dove of the desert

7201 West Beardsley Road
Senior Pastor: 
Marc McDonald
Preaches well but church membership has declined after his arrival

I have heard Marc McDonald preach and he often emphasizes his message with a song.  However, after he served for over two years almost 15 percent of his membership left the church.  It  is not clear why this occurred but there is an atmosphere of distrust.



I have occasionally attended Dove of the Desert, although I haven't been back for almost a year.  I always felt this church does everything so well.  The buildings are clearly marked, there are parking spots for visitors in the front, we are greeted 2 or 3 times before entering the sanctuary, people are very friendly and helping during the service, etc., etc.  We loved the music program - Matt, a hearing impaired congenial man was outstanding and pulled more music out of his group!  The accompanist, I don't remember his name, was extremely versatile and added greatly to the musical group.  But then, just like that, they were gone!  I don't know if the new pastor was feeling  competition ( how sad is that when they're all there to bring glory to the same God!)  As a result, the feeling there is one of confusion and apathy.  Many people have left and it's a shame. 

can you share some more details about the church for those of us who have no history with it? what are Marc's sermons like in both content and delivery? what do you think the first thing an outsider would notice their first time there? most importantly, how does this church fulfill Jesus' command to love your enemies and serve others? thank you for coming by! I hope we hear more from you soon.

I have been attending Dove of the Desert since November 2009 and find the people to be very friendly and welcoming. Pastor Marc's messages are really good with just the right mix of scripture, humor and personal testimony. Both pastors are blessed with wonderful voices and it is very inspiring when one or both end the message with a song. The music at Dove is wonderful, there are lots of musically talented people at Dove . The pianist is the music director and has been at Dove for many years, and is still there. Dove is involved in many mission projects, since I have been attending there was an adopt a family at Christmas, a kitchen utensil, dishes, etc. project for UMOM New Day Center,  special offerings for Habitat for Humanity and an adult mission trip, and currently a back to school clothing drive for the children at the UMOM center. There are also ongoing missions to collect bottles of water for homeless teens, items for a homeless shelter for senior citizens. Dove is a very caring and giving church. Dove also has a lot of children and youth programs and is a growing congregation. Yes, some disgruntled people left the church but there is a new spirit of joy growing in the church and I plan to join in the fall.  


I have attended Dove for over 6 years. Marc has been a wonderful blessing to our church. He is full of the Holy Spirit and you can tell just by being around him. I'm not sure where the person got their information about the membership being down by 15 percent but that is incorrect. Yes we have lost some of our members but we also have gained that many, too, if not more. I think  the people that were exuding the feelings of distrust have left the church, which they should have done if they were not happy there. We all miss these members greatly but we want them to be happy where ever they are now attending. Dove of the Desert is a very friendly church and we welcome all vistors with open arms.


I have attended Dove for a number of years.  The membership is declining and attendance is going down since Pastor Marc came.  I have never seen a church like this when he first arrived membership went up but after two years, the parking lots are empty during the service.  His services are fine and he appears friendly but results show a very splintered divided church. Attendance is down and this young pastor does not seem to be able to change the trend.  It is hard to find a reason, but long time members seem to be voting with their feet.

I like the church's name.  Quite poetic.  Much better than "Vulture of the Desert," don't you think?  :-) 

When the pastor emphasizes his message with a song, does that mean that he picks a song for the congregation to sing that is related to his sermon?  Or that his sermon begins with the pastor speaking but continues with him singing part of it? 

Sad to hear about the struggles the church is going through.

Here's the church's Web site:

"At Dove of the Desert, our focus is on increasing love for God and neighbor. We seek to accomplish this through worship, Bible study, prayer, fellowship, outreach and missions. Our congregation is small enough to allow you to make friends and meet new people, yet large enough to offer quality programs and events for individuals, couples, and families. At Dove it’s not about bricks and mortar, but about living the Word and being comfortable in God’s house. We are a caring community that welcomes you just as you are."


Visitors are always greeted with smiles and beautiful music, but after a number of visits it is clear that this is a very divided congregation.