Gregg Mast, influential Reform leader, dies at 68

May 18, 2020
(Photo courtesy of the Reformed Church in America)

Gregg Mast, a renowned Reformed Church in America pastor and educator, died April 27 from complications related to COVID-19. He was 68.

Early in his ca­reer, Mast spent a year as an assistant pastor at a Dutch Re­formed Church in South Africa—at the height of apartheid. The experience stuck with him.

Mast served as president of New Bruns­wick Theological Seminary from 2006 until his retirement in 2017, and he made it his mission to dismantle any lasting legacy of institutional racism at the school. He created an antiracism transformation team and established the anti­racism training that is still mandatory for all New Brunswick students, faculty, staff, and board members.

In 2014, the seminary’s board of trustees dedicated the new campus chapel in Mast’s honor.

Mast’s denominational service included working as the minister of social justice and worship for the RCA’s General Synod Council in the late ’80s and General Sy­nod president from 1999 to 2000.

In a Facebook post, RCA general secretary Wesley Granberg-Michaelson called Mast’s death a tragic loss.

“Grief cuts into my heart. His wisdom, pastoral care, insight into church politics, love of liturgy, commitment to social justice, advocacy of theological education, and profound example of Christian discipleship made Gregg a towering figure in the RCA and beyond.” —Christian Century staff