Rev. David H. Messner is the interim senior minister of the Main Line Unitarian Church. Previously he served as interim minister at the Unitarian Church in Charleston, the Mother Church of Southern Unitarianism. He was settled minister for seven years at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Savannah, which he accompanied in their growth into a mid-sized church with an outsized public voice for unity and justice. He trained at the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, NY, and the University of Rochester Medical Center.
He’s a born and bred Unitarian, a devout humanist with an abiding faith in God, and a believer in resurgent possibility–especially when all seems lost. He knows that church done right can become indispensable to a life well-lived. His ministry is rooted in preaching, teaching, writing, and coaching toward collective liberation and individual fulfillment.
He teaches classes in ethics and justice at Jefferson University in Philadelphia and nearby Villanova University. He earned his Ph.D. in Religion (Ethics & Society) from Emory University, a Master’s in Divinity from the University of Chicago with an emphasis on theology and ethics, his MBA from Yale University with concentrations in strategy and organizational behavior, and an undergraduate degree in psychology from Reed College with a specialization in decision making under risky conditions. His scholarly interests include how institutions, structures, and practices can be conducive to better moral choices and action.
His professional life began in management consulting, focusing on organizational effectiveness and strategies for growing businesses to reach new customers. Then for more than a decade, he was a leader in international pharmaceutical businesses (Eisai, Pfizer, and Bausch & Lomb) and was in charge of teams responsible for strategy development, partnership development, and transaction execution. His most recent industry role was Vice President of Business Development at B&L, building their international pharmaceuticals business.
He was born in Washington D.C. and now lives in Devon, PA, with his wife of 25+ years. They have two wonderful young adults and a Blue Heeler pup that just won’t quit. He grows hot peppers, grills meat, and photographs wild places in his free time.