June 20, 2024

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Meet Our Pastor

Rev. Dr. Karl McDonald

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Karl is a follower of Jesus Christ. He was born in Greenville, Pennsylvania, where he lived throughout his childhood. He was baptized, confirmed and ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament at a small church near Greenville – the Oak Grove Presbyterian Church. His mother became his first Sunday School teacher and his father served as church elder and Sunday School superintendent. Blessed through the years with the encouragement and prayers of many wonderful Christian people, Karl answered God’s call and was ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament one month after seminary graduation. Doubly blessed with a supportive wife and family who share ministry with him, he lives in the grateful realization of God’s countless blessings and God’s infinite grace.                                                            


McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL, Doctor of Ministry.
Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ, Master of Divinity.
Messiah University, Mechanicsburg, PA, Bachelor of Arts.

Life in Ministry
Ken Mawr United Presbyterian, McKees Rocks, PA, Pastor/Head of Staff.
Hanover Presbyterian Church, Clinton, PA, Pastor.
First Presbyterian Church, Metuchen, NJ, Student Assistant Pastor.
Calvary Presbyterian Church, Riverton, NJ, Student Assistant/Youth Director.
Harris Street United Methodist Church, Harrisburg, PA, Youth Director.

Public and Private Life
Karl has served at various levels of the Presbyterian Church (USA). In 2010 he served as Moderator of Pittsburgh Presbytery and on the Administrative Commission for Transformation. Since 1993 he has served five terms on the Commission on Preparation for Ministry. He recently completed a term on presbytery's Commission on Ministry. He served as a commissioner from Pittsburgh Presbytery to the PCUSA General Assembly in Columbus, OH in 2002 and in Minneapolis, MN in 2010. He has also served on several Investigating Committees and Administrative Commissions in Pittsburgh. In January 2008 he spent 17 days immersed in the church and culture of Egypt on a study trip that was organized by Presbyterian mission co-worker, Dr. Kenneth Bailey, and by Rev. Jim Mohr, college chaplain at Westminster College.

Locally Pastor Karl is involved in a number of community activities and while at Ken Mawr he has supervised sixteen students in field education from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In 2004 and 2009 he co-instructed the one hour required course for students in field education at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Karl’s outside interests include traveling, tennis and listening to Pirates baseball (he's old school).


K and J Karl is married to Jayne Graham McDonald, a retired music teacher, so music is a central part of their lives and ministry. Karl and Jayne enjoy spending time with their sons and daughters in law who live in Philadelphia, PA. The McDonalds are also the proud  grandparents of three. They will happily show you pictures of grandchildren if you ask them--or even if you haven't  asked. Having shared 45 years of marriage and 40+ years of  ministry, the McDonalds are blessed beyond measure. All praise and thanks be to our gracious God!


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