The Rev. Sarah A. Speed

a photo of The Rev. Sarah A. Speed

Raised on sweet tea and in between church pews, I am a seventh-generation pastor with a soft heart for the mountains of North Carolina. Those who know me well would describe me as a doer, an optimist, a bookworm and an extrovert. I would describe myself as an Enneagram three and a deeply hopeful Christian. I am the proud daughter of Tom and Carol Are, and the grateful sister of Nathan Are. I love to spend my time reading, writing and exploring this magical city, but nothing brings me more joy than time with my sweetheart, Ryan Speed. I am honored to serve as an associate pastor here at Fifth Avenue, because I believe that the opportunity to create meaningful community in this wild city has never been more important. I am a passionate advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, someone who relishes opportunities for creative worship, a potluck enthusiast and a sucker for communion by intinction. If you are seeking a place to belong, a place to grow in your faith or a community to call home, I hope you’ll reach out. 

Kansas City, Kansas (and some others. New York is my eighth state of residence!)

Bachelor of Social Work
Virginia Commonwealth University

Master of Divinity
Columbia Theological Seminary

Hobbies + Interests
Writing poetry, reading, cooking, running in Riverside Park, planning my next vacation, checking things off a to-do list, sitting on the front step with my husband and talking about our days

Speaking and Side Gigs

  • Contributing Artist and Founding Creative Partner, A Sanctified Art LLC
  • Weekly published poems,
  • Keynote Speaker, Montreat Youth Conference, 2023
  • CREDO worship facilitator, 2021
  • Keynote speaker, Montreat Middle School Conference, 2021
  • Worship leader, APCE Annual Conference, 2020
  • Liturgy and Jeremiah Project leader, Montreat Youth Conference, 2018