Our Pastor

Rev. Dr. Charles C. Close

After 36 years of ordained ministry, I continue to be surprised and ultimately delighted by how the Holy Spirit works within the life of church. When we give God the room to work, amazing things can and do happen.

Rev. Close became the pastor of our church on August 2, 2015. He holds a master’s in divinity and a doctorate in church administration from Andover Newton Theological School. He was also selected to the Jonathan Edwards Society, which is Andover Newton’s only honor society. Before being called to pastoral work, he earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education from Boston University.

Rev. Close has served as both chair and vice chair on the board of directors of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ (MACUCC) to which the Canaan Congregational Church belongs. He has also served on the board of directors of the nonprofit Star Island Corporation, a retreat center with historic UCC connections and “a liberal spiritual quality.”

Rev. Close began his career of service as a special needs teacher in the Ipswich Public Schools, MA. He explains, “When I look back on my decision to become a minister, I can see a long series of ‘nudges’ from God, which kept me growing in the proper direction. …My path to authorized ministry was a gradual awakening to what God was calling me to do. …I can confess today that I feel as if I was always meant to be what I am — an ordained minister.”

Once called to religious service, he pastored churches in New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, most recently before coming to Canaan from Wilbraham United Church in Wilbraham, MA.

A self-described “hands-on pastor,” Rev. Close works “side by side with the congregation as we make a difference in the world. I have worked in soup kitchens as well as pulpits… [and] helped renovate condemned buildings. …Covenant is everything! It all begins and ends in relationship. It is the very heart of Christ and the soul of God. Without it, there is no ‘church.’”