Rev. Dr. Martha R. Jacobs has been
a UCC minister since 1997. After working as a hospital chaplain for over 20
years, she has been called to serve in a congregation.
Martha grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, the youngest of four children. She was
born Jewish and converted to Christianity when she was 17. She loved the theater
and hoped to become a professional actor and singer. Instead she found her first
calling as a professional stage manager. She started attending The Riverside
Church in New York City in the mid-1980’s and shortly thereafter, started
working for her labor union, Actors’ Equity Association. While there, male actor
friends started dying from AIDS-related illnesses. She would visit them and
found that they were not being visited because people were afraid of the HIV
virus. Martha spent a lot of time with them and soon found herself thinking
about going to seminary. She was not sure why but, at Riverside, she learned
from the late Rev. Dr. William Sloane Coffin, what it means to put one’s feet on
one’s faith. Enrolling at New York Theological Seminary (NYTS) in 1991 was not a
surprise to her friends. They had watched her with those who were dying from
AIDS-related illnesses and knew that she had another calling.
her first summer after starting seminary, Pastor Martha did Clinical Pastoral
Education at St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan where she realized her
calling. When ordained, she thought that her gifts were only to hospital
ministry, but after obtaining her Doctor of Ministry degree, God also called her
to teach at NYTS and to preach, covering for her clergy colleagues when they are
not able to preach. In 2012, she did long-term pulpit supply at Church in the
Highlands in White Plains, and was then called to be the Sabbatical Pastor at
Briarcliff Congregational Church while their pastor took a 4˝ month sabbatical.
She has been providing pulpit supply to United Church of Rockville Centre since
December of 2012. Martha found her time with all three congregations to be rich
and deeply fulfilling and has fallen in love with congregational ministry. When
taking the Interim Ministry Training, she realized that all of the various
administrative and Clerical positions she has held over her lifetime have
prepared her for congregational ministry.
Clergy Guide to End of Life Issues,
written from her dissertation, is used by clergy, seminarians, lay leaders and
congregations who want to look at their own fears around dying and death. It
also helps people prepare for end of life issues while still healthy.
married to her life-long love, Pat Yost. They have been together for 33 years
and married for almost 2. Pat is a trained pastry chef and has her own catering
company, Babe’s Delectables. They moved to Yonkers in 2010, after living in the
same apartment in Manhattan for 30 years. They love their house and enjoy
growing their own tomatoes, lettuce and other vegetables.
Martha is honored that FCC has
chosen to call her as their Interim Minister. She eagerly looks forward to
working with FCC as we move forward to joyfully serve God and seek God’s
continuing vision for this committed, loving community.