When is the right time to contact a pastor and his spouse?To show respect, you should use the right title to address the places of esteem held by the pastor.You can make a good impression on this important community figure and their partner by properly addressing formal correspondence, sending casual correspondence and talking in person.
Step 1: The Reverend can be used on formal envelopes.
The pastor’s full name should be written on the exterior envelope.The formal title is appropriate for both Protestant and Catholic denominations of Christianity.This is the most typical way of addressing the pastor, if you were inviting them to an event or sending a formal request.The Reverend Mark Smith is the pastor’s name.The title is the same.If both people in the couple have the same last name, you address them both as The Reverends.The Reverends Carr would be Joe and Sally Carr.
Step 2: It’s a good idea to include degrees for any pastor with a doctorate.
If you want to add Dr. after the religious title, list the pastor’s degree at the end of the name.The pastor’s formal title is based on their vocation and education.This applies to all religious degrees.If you have a pastor with a PhD, you should address the formal envelope “The Reverend Dr. Mark Smith.”
Step 3: The spouse should be addressed separately with appropriate titles.
If the spouse is in the military, you should address them after the pastor.If you don’t know of any special titles, use Mr., Mrs. or Ms.You would write “The Reverend and Mrs. Mark Smith” for a male pastor with a wife.If the pastor’s spouse has another title that is more appropriate, you should use it.The spouse might have a doctorate.For a pastor with a spouse who is a doctor, you would write, “The Reverend Jim Price and Dr.Samantha Price.”
Step 4: Do you know if the congregation is historically African-American?
If this applies, you should address her as the “First Lady” after the pastor on your formal correspondence.Before using this title, consult with a member of the congregation to see if the church uses this custom.If the pastor is a woman and her husband a man, there is no corresponding title.The ReverendRonnie Franklin and First Lady Linda Franklin would be addressed in such a church.
Step 5: When addressing a letter, factor in military rank.
If the spouse is a member of the armed services, place them before the pastor.Use the person’s military title as well as the branch of the military they serve in.A member of the military has higher social standing than a civilian so they appear first.If you were to address a pastor and his wife who are both colonels, you would say, “Colonel Jane Wilton, US Army and The Reverend Max Wilton.”
Step 6: To address Protestant pastors, use the word pastor.
For leaders of Protestant denominations, use the full name of the pastor in everyday correspondence.Informal communication, such as emails and quick handwritten notes, don’t require the formality of event invitations.This is a good way to speak with your pastor.If you were writing a thank you note, you should start it with “Pastor Molly Mitchell.”
Step 7: If you want to address Catholic priests of all denominations, use “Reverend”.
In informal correspondence, use the title “Reverend” with the priest’s full name.The more casual form of communication doesn’t require the ceremonial “the” that appears on formal envelopes.If you’re writing an email, start with “Reverend John Smith.” There are fewer rules for very casual correspondence.If you know the priest well, you may want to use the more casual address, “Father John Smith.” Marriage is uncommon in the Catholic Church.If you don’t know if the faith leader is a Protestant or not, assume they are.
Step 8: If you want, use casual abbreviations.
If it suits you and the message you are writing, you can use reverend and pastor.If you were to send a quick follow up email about a previous matter, it would make sense.You could say Reverend Max Dunt.You could also address the pastor.Reese.
Step 9: The spouse should be addressed with their normal title and full name.
With the spouse’s full name, use abbreviated titles such as Mr, Mrs., Ms. and Dr.Academic degrees should not be included after the name or branches of the military.If Mrs. Huff were a doctor, you would address them as “Pastor Mike Huff and Dr. Rita Huff.”
Step 10: The pastor should have their last name as “Pastor”.
It’s best to keep things casual in person.Call your pastor by their last name.For example, if you wanted to call a pastor, you could call him “Pastor Shannon.”If it seems like it applies to your situation, you can ask your pastor what they like best.
Step 11: The last name of the Catholic priests should be Father.
The last name of the priest should be called Father in casual settings.The greeting still respects the authority of the priest.For example, if you wanted to speak to a priest named Don, you could ask him his first name and then call him Father.
Step 12: You can use the spouse’s title with their last name.
The spouse of the pastor should be known as Mr. Mrs., Ms. or Dr.If you don’t know them well, this keeps things personal.You could call the pastor’s husband, “Dr.If he is a dentist.Ms. is a pastor’s wife who does not share his last name.If the congregation uses the term “First Lady” outlined in part one, use the title with only her last name.Donna Jones would be addressed as the First Lady of Michael Jones.
Step 13: If requested, switch to a first-name basis.
It is important to show respect to the pastor by calling them whatever they want to be called.If your pastor wants you to call them by their first name, that’s fine with you.It is acceptable to apply the same rule to their spouse, as they have indicated the level of formality they prefer.