Kemmesha Thomas Sunday Liaison
Profiles

Kemmesha Thomas Sunday Liaison

Kemmesha is from Wisconsin and moved to Maryland to pursue a Master in Public Health in Health Equity at UMD College Park. One of her interests in Public Health is how housing instability impacts health, which is why she’s glad to be working with the church as a liaison for those without a home and...

Jarred Bowman
Profiles

Jarred Bowman

A fifth generation Washingtonian, Jarred is deeply passionate about DC’s youth and families and has committed his life and career to learning and growing in communities committed to transformational change. Jarred comes to us with experience serving in local, state and federal agencies to address structural inequities, and has leveraged his skills to effectively co-advocate...

Trista Dunlap Administrative Assistant
Profiles

Trista Dunlap Administrative Assistant

Hello! My name is Trista Dunlap, and I’m a 52-year Washingtonian.  I am the new Administrative Assistant for the First Congregational United Church of Christ.  With over 10 years in the Administrative field, I enjoy interacting with people.  I have an awesome personality, positive energy, and love to smile.  I am a mom of three...

Director of Music Ministry:  Leela Koilpillai
Profiles

Director of Music Ministry: Leela Koilpillai

Welcome our New Director of Music Ministry:  Leela Koilpillai Leela Koilpillai came to the United States at the age of six, eventually returning to study medicine in Pune, India. While in college she was offered an opportunity to lead a girls’ choir and loved it so much it switched to a music major. She holds degrees in piano...

Byron Adams
Profiles

Byron Adams

Byron devotes his church hours to building relationships with a variety of organizations in the Greater Washington region (including Ford’s Theater, Washington Bach Consort, The Thirteen Choir, New Orchestra of Washington, Choral Arts Society, and many others) who use the church’s space for concerts, lectures, forums, classes, and more. His service on the Site Development Design Team and a career in marketing and event management gives him a unique perspective on how the building can be used and promoted to build the wider community in the heart of the city. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and has studied Spanish through immersion language training in Chiapas, Mexico and San Jose, Costa Rica. Building Manager Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 8:30 AM – 4:30PM.

Rev. Sam McFerran
Profiles

Rev. Sam McFerran

Sam is grateful to serve alongside the First Church community as Associate Minister. He feels called to create a space to help all ages, from infants to adults, sense God’s presence in their lives. Sam desires to make the church more about how we relate to God and with one another than a static adherence to tradition, creed, or even our history. He believes God is still speaking, and through Sunday school, service, story sharing and song, prayer and acts of solidarity with the marginalized, that we are provided opportunities to hear God’s call and act upon it. Sam is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) and a graduate of Union Presbyterian Seminary, the University of Kansas, and Haverford College. He is joined by his wife, Lauren, and their two sons, Brendan and Ryan. Sam loves the Nationals, playing baseball, and living in DC!

Rev. Amanda Hendler Voss
Profiles

Rev. Amanda Hendler Voss

The Rev. Amanda Hendler-Voss joyfully serves the community of First Church as the Senior Minister. Raised in a suburb of Detroit, working for the Appalachia Service Project cultivated a love for the mountains that compelled her to move south. There, she initially worked with those living with HIV/AIDS and fell in love with the United Church of Christ, an open and affirming denomination. As a Woodruff scholar at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Amanda earned her Masters of Divinity with certificates in Black Church Studies and Church and Community programs. In Atlanta she coordinated the Georgia chapter of Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND), organizing anti-war protests and educational programs, as well as authoring a new curriculum, Faith Seeking Peace, on redirecting federal budget priorities to meet human and environmental needs.

Amanda was ordained in the western North Carolina Association of the UCC in 2006 while serving as a Minister of Faith Formation. In 2009, Amanda co-founded the thriving community of Land of the Sky United Church of Christ in Asheville, NC, where she served as Co-Pastor for eight years in an intentional, power-sharing model. Her vocation as a pastor is shaped by Amanda’s particular calling to racial justice. At Land of the Sky UCC she launched a racial justice ministry in which she co-led dismantling racism training, engaged in a racial justice audit of ministries, created programming for children and youth to highlight the testimonies of local leaders of color, and launched conversations about reparations. In August of 2017, she engaged in sacred activism in Charlottesville where she served as an on-call chaplain to those impacted by the tragic violence of white supremacy. Amanda recently completed a yearlong training as part of the first cohort of UCC leaders equipped to facilitate Sacred Conversations to End Racism 2. She consistently seeks new opportunities to learn and grow on the lifelong journey of dismantling racism within and without.

In 2017, Amanda relocated to northern Virginia with her spouse, Seth, and boys, Myles (13) and Simon (7) to enter a reflective season of ministry. A lover of words and contemplative spirituality, Amanda has served in recent years as a freelance writer, Spiritual Director, and Co-Facilitator of a clergy Community of Practice in the Potomac Association. She enjoys hiking, baking, running, reading, and snuggling her adopted dog, Ginger. Perhaps most importantly, she seeks to honor the sacred in every person she encounters and the well-being of the Earth’s family of all living things.