Meet Our Interim Pastor Rev. G. Jeffrey MacDonald
Rev Jeff MacDonald can be reached by email at
Revjeffnvc at gmail dot com
For Pastoral Care, Immediate replies, or other Church emergencies please call Jennifer McCarthy at 781-316-7309
The Rev. G. Jeffrey MacDonald (Jeff) is a UCC pastor, journalist and church consultant. He draws on skills honed over 30 years in journalism to uncover, analyze and report what enables vitality to flourish in mainline Protestant congregations that have no full-time clergy. Drawing on research, he helps congregations develop systems to boost ministry impact while lowering expenses.
Rev. Jeff is a Marblehead native who now lives in Swampscott but still roots for Marblehead at Thanksgiving football games. After an early career writing for daily newspapers in North Carolina and Vermont, he earned a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School in 2000. Since then, he’s been back on the North Shore practicing freelance journalism and part-time ministry. He’s covered major news events, such as the Sandy Hook massacre for The Christian Science Monitor and the Boston Marathon bomber trial for USA Today. These days he writes mostly for niche publications that document what the Holy Spirit is doing in mainline congregations, such as The Living Church and Duke University’s Faith & Leadership magazine.
Rev. Jeff has served in part-time pastorates in Amesbury and Newbury, where in 2015 he helped launch a food pantry that now serves up to 200 guests per week. He currently serves as the part-time Interim Pastor of First Congregational Church in Kensington, NH and he’s on the Board of Directors for the Northeast Area of the Southern New England Conference of the UCC. He’s authored two books. Thieves in the Temple: The Christian Church and the Selling of the American Soul (Basic Books, 2010) explores the challenge of shaping strong moral character in an age of consumer-driven religion. Part-Time is Plenty: Thriving Without Full-Time Clergy (Westminster-John Knox Press, 2020) analyzes what’s happened at 20 mainline congregations where vitality increased after switching from full- to part-time clergy. When not pastoring or writing, Jeff enjoys vegetarian cooking, sailing and walking the shoreline trail from Swampscott to Nahant.