Our Minister and Staff
The Rev. Jennifer Emrich serves as our Minister. Rev. Jennifer has particular interests and gifts in adaptive leadership, comprehensive programming and children and youth ministry which have served our congregation well since 2007. This is Rev. Jennifer’s final year of professional congregational ministry. She will be with us in her full capacity as our minister through this church year, which ends on June 30, 2018. To learn more, please read: FAQs about Ministerial Transition
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. She lives with her wife, two dogs, two cats, in the midst of an ever-expanding garden.
Gail Mills, Administrative Assistant, spent family vacations in Maine as a child and became a resident in 2010 when she moved to Lewiston with her family. She began working for First Universalist in September 2016. Gail is fond of animals, art, antiques, and especially enjoys working with others. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb where she studied art.
Russ DuPree, Sexton, helps ensure that our church is beautiful and well-maintained. Russ has been working for First Universalist since October 2016.
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.