In 2008, Rev. Dan Smith became the seventeenth Senior Minister of First Church in Cambridge. He has contributed to a deepening sense of spiritual transformation and shared ministry within the congregation while helping to broaden First Church’s impact for the common good in the wider community.
Having grown up in Northern New Jersey and Upstate New York, Dan receieved a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1995 and an M. Div. from Harvard Divinity School in 1999. During graduate school, Dan interned as a chaplain at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and as an Americorps Coordinator at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Chelsea. He was ordained in 1999 and served for five years as Associate Minister at Hancock United Church of Christ in Lexington, Massachusetts. In 2004, he was called to First Church in Cambridge to be Minister of Christian Discipleship before being called by the congregation to serve as Senior Minister four years later.
Dan is currently Vice President of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO), a broad-based community-organizing initiative that includes over 45 dues-paying, member congregations. GBIO institutions are urban and suburban, Jewish, Muslim and Christian of many stripes, African American, White, Latino, Haitian, all of whom work together to build power and act on issues of justice and common concern. GBIO campaigns have addressed statewide healthcare reform, Boston schools, youth jobs, financial literacy and gun violence prevention. Dan has also served on the Massachusetts Conference Board of Directors and the Board of Medicine Wheel Productions, an award-winning, south Boston-based, art and youth empowerment nonprofit.
Since 2006, Dan has been an Affiliated Minister at Harvard’s Memorial Church. He also continues to be Lecturer on Ministry at Harvard Divinity School where he co-taught preaching classes for several years with his mentor, the late Rev. Peter Gomes.
Dan is very happily married to Nancy Kilburn, a grant writer and professional pie baker. They have two teenage children, Julian and Nellie Baxandall.