaders from throughout Lehigh Presbytery as well as numerous clergy from other local denominations. Many friends and former colleagues of Rev. Haberer also attended. Music was provided by the Covenant Brass and First Presbyterian’s 10:10 Alternative Band, Chancel Choir and Youth Choir.
After Rev. Keith Brown, Honorably Retired Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, delivered a sermon titled “The Life-Saving Station,” Rev. Haberer was formally presented for installation through a series of statements from the Presbytery, questions to the candidate and questions to the congregation. Dozens of elders and teaching elders came forward to lay hands on Rev. Haberer during the prayer of installation. The service was followed by a reception in First Presbyterian’s Fellowship Hall.
Rev. Haberer was drawn to First Presbyterian Church of Allentown because of its earnest pursuit of being disciples of Jesus Christ and its variety of worship styles. “I want members of this church to cherish their memories of the church they once were, and yet march into a vital new future,” he says. “I look forward to joining a community of people who promote traditional values and fight against traditional injustices. I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this congregation and engage in the surrounding communities.”