First Presbyterian Church of Starke



The Rev. Dr. Don McGarity

Dr. & Mrs. (Bonnie) McGarity were born in Houston, Texas, were confirmed in the same Presbyterian Church, sang in the choir together and in 1965 were married by their Presbyterian minister.  They recently celebrated their 47th Anniversary. They have two children, four grandchildren and 3-˝ great -grandchildren.


After a career in Music, Dr. McGarity felt the call to the ministry.  In 1972 the McGarity’s moved from Houston to Austin, TX where he attended and graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity (1975).  He later received his doctorate in 1981 at McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago.


He served churches in Texas before becoming the Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Jacksonville, FL.  Rev. McGarity then became the organizing and founding pastor of the Amelia Island Plantation Chapel, an Interdenominational Community Church established by the presbytery in the

Resort of Amelia Island Plantation.


The McGarity’s are retired in Gainesville. At First Presbyterian Church, Gainesville, Rev. McGarity serves in many capacities among them are preaching occasionally for the Senior Pastor, teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir and visiting the sick and taking communion to the homebound.