Ministry Team

Rev. Catherine MacDonald – Intentional Interim Minister

Ordained by Maritime Conference in 2004, after finally responding to God’s call. It was a call that she felt from her childhood, although it took a long time to recognize it. She has ministered in rural, suburban and urban contexts and has an appreciation the differences and similarities.

Rev. Catherine will be on sabbatical and vacation May 15-September 15, you can read the Sabbatical FAQs here.

Rev. Catherine grew up as an ‘air force brat,’ mostly in small communities across Canada, and so has learned how to say hello, build relationships and then to say good-bye.

She has a belief in the transforming power of our sacred texts and the life of Jesus and a deep conviction that our churches have a role in today’s society. She loves connecting our scriptures with everyday life and is dedicated to multi-sensory worship.

She sees her role as Intention Interim Minister as a midwife. There will be hard work, there will be times when we wonder how and why we got into this situation, and there will be times of anxiety and feeling stuck. But together, we will give birth to something new and beautiful. 

In her spare time she reads, plays Scrabble, enjoys photography and gardening.

She can be reached at or 902-483-1422


Byron Hermann

Between 1972 and 1984 Mr. Hermann earned a B.Mus. degree from UWO in, followed by an M. Mus in composition and theory from McGill University, B.Ed. degree from Universite du Quebec a Montreal, M.A. from University of Toronto (O.I.S.E.)  in Education and uncompleted PhD studies in Cognitive Science. Along the way additional studies included three years at St. Peter’s Seminary in London Ontario and research work at M.I.T. center for Music and Cognition.  During this time Mr. Hermann was also teaching part-time at McGill university and Memorial University in St. John’s. Over the past 50 years, Mr. Hermann has been Minister of Music at various churches in London, Montreal, and Ottawa area. In addition, Mr. Hermann has conducted a variety of community-based choirs. Byron and his wife moved to Nova Scotia in 2018 to “retire”.

Mr. Hermann is a composer, conductor, arranger, music producer and educator. His compositions have received numerous awards and have been performed throughout Canada and overseas.  Mr. Herman spent ten years in Taiwan doing research into the development of Canadian style English Immersion Kindergarten facilities and programs for Chinese students.  During this time he also created and produced over 75 Cd’s of children’s music for use in these facilities and elsewhere as well as guiding local churches in Contemporary Music Ministry.

He is currently based in East Dover, Nova Scotia and enjoys his new home studio on the shores of the Atlantic and enjoys all kinds of outdoor activities with a particular passion for golf cycling and hiking.

He can be reached @ or 613-464-2987.


Jessie Crabtree

Jessie is our Student Minister; she started with us in January, will be filling in for part of Rev. Catherine’s sabbatical and then back again next fall. Originally from Maine, Jessie and her family moved to Halifax last summer when she began her studies at the Atlantic School of Theology. Her first ever trip to Nova Scotia was on her honeymoon back in 2009, although when she and her husband swore they’d come back someday, they never imagined that it would be with two kids, a cat, and student/work visas in tow! Before attending seminary, Jessie worked as a church secretary, as a chocolatier, and as a coordinator for her local Adult Education program. When she’s not studying, Jessie likes to read genre fiction, listen to musical soundtracks, and explore this beautiful province.


Tamara Mugford

Tamara is the voice you hear when you call and most likely the first person you encounter if you come to the church during the week. A church administrator veteran of sixteen years in HRM and the Annapolis Valley, Tamara has been “behind the desk” at Stairs since October 2018. She was born and raised in Halifax, has lived in Sheet Harbour and Middleton, and now resides in Cole Harbour with her partner, three children and beagle. She works Mondays and Wednesdays 9-3.

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