Meet Our Staff

Rev. Kevin Pleas

Rev. Kevin Pleas

Senior Pastor

Contact Rev. Kevin at 603-625-5093 or KPleas@FCCManchesterNH.org

Read more about Rev. Kevin...

The church has been a beloved part of my life as far back as I can remember. Beginning with the First Methodist Church of Riverside in California, where I grew up, I’ve been actively involved in one church community or another everywhere I’ve lived. I was blessed to feel a strong call to ministry early in my life, and after more than 30 years as a pastor, I am still deeply grateful for the privilege of serving.

After High School, I joined the Coast Guard for four years of active duty, then attended college at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where I received a degree in Psychology. Then came three years at Andover Newton Theological School, a Master of Divinity Degree, and, in 1987, a formal Ordination to Christian ministry in the United Church of Christ. I have served churches in Massachusetts, Illinois, Connecticut, and Maine, and, in November of 2015, I was thrilled to be called as the Senior minister of the First Congregational Church of Manchester.

My ministry rises from knowing that God is gracious and extravagantly welcoming, that Jesus Christ provides a wonderful blueprint for faithful living, that life is abundant, that our hearts are best served by living close to a spirit of compassion, and that we are all invited into what Martin Luther King, Jr. liked to call the “Beloved Community.”

Personally, I have been happily, no joyfully, married to my wife, Pamela, for nearly 36 years. We have two beautiful daughters living in Maine: Sarah and Corinne. Sarah is married to a great guy named Sean, and the two of them recently gifted us with our first grandson: Caleb, who is perfect. And then there’s Coco, our lovely poodle-mix rescue dog.

Church office phone 603-625-5093

Contact Kevin Pleas at KPleas@FCCManchesterNH.org

Adam Peithmann

Adam Peithmann

Director of Music Ministry

Contact Adam at 603-625-5093 or APeithmann@FCCManchesterNH.org

Read more about Adam...

Adam has been the Director of Music Ministry for the First Congregational Church since the Fall of 2014. Originally from Nebraska, he has worked in a variety of churches in the northeast.

Adam completed an undergraduate degree in Organ Performance from the Eastman School of Music and a Master’s Degree with a church music certificate from the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale. He also completed additional studies as a Fulbright scholar in Bremen, Germany.

Adam and his wife, Lauren, and daughters, Audrey and Annie live in Chester, New Hampshire. Lauren, also a graduate of the Institute of Sacred Music, is a music teacher at Salem High School in Salem, New Hampshire. Adam and his family are delighted to be a part of the First Congregational Church of Manchester, NH.

Contact Adam Peithmann at APeithmann@FCCManchesterNH.org

Barbara Papagian

Barbara Papagian

Director of Parish Care

Contact Barbara at 603-625-5093 or BPapagian@FCCManchesterNH.org

Read more about Barbara...

As Director of Parish Care, I am dedicated to keeping in contact with the congregation, paying special attention to shut-ins, the hospitalized, anyone going through difficult life changes. My ministry is one of caring, listening, and connecting.

 

I have a Certificate in Spiritual and Pastoral Care from Andover Newton Theological School and am working toward Commissioned Ministry in Parish Care.

Since I have been an active member of First Congregational Church for twenty-three years, I have worked on many committees, and was Deacon of Discipleship before joining the staff in my capacity of visiting ministry.

I grew up in Wellesley, Massachusetts and attended The University of New Hampshire. I now live in Manchester, New Hampshire and have two adult sons.

When I am not working, I enjoy reading, swimming, golfing, playing my oboe, and spending time with family and friends.

A Bible verse that really speaks to me is Romans 12:10. “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” That is the essence of my ministry.

Contact Barbara Papagian at BPapagian@FCCManchesterNH.org

Betsy Green

Betsy Green

Church School Coordinator

Contact Betsy at 603-625-5093 or BGreen@FCCManchesterNH.org

Read more about Betsy...

I came to First Church in 2004 looking for a permanent church home to raise my daughter Emma. I found that First Church had similar qualities to the churches I had attended in Iowa, Vermont and Massachusetts while growing up. I have lived in Manchester since 1989 which is the longest place I’ve ever stayed. In 1995 I married my husband Burton, who is a native of Manchester. Before having my daughter I spent 20 years with Sears as a manager and trainer. I also taught childbirth classes for 6 years after Emma was born. Today most people know me as the school bus driver for Bedford High School, but coordinating First Church’s school programs for children are where my talents lie.

While attending First Church, I was a part of the church school program from Nursery through the teen youth group. I also found myself as a Girl Scout leader for 8 years. It only made sense that when the Children’s Education Coordinator position was made available, that I apply. I am now in my 4th year as coordinator and feel proud that we have a vibrant program of church school for pre K through 8th grade on Sunday mornings each week.  We have recently begun a new program called “Me Too!” for grades 2-5 where families and children can come together once a month for bible study, fellowship and fun. First Church also offers a Vacation Bible School program each summer.

I look forward to “retiring” from so many hats and putting my efforts into more volunteering in the future. But for now, each Sunday the children’s weekly stories of their lives make my day!

