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5/6/2014 11:11:00 AM
McDonald steps up to the altar at St. John's Episcopal-Lutheran Church
Marc McDonald is the new pastor at St. Johnís Episcopal-Lutheran Church in Williams, Arizona. Ryan Williams/WGCN
Marc McDonald is the new pastor at St. Johnís Episcopal-Lutheran Church in Williams, Arizona. Ryan Williams/WGCN

Marissa Freireich
Williams-Grand Canyon News Reporter

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - St. John's Episcopal-Lutheran Church welcomed its new pastor, Marc McDonald, in March.

He replaces Reverend Ann Johnson, who retired from St. John's in March after more than seven years.

McDonald comes to Williams from Trinity Heights United Methodist Church in Flagstaff, and said he is excited to be serving in the Episcopal Church.

"This was a real blessing because I had had this call when I was still in college," he said. "This opportunity came open and it was kind of like God was opening a door."

McDonald was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. His father was a Nazarene minister.

McDonald graduated from MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas, where he met his wife Linda. The two married in 1993 and welcomed their daughter Sarah in 2004.

He later received a master of divinity from Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

McDonald has served in full-time ministry since 1994 in Ohio, Kansas and Arizona. For the last 19 years, he has served in the Methodist church.

"It's been good," he said. "But I always had in the back of my mind this thought that I still was not exactly where I was supposed to be."

Recently, McDonald realized he wanted to serve in the Episcopal Church and decided to make the switch. He is currently in the process of becoming an ordained Episcopal priest, which takes about two years.

"In order to grow, you have to be willing to change," he said.

McDonald said serving in Williams has been different from one of the last churches where he served in Glendale, which had about 800 members.

"In some ways taking the pressure off of serving a big church and serving a smaller community, it's fun now again," he said.

Besides serving at St. John's, McDonald also serves as a part-time chaplain at Flagstaff Medical Center.

In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, watching his daughter dance, playing with their miniature schnauzer rescues, collecting religious icons, traveling, hiking, movies and theater, listening to music and studying Anglican history, theology and spirituality.

Ultimately, McDonald said he is looking forward to serving the Williams community with open arms.

"This is a small church, but it's a wonderful parish, good people here," he said. "I'm excited that I'm in a place where everyone is welcome. There's no boundaries on who's in and who's out at this church, and it's nice to be in a place like that that still wants to understand how to journey towards Christ but at the same time be open to other people and their experiences."

St. John's is at 202 W. Grant Ave. More information is available at (928) 635-2781.

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