With great anticipation and joy, the congregation voted unanimously to call the Reverend M. David Schaefers to be the Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Richardson. The Pastor Nominating Committee offered a sincere and strong description of the candidate to the congregation. Martha Mathieu, chairman, and her committee gave glowing testimonials and expressed their excitement about the candidate.
David, his wife, Leigh, and their two daughters will arrive in May, excited to return to Texas and to be a part of this congregation.
David Schaefers was raised in Tyler, Texas where he was baptized and confirmed in the First Presbyterian Church. He was an active leader in youth group, special worship services, mission projects and Boy Scouts. Members of that congregation were the first to suggest that he consider entering the ministry. David, however, did not have ministry in mind; he thought he wanted to be a lawyer.
It was in a Constitutional Law class at the University of Texas at Austin that David realized that the legal field might not be his vocational calling. Instead, after graduation, David became the manager of the Dallas Rand McNally store. He and his wife, Leigh, joined Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church. There David completed a 32-week “Disciple Bible Study” and was invited to teach the course the following year. As he led the weekly classes, David began seriously contemplating a life of ordained ministry. He attended Perkins Seminary in Dallas for a year before he and Leigh moved back to Austin so he could attend seminary there. Following his 2007 graduation from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, David served in a temporary capacity on the staff of University Presbyterian Church. David’s ordination took place on Pentecost Sunday at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in May of 2008. The next day he and his family moved to Charleston, South Carolina, where David currently serves as Associate Pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church.
David is a warm and energetic person, and brings both passion and purpose to his ministry. He loves people and is deeply committed to pastoral care. Home and hospital visitation are an important part of his ministry. He relates well to youth and young adults, and is vitally interested in Christian Education. He says: "My ministry is shaped by prayerfully promoting genuine discipleship for all ages and stages of God's people—and by letting God do the rest." He has a heart for missions and has served the Charleston Atlantic Presbytery as Chairman of its Missions Committee. David and Leigh, who was born and raised in College Station, met at an Austin Community College summer class and were married in June of 2000. Leigh attended the A&M United Methodist Church where she participated in many of the church’s programs. She graduated in 2000 from a five year program at UT with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration/Business Honors and a Masters in Professional Accounting.
After graduation they moved to Dallas and then to Richardson. In 2003, Leigh was installed as an elder at Preston Hollow Presbyterian and was able to complete her service there before she and David moved back to Austin. Leigh worked for Ernst & Young in both Dallas and Austin. In Charleston, Leigh is a Senior Manager for a regional accounting firm, serves the community through organizations like United Way and is active in the church.
David and Leigh have two daughters, both born in Austin: Celia, is six and in kindergarten, Mary Elizabeth, called Emme (pronounced Emmy) will soon be four years old. David will begin his ministry on Pentecost Sunday, May 27.