David began serving as MPC’s pastor in September of 2017, after serving for four years in Philadelphia. David grew up an only child in Sherwood, Oregon, a farming community that grew rapidly in the 90’s. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest instilled in David a love of the outdoors and farms, along with an awareness of God’s presence in wild places. His family found their spiritual Home at Tualatin Presbyterian Church. When David was in the eighth grade, his mother suffered a heart attack on Easter, and the congregation’s support and presence during that scary time had a profound impact on him. That summer, David attended church camp on the Oregon Coast, and started to become aware of God’s call on his life. It was during that same week that David became aware that he was gay. David attended Lewis & Clark College in Portland, where he studied Religious Studies, and spent summers working at a Methodist Church Camp in the Cascade Mountains. David studied abroad in Scotland, where he discovered and connected with the Iona Community. After college, he volunteered at the Camas Center in Scotland, an Outdoor Wilderness Center for at-risk and marginalized youth. David began seminary after five glorious months in the wilderness, and quickly found a “tribe” of friends, thought partners, and church activists. David spent a summer working at the Asian Rural Institute in Japan, a training center for rural community leaders from the global south where they learn sustainable farming techniques that empower women, enable education, and care for the earth, all with the goal of eradicating hunger and promoting peace. In Seminary, David began worshipping at Broad Street Ministry in Philadelphia, a new church development that extends hospitality to all, serving the city’s most vulnerable with dignity and empowering social services, while building a sense of belonging by utilizing a Trauma Informed, Harm Reduction model and providing Pastoral Care. After graduating from the Princeton Theological Seminary in May of 2013, David traveled throughout the U.S. and U.K. to visit compelling and creative faith communities that had re-imagined what church meant in their context. He returned to the states, was ordained in January of 2014, and served for two years at the Broad Street Ministry. While at the Broad Street Ministry, David worked with people experiencing homelessness and poverty, while also serving as a Pastoral Associate to Broad Street’s faith community. Also, during that time, David met the love of his life, Eric Thomas, a playwright, professional storyteller, and writer for Elle.com. Eric grew up and went to school in Baltimore City. They were married October 15th, 2016 at Broad Street Ministry. After two years of full time ministry, David enrolled in Thomas Jefferson University’s Couple and Family Therapy program, to work towards being a Licensed Therapist that could empower congregations and communities to thrive. In his spare time, David loves photography, traveling, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, cooking and extending hospitality to friends and family, attending theater and the orchestra with Eric, reading and hearing and telling stories.
David is the fourth pastor in MPC’s history following the Rev.’s Bob Bradford, Dr. Pete Pedersen and Rev. Mary Gaut. As it was with them, we have been led by the Spirit to David who we believe will help MPC grow and thrive into the future. From Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.