David McMahill grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, then received a B.A. from Dartmouth College where he majored in religion. He and Jane Adkisson married in 1966, and together went to Chicago Theological Seminary, each receiving the M.Div. in 1970. Their class was the only class in the long history of CTS not to have a commencement exercise for graduates. Why? The invasion of Cambodia and the Kent Sate shootings happened just weeks before the scheduled commencement, so instead of spending money on a ceremony, CTS and the graduates donated to local peace efforts.
David and Jane were called as co-pastors in 1970 to United Congregational United Church of Christ in Grand Island, Nebraska, filling one position. That congregation yoked in 1973 with the UCC in Ravenna, Nebraska. In 1979, they were called to Northeast Community UCC again as a clergy couple, and then in 1990 to the UCC in Northfield, Minnesota, also as a clergy couple. In 1995, David was called to be the Minister for the Eastern Association of the Minnesota Conference, UCC. That position morphed into serving as the Acting Conference Minister in 2003 when the Conference decided to dissolve its Associations. David left that position in 2005 on long-term disability, officially retiring in 2011. During retirement, David and Jane served as the Deans of the UCC West Central Region Annuitant Visitors Program (a program of the Pension Boards). David also taught UCC History, Theology, and Polity at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities for 8 years. David brings much passion to the importance of our UCC folk knowing and learning from our rich history.
David is the author of Completing the Circle: Reviewing Ministries in Congregations, published by the Alban Institute in 2001, and leads workshops in various places around the country on this process of evaluation. He is continuing to write Laughing at the Devil, a memoir about living with aggressive Crohn’s Disease.
David and Jane recently completed their 20th trip to Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. They grow a large garden, which includes more than 100 dahlias. Both are members of the Minnesota Chapter of the International Enneagram Association. David competes in race-walking events and occasional swim meets, having done both in the 2015 National Senior Games. David sings bass in One Voice Mixed Chorus, serves on the Conference Open and Affirming Ministry Team, and on the CUE Seminary Support Team.
David and Jane are members of United Church of Christ of New Brighton, MN. They have three living children: Dan (wife Carol), Jeff (partner Tracee), and Sarah (partner Shaun), and three grandchildren. Their fourth child, Lisa, died in 1976.