Don came to Piedmont Community Church in 2003. Originally from the Washington DC area, he grew up in La Jolla, a suburb of San Diego. He received a BA in European History from UC San Diego. A keen interest in Russian society, particularly the interaction of religion and politics, was the impetus for Don’s travels to the Soviet Union in the 1980’s, study of the Russian language and pursuit of a graduate degree. He received a Master’s in Sociology from UCSD.
Don entered the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley in 1993, planning to pursue a doctorate in Theology. However, he soon left the purely academic track and answered the call to ordained ministry. After graduating from San Francisco Theological Seminary in 1997, he was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
After serving interships at First Presbyterian Church, Alameda and as a chaplain at Stanford University Hospital, Don joined the staff at First Presbyterian Church in Oakland as Associate Pastor. While there, he co-wrote a book on the connection between faith and prime-time television entitled, Watching What We Watch (Geneva Press: 2001).
Before moving to the Bay Area in 1993, Don lived in Quito, Ecuador, where his wife Margaret was a Fulbright Scholar. While in South America, among other things, they traveled extensively, studied Spanish and were active in church fellowship. With their two children, the family lives in Piedmont. In his spare time, Don enjoys playing guitar, reading, travel, running, playing softball, soccer, basketball and coaching youth teams.
He has made mission work a high priority for his ministry and earned a Doctor of Ministry degree at SFTS in 2015, focusing on the transformative impact of adult short-term mission trips. At PCC, he also enjoys organizing the Adult Education program, teaching classes, preaching, leading worship, welcoming new people into the life of the community and providing pastoral care.
His warmth and well-practiced gift of listening to God’s people and their concerns are deeply appreciated by all who know him!