Executive Director


The Rev. Dr. Debora Jackson

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Debora Jackson came to the Ministers Council in September 2012 as one who is called to help clergy be their most effective and best selves. In her short tenure, Dr. Jackson has worked to usher in a new vision for the Ministers Council that is focused on organizational distinctiveness, partnerships, programming and fund development.

Wanting to rebuild and make the Ministers Council distinctive, Dr. Jackson has implemented value-added offerings exclusively for members. Members receive custom membership cards, access to a Members Only website that provides equipping resources for ministry, and discounts to goods and services valued by clergy.

Dr. Jackson has established relationships with partners who help the Ministers Council better serve its members. Partnerships include Judson Press, Bride of Christ Robes, Duke Divinity School, Bacone College, the Christian Community Credit Union, and the Pastor’s Roundtable. Through these partnerships, clergy have access to theological materials, attire, continuing education, scholarships, and peer group resources.

With a focus on programming, the Ministers Council, under Dr. Jackson’s leadership, is delivering workshops and retreats across the country, and has already impacted hundreds of leaders. In addition, a new initiative focused on Clergy Health and Wellness is being launched in 2014 in partnership with Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board (MMBB) and American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS).

Rounding out her vision is a new renewed focus on fund development. Dr. Jackson has re-energized the momentum of the Together in Ministry Capital Campaign and has now launched the Ministers Council Endowment fund through a partnership with the American Baptist Foundation that will sustain pastoral excellence for decades to come.

Dr. Jackson comes to the Ministers Council well prepared for the task. She was formerly the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Needham, MA, where she was recognized as a powerful preacher and pastor who developed and strengthened the church and membership, reversing the trends of decline. Prior to her call to ministry, Dr. Jackson was the Chief Operating and Chief Information Officer for an energy services technology company, where she was a member of the leadership team that raised $15 million dollars in venture capital financing. Dr. Jackson was also an independent consultant leading custom, high impact engagements and workshops. She co-led of “The Soul of Leadership” program for leaders seeking to integrate spirituality and leadership.

Author of the upcoming Judson Press book The 7Rs of Sanctuary: A Pastor’s Guide to Leadership Effectiveness and Spiritual Wellbeing, Dr. Jackson received her Doctorate in Ministry, emphasis in Leadership, and Master of Divinity degree, emphasis in Spirituality, both with honors, from Andover Newton Theological School. She holds a Master of Engineering degree in Manufacturing Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Indiana University. Dr. Jackson resides in Newton, MA with her husband, James Thomas, and their son, Jadon.

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