First Presbyterian Day School announces the appointment of Rev. Joe McDaniel as Interim Head of School effective immediately. He replaces Gregg Thompson who served as Head of School for more than 22 years. McDaniel, a Macon-native, is a well-known and respected pastor, educator and community volunteer, who brings 5 decades of dedicated Christian service and education leadership experience to his new role at FPD.

FPD Board Chair Danny Smith announced Rev. McDaniel’s hiring saying, “The Board of Trustees is extremely honored to have Joe lead FPD at this time in its history. I have known and highly respected Joe for 38 years. His Christian influence not only spans decades, it has impacted thousands of lives and is woven into many portions of the Macon-Middle Georgia Community.”

FPD Vice Chair Hal Foshee added, “Joe McDaniel brings a wealth of experience and respect to his new role. Joe’s return to FPD is indeed exciting and is a huge blessing as FPD celebrates its 50th anniversary later this year.”

McDaniel stated, “I am incredibly honored to serve the First Presbyterian Day School community as Interim Head of School. For the past 50 years, FPD has been a highly decorated School of Excellence. I am both privileged and humbled to serve this exceptional Christian, college-preparatory school in this historic year.”

Rev. McDaniel’s professional experience includes:

  • Pastor, Musella Baptist Church, 2010-2017
  • Senior Associate Pastor, Mabel White Memorial Baptist Church, 1982-2002, 2005-2010
  • Public Information Officer and Chaplain, Mid Georgia Ambulance, 2002-2005
  • Director of Admissions at Mercer University during his tenure from 1978-1982.
  • 10 years of teaching and coaching experience at Greene County High School, Southwest High School and Mount de Sales Academy.
  • Concurrent with his pastorate positions, McDaniel served as a volunteer coach at FPD and Mount de Sales for a total of 8 years.
  • While volunteering at FPD, he served on the staff of his son Chad, who was the head track and cross country coach.
  • McDaniel also coached his JV cross country teams to eight state championships at FPD.
  • He graduated from Willingham High School in 1964, Georgia Southern University, with a B.S. in Education in 1968 and Georgia College & State University, earning an M.S. in Education in 1972.


  • Joe and his wife Cynthia will celebrate their 50th anniversary later this year.
  • They have two adult children, Krista Dillard (Judge Stephen) and Chad McDaniel (Stephanie) and six grandchildren.
  • Rev. McDaniel is the published author of 31206: The Boys of Willingham High, currently in its third printing.
  • McDaniel’s extensive volunteer experience includes three years of board governance experience at Mount de Sales, Macon Rotary Club, Backpack Ministry, 1996 Olympic Torch Bearer, Macon Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors, and Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Selection Committee
  • An athlete, coach and sports enthusiast, he was inducted as a member of the Mount de Sales Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. He has completed three marathons and one triathlon.
  • His hobbies include: pickleball (in which he is an avid and decorated player), fitness and weight training, guitar, vegetable gardening and writing.