Definition of pastor in US English:



  • A minister in charge of a Christian church or congregation.

    • ‘Many pastors, youth ministers, elders, and parishioners effectively intervene to help such troubled families.’
    • ‘In another report, a pastor and his wife ministering in the southwestern city of Galle were riding in a bus when the tsunami first hit.’
    • ‘Unlike this bishop, church leaders, pastors and congregations need to create the opportunities for youth to discern their call to ministry.’
    • ‘As a bishop, she is pledged to uphold church law and file charges against pastors who openly defy it.’
    • ‘We would suggest that it is precisely those congregations and pastors who are already engaged in faithful and vital ministry who had the most to draw on in this time of crisis.’
    • ‘Similar comments were made by all the other pastors where I ministered.’
    • ‘They are deacons, women religious, or lay ministers who effectively serve as pastors of congregations, though they are unable to celebrate the Eucharist.’
    • ‘Rarely does a congregation want the pastor to lead the church into an era of decline!’
    • ‘But there seems to be an increasingly widespread sense that we do not have enough good pastors to sustain congregational ministries at high levels.’
    • ‘Were that to happen, it would require that bishops be more fully what they are ordained to be, pastors of local churches charged with the tasks of teaching, sanctifying, and governing.’
    • ‘Family members, congregational members, pastors, and other church leaders are called to honor marriage.’
    • ‘Once fully equipped with the teaching of God's Word, they go home and teach their local pastors and church workers in their own country so that they, too, can reach their own nation with the truth.’
    • ‘Every day, Christian students find themselves in a dilemma between what their teachers say in class and what their pastors preach at church.’
    • ‘I quickly assured my new friend that we are a church of five pastors but that every member of our congregation is a minister!’
    • ‘At least this interpretation was how several pastors and ordinary church members understood the situation.’
    • ‘At both churches the two congregations share the pastor and property.’
    • ‘Many times church leaders or pastors may say that a ministry's goal is to change lives.’
    • ‘Sending or lending married pastors to Catholic churches is a generous ecumenical gesture.’
    • ‘Christian priests, ministers, pastors, and deacons lead weekly services and conduct marriages and funerals.’
    • ‘Many of the scholars mentioned in your article are among our founding members, but the project involves pastors, lay church leaders, and social activists.’
    priest, minister, minister of religion, parson, clergyman, cleric, chaplain, padre, father, ecclesiastic, man of god, man of the cloth, churchman, preacher
    View synonyms


[with object]
  • Be pastor of (a church or congregation)

    ‘he pastored Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto’
    no object ‘he continued to study law while pastoring in Chicago’
    • ‘And the women who pastored churches in the Southern Baptist Convention make up 1/10 of one percent.’
    • ‘Yet, only 9 percent of these ordained women were pastoring churches.’
    • ‘So we came here and he's now pastoring the little church in the neighborhood,’ Jason said as he took a sip of his cocoa.’
    • ‘I pastored a church in England back in the '80s, moved back to the States at the end of the '80s and my brother had been doing children's theatre.’
    • ‘He graduated in 1931 and pastored a small church in Covington, Georgia, before returning to preach at Atlanta's Westminster Presbyterian Church.’
    • ‘I have pastored churches all through Neshoba County for over fifty years.’
    • ‘Having pastored churches in both Wetaskiwin and Steinbach, let me state my opinions based upon my experience.’
    • ‘I think he is much more concerned with how I am loving my neighbors, caring for the sick, and pastoring the church in a way that honors Him.’
    • ‘Her great-grandfather pastored that congregation.’
    • ‘She graduated from New Brunswick last May and is pastoring Greenpoint Reformed Church in Brookyln, New York.’
    • ‘I am a licensed Vineyard pastor, pastoring an American Baptist church on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona.’
    • ‘In the last two years of his life, he became a Presbyterian, pastoring a church in Westchester, Pennsylvania.’
    • ‘He has pastored churches in Northern California and Oregon but we moved back to retire here, our home.’
    • ‘He pastored small churches in Kentucky for over fifty-seven years - from the time that he commenced studies at Southern.’
    • ‘As a young adult, I was involved in pastoring churches full time and part time in Michigan and Kansas City.’
    • ‘After attending Mercer University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, he pastored churches in both the North and the South between 1903 and 1917.’
    • ‘In 1959 Andrew was ordained as a minister and has served the Lord faithfully in different ministries, pastoring churches in Mexico and Texas.’
    • ‘Prior to this he had pastored churches in Gloucestershire and Bedfordshire.’
    • ‘I have never pastored large congregations nor preached to great numbers of people.’
    • ‘In large part, to talk about clergy deployment in the Episcopal church is to talk about pastoring congregations.’


Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French pastour, from Latin pastor ‘shepherd’, from past- ‘fed, grazed’, from the verb pascere.