Rev. Art McDonald, ordained to the ministry in 1978, was called as minister to the First Universalist (Unitarian Universalist) Church of Essex, MA in September of 2003.

Previously, Art had served as minister of the Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church in Pittsburgh, PA. from 1991-2003.

Art holds a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, focused on the relationship between religion and politics. His dissertation research was conducted in Peru, South America. Art is also adjunct faculty at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Pgh. PA. More recently Art has been teaching as a part time faculty member at Merrimack College, North Andover, MA and Salem State College in Salem Ma.

Along with traditional pastoral duties such as preaching, conducting rites of passage, worship-leading, counseling and adult education, Art believes that religious congregations have a major role to play in community outreach and organizing, thus he sees much of his ministry as involved in community issues of justice and peacemaking.

Art has been married to Melanie (Hodorowski) McDonald for 25 years.