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 enjoys playing music, inventing recipes, hiking in the White Mountains, and going on gallivants with her greyhounds and partner.


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, her spouse, her daughter, her dog, and her two cats all are grateful to have found their way to Maine.

Sam Chandler

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, 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 is also the Community & Donor Relations Manager for Tedford Housing in Brunswick. She is so happy to be part of such a progressive, loving community. Andrea began at First Universalist in November 2019.

MacKenzie “Mack” Jones, Children’s Teacher and Youth Facilitator, was born in Portland, Maine. She has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and history from Wheaton College in Massachusetts. Mack is an advocate for the voices of the youth, and believes strongly in the value of history education for all ages. When not working at First Universalist, she also teaches at a school in Maine. In her free time, Mack enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her cat named Friday. Mack joined First Universalist in September 2021.