Rev. Mary Nelson Selected as
Transitional Conference Minister
for Missouri Mid-South Conference

Mary headshot orange.jpg

The MMSC Conference Council, at a special meeting on March 13, 2021, has hired the Rev. Mary W. Nelson to serve as our Transitional Conference Minister. Rev. Nelson begins her position with us on May 1, 2021. This transition period will last approximately 18 months. The Personnel Committee interviewed candidates for the position of Sabbatical Conference Minister in February, and unanimously selected Rev. Nelson to serve. When Rev. Dr. Ginny Brown Daniel shared her intention to depart the position, the Committee invited Rev. Nelson to consider accepting a transitional position instead.

Rev. Nelson is a lifelong “UCCer” and comes to us with a wealth of experience in various settings across the United Church of Christ. Most recently, she served for seven years as a Regional Minister (ACM) in the Connecticut/Southern New England Conference. Before that, she served as the Pastor of Malletts Bay Congregational Church, UCC, in Colchester, Vermont; prior to that, she was at the Virginia-Highland Church in Atlanta, Georgia. She grew up at Plymouth Church in Des Moines, Iowa, and was ordained in the Central Association of the Iowa Conference. She has been an instrumental leader in the 2030 Clergy Network and a UCC Presidential Fellow. From 2015-2017, she co-chaired the Giving Task Force with the UCC’s Office of Philanthropy and Stewardship in Cleveland, including authoring the UCC’s new policy on resource-sharing (OCWM) across the wider church which was adopted by General Synod in 2017. In 2019, Rev. Nelson joined the Board of Trustees of Chicago Theological Seminary.

Rev. Nelson is originally from Des Moines. She earned her BA at Grinnell College, and her MDiv at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. For the past five years, she has split her time between living in New Haven, Connecticut and in South Hadley, Massachusetts. For the anticipated near-term, Rev. Nelson will work remotely from Massachusetts, and will establish a second home base in Missouri Mid-South when travel and in-person gathering are more widely possible.

As planning continues and May approaches, we will make further announcements about “meet and greet” opportunities to connect with Rev. Nelson.