Our Minister and Staff

Rev Gillespie

Rev. Frieda Gillespie, Interim Minister, joined First Universalist in August 2018 and will be with the congregation during the next two years as the church searches for a settled, or called, minister. (For more about the ministerial transition process, you can review materials on the UUA website or speak with a member of the Board of Trustees.) Rev. Frieda attended seminary at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas, and has served UU churches in Greenville, NC, Roswell, GA, Omaha, NE, and Berlin, MA. Rev. Frieda currently lives in MA and spends part of her week in Yarmouth, ME.


Gwen Matthews, Program Assistant, 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, one-year-old daughter, Arwen, her dog, Bellamie, and two cats, Clarke and Lexa, and an expanding garden.

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, 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.