“I invite people into community.”
One of the characteristics that have always stood out to me about people, the thing that makes me smile and my mind whirl is this: every person wants to be included. I know I certainly do.
I’ll share more about this but first, a few things about me: I grew up in the Dayton area and my wife, Aimee, and I met back in 2012 through (basically) a blind date! I had just moved back to the Dayton area from Atlanta, and she was actually living in Los Angeles attending seminary. On Christmas Eve morning we met and immediately fell in love. We will be married three years this August! We currently live in Beavercreek and although we don’t have any kids yet, we do have two cats, Penelope and Layla. My interests include flower gardening, music, guitar and piano, reading novels, spending time with my large family, and rooting for the struggling Cincinnati Reds!
Though I’m originally from the Dayton area, my journey has taken me across many places. I attended Dayton Christian right here in Five Oaks. The building has since been demolished but I have fond memories of the many years I spent in this neighborhood and the relationships I made. My college road took me to Berea College (www.berea.edu), of which I’m a very proud alumnus. Established in 1855 as the first non-segregated educational institution, the Rev. John G. Fee dreamed of a place that was an “advocate of equality and excellence in education for men and women of all races.” If you haven’t yet taken a trip down to Berea, KY – make plans to do so!
During my years at Berea, I sang with the Concert and Chamber Choirs and toured with them in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Canada, NYC, and all over the southern United States. I was also heavily involved with local justice issues that affected the low-income and uneducated peoples of southeastern Kentucky.
We often talk about what makes us fulfilled…what are our passions. And sometimes, we know what our passions are but instead of chasing after them, we travel down the more logical route. And that’s what I did. Before Grace, I spent years working for large corporations, spending my hours marketing, branding, and project managing. And while I succeeded at this, I didn’t enjoy my life and I certainly didn’t enjoy my work. Because my passion wasn’t for marketing products. I wanted to invite people.
So, I left it all.
My wife, Aimee, and I decided that living a life of purpose was a risk we were both willing to take. So for the past few years, I’ve been listening and talking and experiencing and seeing how I can follow my passion to invite people into community. And then, Grace found me. Or I found it. Maybe both! I’m so proud and thankful to be the Director of Urban Engagement at this wonderful faith community. There are many exciting initiatives already happening within this beautiful city and I’m looking forward to helping lead our collective passions to be Grace to all. ~
Aaron D. Hill