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

Kelda York

Kelda York

Children's Ministry Coordinator

Contact Kelda at 603-625-5093 or KYork@FCCManchesterNH.org

Read more about Kelda...

  Kelda York and her family have been members since 2008.  Her three children, Sylvie, Esme, and Lincoln, have grown up at First Congregational Church, where Kelda has been a teacher in our Church School and VBS Program.  Kelda is the former Coordinator of the Ministry of Mission and Outreach, and currently sings in the choir in addtion to her other volunteer roles.

Kelda can be reached at 603-625-5093, or by email at KYork@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. 

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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...

Bible Study

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...

“It is my time at First Church that helps me "recharge" my spirit with faith and hope for the coming week!”

Sue Hannigen

“A path which leads me forward in a journey of grace and love with my family, friends, and community."

Bruce Attridge

“Cherished elements of core traditions live on at First Church…” 

Grant Dugan

“I hope others will find such joy when they come here.”

Eleanor Flint Campbell

“We treasure our many friends and colleagues in this wonderful congregation.”

Susan and Bruce Felmly

“I love First Church because of my involvement with Women's Connection.”

Pamela LeBlanc

 

“I get an overall feeling of being uplifted.”

Joan Currier

 

Saturday, December 2nd at 4pm

Handel's Messiah, Part 1

Handel's Messiah, Part 1, returns to the First Congregational Church on Saturday, December 2nd at 4pm.  If you are interested in performing in the amazing triennial event, click here for the Performer's Invitation.

For a listing of rehearsal dates and commitment, please click here.

 Messiah Financial Support 

Handel's Messiah, Part 1, returns to the First Congregational Church on Saturday, December 2nd at 4pm. 

If you are interested in financially supporting this amazing triennial event, click here for the 2018 Messiah Sponsorship Form.

 Quilt Ministry Raffle 

Pick up your raffle tickets in the office all week, or Sundays during Fellowship Hour!  Drawing is on November 11th!  Proceeds to benefit the Quilt Ministry.

For more information and tickets, click here for the Quilt Ministry Raffle Ticket.

                        

 Upcoming Events

Sunday, October 21, 2018 at 10:00am.

Worship Sunday

Our Sunday worship begins at 10am!    Our Commissioned Minister, Barbara Papagian, will lead the worship service at 10:00am in the Sanctuary. 

Prior to the 10:00am service, please enjoy the new Time of Greeting ... meet new friends and share fond memories before worship begins.

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Sundays at 10am

Sunday School is in full swing!

All children are invited to visit the Sunday School.  Children attend the 10am worship service, then head to classes following "Time with God's Children".

Learn more...

Sunday, October 14, 2018   

Service of Prayer and Healing

Inspired by the Celtic Tradition, the roughly half-hour service will include music, readings, prayers and an opportunity to receive a “Laying on of Hands” blessing. Service will be held in the Chapel following the 10:00am worship service and fellowship, on the 2nd Sunday each month.  

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Latest News

Current Videos

Click here to enjoy our current videos on Vimeo!

From the Pastor's Desk

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

Sunday Bulletin

See the order of worship at First Church 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...

ONA Update   

ONA Celebration Service on Sunday, November 18th at 3pm

Join us as we celebrate our Open & Affirming status with a special worship service and Celebration on Sunday, November 18th at 3pm.  All are welcome to attend.

Learn More...

The ONA Team offers water and resources to Concord Pride attendees on June 2nd!