Rev. Alex Holt arrived here at Meadville this summer after a cross-country move from Seattle, Washington. Alex served as interim minister at Westside UU Congregation in West Seattle for 3 years.

He has been an Accredited Interim Minister for 6 years with training through the UUA and the Interim Ministry Network. He has most recently been interim minister in Seattle, Fort Worth, Texas; Bend, Oregon; and Clemson, SC. Other places he has served included Woodinville, Washington (outside Seattle), Springfield, IL, Alton, IL, and Marysville, WA.

He grew up on a farm in rural Maine and attended University of Southern Maine, Penn State and UC Berkeley in his academic work. He has an M.Div. from Star King School for the Ministry as well as an M.A. in Comparative Literature at Penn State,

His life-partner, Debra Savelle, lives in Eugene, Oregon. She is full time Buddhist chaplain at the local hospital there and has been a Zen student at Buddha Eye Temple in Eugene for 20 years. Debra’s daughter and granddaughter, two cats, and two dogs all share Debra’s home.

Alex is a long term Buddhist student having studied and trained with Chozen and Hogen Bays who are co-abbots of Great Vow Zen Center in Oregon. Alex now focuses on dharma work in addictions ministry. He is currently treasurer of the Buddhist Recovery Network ( and planning to start a meeting here in Meadville on recovery and the teachings of the Buddha.

Why Meadville as a half-time contract ministry? Alex writes, “I am gradually nearing retirement age and decided to take a different direction in parish ministry this last year. Meadville was an excellent choice for me because of its long history along with my desire to continue ministry with congregations. Meadville is perfect because I enjoy small cities and the ability to walk almost anywhere here. I look forward to what I hope will be an extended time here.”

Alex has been in recovery from alcoholism since June 14, 2003. He was part of the original group who started the UUA Addictions Ministry program in 2004 and beyond. He’s spoken at various congregations about addiction and recovery as well as giving workshops on the topic of addiction, recovery, and spiritual growth.

He lives in Meadville with his two cats who now have crossed the country 4 times so far over the last 10 years.