First Church Calls First Female Senior Pastor

LONGMEADOW, MA – Rev. Pamela Woodall McGrath has been announced as the 17th and first female senior pastor of The First Church of Christ in Longmeadow, a 300-year-old church.

Pastor Pam McGrath

Members of the nine-member senior pastor search committee praised McGrath for her warmth, genuineness, and her capacity to engage people of all ages. The committee selected McGrath from among 36 applicants, and after hearing her preach during a service in April, the congregation voted unanimously to call her as their new settled pastor, concluding a several-year period under a transitional senior pastor.

McGrath comes to Longmeadow after eight years at North Community Church in Marshfield, MA. Since accepting the call at First Church, she has moved to Longmeadow with her husband Doug and will officially begin her ministry when she leads the 10 a.m. worship service on Sunday, Aug. 20. She will minister the congregation in partnership with the Rev. Marisa Brown Ludwig, associate pastor, who has been with First Church since 2013.

McGrath grew up in Atlanta, GA and came to ministry as a second career. She is a gifted storyteller and has worked as an organizational consultant. She received her Master of Divinity from Phillips Theological Seminary, was originally ordained in the Disciples of Christ and has over 10 years experience as a senior pastor.

When asked what she is most looking forward to as she begins her time at First Church, McGrath said: “I’m looking forward to building relationships with the church members, the town, and the community as a whole. I’m excited about sharing ministry with people inside our church community – and also in the greater community of Longmeadow and Springfield.”

The title of Pastor McGrath’s first sermon at First Church is “In or Out?” and is based on Matthew chapter 15, verses 21-28. The 10 a.m. service on Aug. 20 will be held in the church garden, weather permitting, and will be followed by a light lunch intended to give members and friends of First Church a chance to meet and welcome the new pastor. All are welcome to attend.

For more information about First Church, visit, e-mail admin@firstchurchlongmeadow, or call 413-567-6287.