Profile Appraisals & References

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P is myself; a-h is anonymous references. Provided by UCC

















Brief Bio

I was born and raised in Upstate New York, growing up in a working-class household whose parents were evangelical Christians. My first mentor was our church's minister, Rev. Dr. Morgan Jones. He encouraged my love of the Bible, my asking of big questions, and my interest in ministry from a young age

From 1990 to 1993, I attended Cedarville University, a Christian college with a focus on biblical studies. I met my wife while at Cedarville and we were married in September 1994. In 2000, I graduated from North Carolina State University where I received my Bachelors of Art in Religious Studies. In 2004, I graduated from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York.

I am clinically certified in pastoral care (ACPE), receiving my residency training in 2006-2007 at Tampa General Hospital. For eight years, I ministered full-time as a hospice chaplain, years essential to my growth as a pastor.


In July 2013, I was blessed to be called to serve as the minister of the Community Church of North Orange & Tully (CCNOT), a federated UCC and UUA church in Central Massachusetts. I returned to hospice chaplaincy in 2017 and served as the chaplain at the Hospice of Franklin County in addition to my position at CCNOT.  I now serve as the interim minister of St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Middletown, Ohio, a position that ends in July 2020.

I am an expert in Christian theology and Buddhist philosophy. I am a published poet, amateur musician, film-buff, and book-lover. In August 2019, my book A Life Lived and Laid Down for Friends was published by Wipf and Stock Publishers.

My family is most precious to me. My wife is Holly, and we have a young son Corey. He is 12 and is the proverbial spark-plug. Corey is on the Autism Spectrum (high-functioning).

This is the core philosophy of my ministry:

"Nothing can be more important than being emotionally and spiritually present, no matter the circumstance. Nothing can be more significant than praying with and listening to those knowing fear or courage, worry or contentment, sadness or joy. The work is to walk alongside, pointing to wisdom as we go and urging compassion with each step."


Feel free to contact Don via email: doneri@gmail.com