Rev. Rob Hammock, Associate Minister at UCC, is a 5th generation native Floridian and 3rd generation native to the Clearwater area, the 2nd son of the late Leon Russell Hammock Sr. and Roberta (Bobbie) Hammock. Rob’s father, who made his transition on May 11, 2016, was born into one of Pinellas County’s pioneer families. The endearing qualities of the former Fortune Bank president, remembered for his religion of kindness, are evidenced in his sons.
The younger brother of Russ Hammock, Rob graduated from Clearwater High School, received his A.A. degree at the St Petersburg Junior College and, in 1985, began working in the UCC church office.
In 1989, the centennial year of the Unity movement, The Unity Progressive Council began at UCC, offering a membership class, followed by certified instruction courses, the equivalent of the Unity licensed teacher program. After completing these courses, the Unity Progressive Theological Seminary, which later became the Emma Curtis Hopkins Theological Seminary, developed a fairly strong core of students, including Rob, who received, after three years of study, his Bachelor of Theology. He was ordained in 1995.
Formerly financial manager at UCC, now Bookstore and Café manager, with primary duties in publications, Rob has officiated at weddings and memorial services and sometimes assists on the platform on Sunday mornings. He particularly enjoyed serving as sponsor of the youth ministry for many years and was instrumental in beginning the popular Wednesday evening YOU meetings. He was also associated with the Para Todos Los Niños (For All the Children) program formed to take clothing and educational and medical supplies to central and South American countries. Between 1995 and 2005, he participated in five impactful trips to Honduras, witnessing young victims of extreme poverty and disease. Each trip advanced appreciation of his homeland.
Raised Baptist, through junior high, Rob faithfully attended the church of his parents, but when a friend got a paper route and asked Rob to help with bagging the heavy Sunday morning paper for delivery at 5 a.m., he was just “too exhausted to go to church.” From 1978-1985, he was essentially non-church going. “When I first came here,” he said, “it was like an awakening. This is exactly what I’ve always believed. The services were stimulating; the hour seemed to fly by. Working at this church has truly been fulfilling. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
The year 2016 was both painful and joyful for Rob marked by the loss of his beloved father and reconciliation with his former wife Sue. Divorced in 2004, the couple remained friends, and after Sue’s return to Clearwater from Vermont, purchased a home in Palm Harbor, making what Rob calls “the ridiculous decision to move two weeks before Christmas.” Once moved, he tripped over a sprinkler head, broke his shoulder socket and left ring finger, sprained his right wrist and suffered soft tissue damage to his left knee. He expects the sling he’s been wearing to become “good riddance” very soon.