Contact Betsy Green at BGreen@FCCManchesterNH.org

Larry Dearborn

Larry Dearborn

Building Manager

Contact Larry at 603-625-5093 or LDearborn@FCCManchesterNH.org

Read more about Larry...

Larry joined the staff of First Church as the Building Manager in July 2014. He’s no stranger to First Church though, as he has been a member and active volunteer since 2002. Larry retired from BAE Systems in 2001 and brings a wealth of maintenance and technical talent to First Church.

 

 

In his spare time, Larry belongs to a bowling league and volunteers his time at the Elliot Hospital.

Contact Larry through the church office at 603-625-5093 or LDearborn@FCCManchesterNH.org.

Linda Bonetti

Linda Bonetti

Church Administrator

Contact Linda at 603-625-5093 or LBonetti@FCCManchesterNH.org

Read more about Linda...

In the fall of 2014 I had come home late and pulled up Craigslist to update some job listings I was running, and up popped the listing from First Church for a Church Administrator…and at the very same moment I heard a horrendous crash! Long story short, a tree had fallen on my car, totaling it! I took this as a sign that I needed to make some changes from the very long days and stressful work environment I was in…and the rest is history.

 

I have been blessed to work at First Church since 2014 with a talented, compassionate staff and a host of members and friends who have embellished my life in unbelievable ways! My husband, Michael, two children and four grandchildren will attest to this! I now have time to enjoy puzzles, reading, sewing, cooking…and every weekend at our camp swimming, boating, and enjoying friends and family.

Contact Linda through the Church Office at 603-625-5093 or LBonetti@FCCManchesterNH.org

Sokhom Sar

Sokhom Sar

Sexton

Contact Sokhom at 603-625-5093

Read more about Sokhom...

Sokhom fled Cambodia via Thailand in 1983. First Church welcomed him and his family, sponsoring his entrance into the United States and hiring him as our Sexton. A highlight was when Sokhom and his wife, Yean became American Citizens! Sokhom faithfully dedicates his days to the cleanliness and organization of First Church.

On his off days, he cares for his 14 grandchildren, his 25’x50’ garden, his model train collection, and he escapes to go fishing as often as he can.

Contact Sokhom through the First Church office at 603-625-5093.

Lauren Henderson

Lauren Henderson

Front Office Assistant

Contact Lauren at 603-625-5093 or LHendersonFCC@Yahoo.com

Read more about Lauren...

 Lauren is a delightful new presence on our First Congregational Staff, and brings many new gifts to our membership. She has learned the ropes rapidly, and is settling in very well.

Lauren lives here in Manchester. She is married to Mitchell and together they have a ten-year-old daughter named Violet. Lauren’s professional experience includes library work in Manchester and Bedford. She has worked at the Currier and Shaker Village Museums, and teaches Meditation and Yoga as well. We hope you’ll drop by to welcome the most recent member of our staff!

Contact Lauren at LHendersonFCC@Yahoo.com .  

First Church Choirs

Our choirs enrich your worship experience, which includes children’s story, music, sermon, and prayer. 

Learn more...

Communion

Communion is celebrated during worship on “Threshold Sundays” – the first Sunday of Advent, the first Sunday of the New Year, the first Sunday... Learn more...

Pastor's Class

Rev. Kevin offers a variety of multi-week book and Bible study classes at different times during the church year. Past classes have included... Learn more...

Families and Children

Families and children are prominent in our church life. Children participate in worship and events throughout the year. Children... Learn more...

“First Church has been a welcome home for our growing family.”

Lauren and Adam Peithmann

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“First Church is very active and gives you a chance to meet new people."

Bruce and Donna Willey

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“First Church gave me great comfort during those times when life seemed its hardest.”

Liz Verity

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“We feel truly blessed to have been led to membership at First Church."

Ross and Marion Palmes

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“I am honored to say, 'This is my Church'.”

Lucia Carlisle

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"I found what I was searching for when I attended First Church.”

Marsha Neubert

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“We are very proud to be long time members and affectionately call First Church our Church Family.”

Steve and Kathy Payne

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ONA Team thanks everyone for responding to the Survey!

We had an overwhelming response to the ONA Survey to gauge where we are in the ONA process.  The ONA Team will be meeting over the next few weeks to analyze the results and report to the First Church Congregation.

Relax and Reflect in the Memory Garden

A vision only a year ago, our First Church's Memory Garden is blooming!  Please stop by to relax and reflect on loved ones who have passed before us.  It is located outside the Chapel entrance.  

Many thanks for everyone's contributions and to the volunteers who had the vision to make this happen.

Upcoming Events

June 25th Worship This Sunday

Senior Pastor Rev. Kevin Pleas will lead the service at 9:30am in the Sanctuary, followed by the Service of Prayer and Healing in the Chapel.

New Summer Worship Hours

Summer Worship begins at 9:30am from now through Labor Day Sunday.

Vacation Bible School

Monday, June 26 - Friday June 30 Learn More...

Latest News

Sunday Bulletin

See the order of worship for the Sunday Service, including the Scripture Reading. Learn more...

The Sunday News

What’s happening this week in the life of First Church? Learn more...

Church Window

What’s happening this month at First Church? Learn more...

From the Pastor's Desk

Get connected to Rev. Kevin's insights! Learn more...