Introducing our New Settled Senior Pastor,
Rev. Doug Bixby!
The Search Team would like to officially announce our new settled pastor for First Church of Christ, Longmeadow: The Rev. Doug Bixby! You may have had the opportunity to meet him during Candidate Weekend. But, if not, we'd love to introduce you to Rev. Doug and share his background!
Rev. Doug was raised within an ecumenical background. His family moved frequently due to his father’s business career and, while he was baptized in a Methodist church, his family attended Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopal and UCC churches. He attended Hope College in Holland, Michigan where he became involved with social justice issues including women’s issues and and the Black Student Association as well as the local Big Brother/Big Sister program. While in college, he was encouraged by a mentor to visit North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago where he was attracted to the personal faith and social action of the Covenant denomination.
Earning his Master of Divinity from North Park Theological Seminary, Rev. Doug embarked on his career first serving as Pastor of a small church in northwestern Connecticut for 15 years, growing it from 35 people to 150 people. For the past 15 years he has served as Senior Pastor of a larger Covenant church in Attleboro, Massachusetts where he provided vision and mission focus for a church of 350 people. While supervising staff, he also provided support and guidance for the work of the leadership board and ministry teams, preached weekly sermons for two worship services, supported a capital campaign and developed small group and adult education opportunities. Of this experience, he writes, “I love what I do as a pastor in the local church. Preaching, teaching, leading and offering pastoral care bring me joy.”
During this time he has, in addition, served as a consultant to the Southern New England Conference. When time permits he works with United Church of Christ congregations experiencing difficult conflicts and cumbersome leadership structures; he counsels UCC churches regarding simplifying structures; streamlining decision-making; and developing reliance on congregational decision making.
Rev. Doug is the author of three books:
"Navigating the Nonsense: Church Conflict and Triangulation." Cascade Books
"The Honest to God Church: A Pathway to God’s Grace." The Alban Institute
"Challenging the Church Monster: From Conflict to Community." Pilgrim Press
He has contributed to additional publications and is a frequent presenter at various Southern New England Conference events including Super Saturdays, Family Camp at Pilgrim Pines Conference Center and at the
UCC’s Center for Transformational Leadership. He was invited to conduct workshops at the
50th Anniversary of the UCC in Hartford.
In summarizing his ministry thus far, Rev. Doug notes,
“God blessed me with opportunities to serve amazing people in two great locations. Each of these 15-year pastorates feel like important chapters both in my life story and the life stories of these churches. I sense it’s time to write another chapter. I am drawn to the inclusivity and love God has for all people found in the United Church of Christ. I desire an open and affirming church home committed to showing kindness, love, and compassion to all people in God’s holy name.”
References note Rev. Doug’s long-term pastorates which have rendered healthy congregations:
“This is a testament to his ability to connect with people, sustain that connection, co-create a vision for the community of faith, and lead them through change to achieve that vision. His motivation rests on his faith commitment to the grace of God and the inclusive, beloved community of which Dr. King spoke."
The Pastoral Search Committee is honored to introduce
the Reverend Douglas Bixby!