The Reverend Dr. Meg Hess was born and raised in Danville, Virginia. She graduated from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC with a BA in Religion and American Civilization. Meg received her Master of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School in 1981. Ordained by the American Baptist Churches-USA at the First Baptist Church in Newton Centre, MA in 1982, she served ABC churches in Massachusetts and New Hampshire as Pastor and Interim Pastor for over twenty years. She was the Interim Minister at OCBC from 1988 to 1990, when Irv Cummings became pastor of OCBC.
Meg received her Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Counseling from Andover Newton in 1994. She wrote her DMin. thesis on women and preaching, using theories of women’s psychological development as a lens to explore how women develop their voice and authority for preaching. Meg is a Fellow with the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and a New Hampshire Licensed Pastoral Psychotherapist with a psychotherapy practice in Nashua, NH. Her special interest is in the application of Bowen Family Systems Theory to leadership development in the religious context. Meg has been a faculty member of the Leadership in Ministry Workshops, which uses Bowen theory as a lens to coach clergy on leadership development. She facilitates monthly clergy leadership development groups and works with clergy coaching them on how to be healthier and more effective leaders in churches and synagogues.
In 1983 Meg began teaching preaching as an Adjunct Faculty member at Andover Newton where she taught with Dr. Eddie O’Neal in his Practice Preaching class until his retirement in 2000. She then began teaching an introductory preaching class – Holistic Preaching – which she continues to teach. She also developed and taught a course called “Preaching As Storytelling” at ANTS. Meg has a special interest in the formation of religious and pastoral leaders, in the context of therapy and classroom.
In the context of parish ministry, Meg’s passion is in working to help create and sustain communities that are welcoming and affirming of all of God’s people. She sees her role as Pastor as one of supporting the congregation to develop healthy best practices so that they can minister effectively in their settings, encouraging the members in their ministries of care and justice, and proclaiming the gospel message of freedom in Christ in all seasons. Southern Baptist by birth and American Baptist by choice, Meg is inspired by the Baptist principles of the priesthood of all believers and soul freedom, which supports individuals and communities of faith in their right and responsibility to interpret and live out the gospel principles of Jesus.
Meg is married to Peter Lacey, who is a graduate of Tufts University and a Software Engineer with Expressor Software in Burlington, MA. Don’t ask her what Peter does for a living because she doesn’t have a clue. Their daughter, Keziah, is eleven and in the sixth grade in Middle School. Keziah loves riding horses and baking with her mom. They have two dogs: Moose, a chocolate lab, and Spotty, a very enthusiastic Jack Russell Terrier, who rules the roost. Or, as they all agree “We live under the Reign of Terrier.”