Our Minister and Staff
Rev. Hillary Collins-Gilpatrick, Minister, was called as First Universalist’s minister in May 2020 and began her role as minister in August 2020. Rev. Hillary holds a MDiv from Harvard Divinity School and a BA from Smith College. Prior to ministering at First Universalist, Rev. Hillary has been a chaplain, Director and Minister of Lifespan Religious Education, a high school teacher, and has worked for youth centers and justice-seeking non-profits. Rev. Hillary is a recently returned native Mainer who lives with her long-term partner, Alexis, and greyhound, Smokey Jo.
Gwen Matthews, Director of Education and Communications, holds a bachelor’s degree in education and joined First Universalist in January 2016. Prior to working at First Universalist, Gwen has been a freelance editor, advocate for children who survived abuse, and assistant overnight camp director. Gwen values approaching the world with enthusiasm and openness and strives to connect people of all ages with our justice-centered, active, and inclusive faith. Gwen lives in Yarmouth with her spouse, Kai, two-year-old daughter, Arwen, her dog, Bellamie, two cats, Clarke and Lexa, and a continually expanding garden.
Sam Chandler, Music Director, is a pianist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and educator. Sam seeks the connections that can be made with individuals and communities through music and is always looking to expand his knowledge and repertoire of music to better achieve this goal. As an educator, Sam has found great joy connecting children with their own innate abilities. Sam can be seen playing music both locally and abroad as a jazz pianist, songwriter, and keyboardist mostly in projects that focus on new original compositions. Sam holds a B.M. in Jazz Piano Performance from the University of Southern Maine and began at First Universalist in November 2017.
Andrea Meadows, Administrative Assistant, welcomes all who come to the church office. Andrea joined the First U church team with enthusiasm and excitement. She comes from a background in accounting and entrepreneurship. Andrea is also a mother of three and a Zumba Instructor. In addition to working part time for First U of Yarmouth, she also works part time for Tedford Housing in Brunswick. She is so happy to be part of such a progressive, loving community. Andrea has been working for First Universalist since November 2019.
Anna Bianconi, Children’s Teacher, facilitates learning, growth, exploration, development, and play for the children at First Universalist on Sunday mornings. Anna has been working for First Universalist since September 2018.
Todd Roy, Sexton, cares for the physical building of First Universalist. Todd has been working for First Universalist since February 2020.