John first sensed a call to ministry as a teenager at the Congregational Church of Needham, MA. From there, he attended Davidson College where he worked as a Firefighter, he traveled to the US Mexico Border to work for a humanitarian aid organization, and ultimately attended Union Theological Seminary.
Ministry for John is all about relationships. It is about connecting with people, and helping people connect with God.
John’s preaching bridges the ancient stories of scripture with the stories our lives. His leadership is rooted in the practice of discernment, always striving to know where God is leading, and how we are called to respond.
In a recent sermon John said, “I am a Christian because In the life of Jesus I see the way I strive to live. I am a Christian because I have witnessed God’s spirit work in people’s hearts. I am a Christian because I will never stop needing forgiveness and love. Still, I am learning that I can state my truth without having it all figured out. I have doubts. I wrestle with the big questions about God. Yet I believe that the Christian life is how I am called to journey with my unsettled heart in uncertain times”
John Allen has been the Pastor of First Congregational Church since October of 2015. Before coming to Milton, he served as a Pastoral Resident at Village Church in Wellesley, MA. The Pastoral Residency is a full time two-year ministry which seeks to build on Seminary education in order to equip leaders for a lifetime of ministry.
He is a graduate of Davidson College and received his Master of Divinity in New Testament from Union Theological Seminary in 2013. At Union, John received the Hudnut Preaching Prize, the Muilenburg Prize in Biblical Studies and the Travelling Fellowship.
At Union John served as a Chapel Minister in James Memorial Chapel, planning and leading daily worship for the seminary community and also worked as the first Program Coordinator for the Theology and Economics Lecture Series, which invited preeminent economists to dialogue with the Union community in hopes that their work may be served and informed by the instincts and sensitivities of people of faith.
He completed Field Education at the First Congregational Church of Stamford, CT and a Chaplaincy Internship at St. Lukes Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. Before coming to seminary he worked as a Firefighter and EMT in North Carolina.
John lives in our parsonage with his wife Molli, who teaches third grade in Dorchester, and their cat James, who mostly just naps all day. John is a decent violinist and a sailor who loves to cook.