Born and raised in California, Craig Jan-McMahon enjoyed spending summers with his grandparents in Arvin, the setting for John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. Both sides of his family are “Okies” who migrated to California in search of a better life.
Craig and his wife, Twink, migrated to Iowa, where Craig earned a Master of Arts in English from Iowa State University (1993). Both of their daughters were born in Ames, Iowa: Phoebe in 1991 and Berti in 1994.
In 1995, Craig accepted an English Instructor position with Madison College. He and his family moved to Madison, fell in love with Wisconsin, and set down roots.
They thought their moving days were over, but the Holy Spirit had other plans.
In 2003, Craig and his family moved to Webster Groves, MO, where he and Twink attended Eden Theological Seminary, both graduating with Masters of Divinity in 2006. Craig then served as an Interim Pastor for three and one-half years (Spring Prairie Lutheran Church, Deforest, 2006; Luther Memorial Church, Madison, 2007; Whitewater Congregational Church, Whitewater, 2008). In 2010, he answered his first call to serve as a settled Pastor at Swiss UCC in New Glarus.
In 2014, he began serving his present call as Pastor of First Congregational UCC, Moline, IL. In a short time, Craig and the congregation accomplished much. They began using technology to strengthen communication within the congregation, increase participation, diversify giving, celebrate their life and ministry together, and reach out to their neighbors. In 2018, the church ratified an ONA covenant and began live streaming worship services. Craig helped the congregation revitalize its mission programs by connecting it with local social agencies and engaging young families in the joy of helping others. Craig also led the church in addressing long-needed issues with its vast, beautiful, century-old building. In 2019, he developed the Let Light Shine capital campaign, raising $150,000 to repair and restore its stained glass windows. Most recently, the church installed solar panels to offset utilities costs.
Craig enjoys cycling along the Mississippi River and hiking its bluffs. When time allows, he goes home to Wisconsin for his two greatest passions: playing with his two grandsons, Ikål (2 yrs) and Caspian (5 mo.), and fishing the Driftless, in Southwest Wisconsin.
Phoebe now lives in Clinton, Iowa, and teaches Art for Eastern Iowa Community College. Berti and her husband, Rudy, live and work in Madison with their two beautiful boys. Twink owns and operates Room to Breathe, a home and office organizing business.