March 3: Rev. Don MacNair

The Rev. Donald J. MacNair died on this day, March 3rd, in 2001. Born in 1922 and educated at Rutgers University and Faith Theological Seminary, his first pastorate was with the BPC church in Coatesville, PA. Answering a call to serve The Covenant Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, he oversaw the relocation of that church and helped to design its new building. From 1964-1982, Rev. MacNair served as the head of National Presbyterian Missions (NPM), the church planting arm of the RPCES. While it was Dr. Edmund P. Clowney who came up with the idea of the Joining & Receiving method of merger, it was Don MacNair who was widely recognized as the architect of J&R and who worked tirelessly to bring about the reception of the RPCES into the PCA in 1982. In effect, he worked himself out of a job, since the PCA already had in place a director for its Mission to North America, NPM’s counterpart. Not one to sit around, Dr. MacNair then formed Churches Vitalized, a ministry to struggling churches. Both the Donald J. MacNair manuscript collectionand the records of Churches Vitalized are preserved at the PCA Historical Center. The latter collection is awaiting processing at this time.

Image sources:
1. Portrait photograph of the Rev. Donald J. MacNair, from the MacNair manuscript collection.

Words to Live By:
Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1, ASV)

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