Lester Mackenzie

About the Chaplain

The Reverend Lester V Mackenzie is an Episcopal priest serving as Rector at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Laguna Beach, California. Born and raised in South Africa, Lester is a third-generation priest deeply rooted in the South African Anglican Church during the Apartheid era.

Lester’s contributions to the church include serving as a Deputy to the Episcopal General Convention in 2012, 2015, and 2018, and as Chaplain to the General Convention House of Deputies in 2015, 2018, 2022, and 2024. He also serves on the Standing Committee, was a member of the Commission of Ministry from 2009 to 2016, and a Director on the Corporation of the LA Diocese from 2010 to 2017.

Lester holds an MDiv from Virginia Theological Seminary (2007) He has completed 60 hours of Coach Approach Skills Training (CAST) with Holmes Coaching Group.  As a professional coach for the Episcopal Church Office of African Descent Ministries and a Facilitator with the Kaleidoscope Institute, Lester guides conversations fostering multicultural environments. He completed the Pepperdine University COMMUNITAS Pastoral Leadership Program in 2024.

Integrating his South African heritage, Ubuntu philosophy, and African musical influences into his ministry, Lester emphasizes “praying with mind in heart” to resonate with healing and peace.