New senior pastor at Sun Lakes Community Church

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On Sunday, May 19, the search for a new pastor at Sun Lakes Community Church came to a conclusion when the congregation voted overwhelmingly to receive Rev. Mitch McDonald as our new senior pastor.

The search began in December, 2018, when Pastor Jerry McGhee announced that he intended to retire at the end of 2019. Little did we know that Pastor McGhee would go home to be with the Lord on March 5, 2019.

Following several interviews, the Search Committee recommended that Rev. Mitch McDonald be named our pastor. The congregation voted positively. Pastor Mitch has already started in his new capacity.

He said, “What a joy it is to join the body of believers and become a part of the Sun Lakes Community! As Chandler natives, my wife Mona and I have watched over the years this community blossom into the thriving adult retreat it has become. In all those years, I never imagined having the opportunity of doing ministry here or having the chance to serve Sun Lakes Community Church as their Sr. Pastor. Following my dear friend and mentor Rev. Jerry McGhee will be a huge task in and of itself, but never have I felt a clearer call or direction for what God wants to do in and through us all. If you currently don’t have a place to worship, please accept my most sincere invitation to be my personal guest and join us this Sunday morning.

Jerry Sandvig, Chairman of the Board, said, “We prayed early on that the Lord would send just the right candidate to us – and I am convinced that prayer was answered. Interestingly, Pastor Mitch was a youth pastor a number of years ago for Pastor Jerry McGhee – and was enthusiastically supported by him for this position. We are confident that under his leadership, some of the best days are ahead for our church.”

Pastor McDonald was raised in Chandler, as was his wife Mona. As a proud father, Pastor Mitch says, “We have four children that each know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. My wife Mona is an “amazing woman” and serves as a Vice President at Arizona Baptist Services.”

Both Pastor Mitch and Mona have been extensively involved in ministry with seniors – including taking groups of seniors on ministry cruises and other outreach activities. “We’ve found that seniors, especially, like to do something that is important.”

Since completing his education (including Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Columbia Bible College, Grand Canyon University and other institutions) Pastor Mitch has served 12 different congregations, as pastor and transitional pastor. He has traveled widely in International Mission Ministry with the Arizona Baptist Services.

Sun Lakes Community Church meets every Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. in the Sun lakes Chapel, located across the street from the Sun Lakes Country Club. For more information, call 480-895-9147 or go to