Karl is a follower of Jesus Christ. He was born in Greenville, Pennsylvania, where he spent his formative years. He was baptized, confirmed and ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament in 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 participate in 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 College, Mechanicsburg, PA, Bachelor of Arts, Behavioral Sciences.
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, 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. Previously he served four terms on the Commission on Preparation for Ministry and he returned to that commission in 2016. 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 Dr. Kenneth Bailey and Rev. Jim Mohr at the Westminster College chaplain’s office.
Locally Pastor Karl is involved with the Montour Association of Churches (the ecumenical group of churches in the community) and in the past twenty four years he has supervised eighteen 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, throwing Frisbee, and watching Pirates baseball. He is married to Jayne Graham McDonald, a music teacher, so music is a central part of their lives and ministry. He and Jayne enjoy spending time with their sons and daughters in law, Christopher and Stacey, who live in Philadelphia; and Jeremy and Grace, who live in Brooklyn, NY. The McDonalds are also the proud grandparents of Jonathan Isaac "Jack" McDonald, born on February 9, 2017 in New York City.