Meet Our Clergy & Staff

emily heath headshotRev. Emily C. Heath, Pastor

Pastor Emily began serving our church in July 2014. A native of Virginia, she grew up in Winter Park, Florida. After majoring in English and Religion at Emory University she went on to Columbia Theological Seminary. At Columbia, Emily received a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology and then served as a chaplain specializing in trauma. Before coming to Exeter, Emily was the pastor of a UCC congregation in southern Vermont, as well as the chaplain and volunteer firefighter on the local fire department.

Outside of the parish Emily is pursuing a Doctor of Ministry in leadership at Andover Newton Theological School. In the wider church she serves on the national Board of Directors of the United Church of Christ. She is also a writer whose work is regularly featured in the UCC’s Still Speaking Daily Devotionals, as well as the blogs of the Christian Century and Huffington Post’s Religion section. Her hobbies include fly fishing, golf, watching the Red Sox, and managing a fantasy football team that manages to regularly implode spectacularly during the first round of the playoffs.

But, most of all, she enjoys spending time with her wife, Heidi Carrington Heath, a licensed UCC minister and candidate for ordination. They make their home in downtown Exeter and are thrilled to be serving this community.

She can be reached at pastor @


cat allard  Exeter NHCatherine Allard: Minister for Christian Growth

Catherine Allard is a Member in Discernment with the Hillsborough Association of the NH Conference of the United Church of Christ. She graduated from Andover Newton Theological School in May with an M.Div and is working on completing her last requirements for the ordination process.
During her six years in seminary, Catherine had the privilege of serving in a variety of ministerial staff and field education positions: three years as Temporary Assistant Minister at First Congregational Church in Manchester, NH; Youth Group Leader and Ministerial Intern at Old South Church in Boston; Student Pastor at Beneficent Congregational Church in Providence; and Interim Minister for Youth and Education, as well as Summer Co-Pastor, at First Baptist Church in Worcester, MA. She also completed one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Havenwood-Heritage Heights, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Concord, NH. For the past three summers Catherine was the Youth Minister of the Week for the UCC Star Gathering I Youth Conference on Star Island. Additionally, she has served as Co-Dean for a week of summer camp at Horton Center, the NH Conference Outdoor Ministry Program on Pine Mountain in Gorham, NH.
Prior to seminary, Catherine was the Director of Youth and Community Programs for the YWCA in NH. In her earlier role as Teen Program Coordinator for the YW, she facilitated youth leadership development programs for middle school girls and high school youth. Throughout her career at the YWCA Catherine contributed to and led substance abuse and dating violence prevention efforts in the community of Manchester, created safe spaces for GLBTQ youth, and participated in anti-racism organizing work.
Catherine’s life-giving experience of God’s Word and Sacrament when she began attending a UCC church at 28 years old gave new energy and hope to her passion for social justice and greater confidence in who and Whose she is. The call to love and lead God’s people in and through the ministries of the United Church of Christ began in 2006 and continues to be affirmed, most recently as Catherine was hired to be our Minister for Christian Growth.
Originally from Dover, NH and with UNH, Durham her alma mater, Catherine has always held an affinity for the NH seacoast. She looks forward to making Exeter home this spring, spending time by the ocean and being in ministry together with Pastor Emily at this exciting time in the ministry of our church!

She can be reached at

PastorCat @


Kimberley Karchenes, Director of Music

Kimberley has received her Bachelor of Music degree in Performance from the University of  Lowell, and comes to us with 24 years of experience as an organist, and pianist.  Kimberley lives with her husband Dana in Cape Neddick, Maine. She recently served as the Associate Director of Music Ministry at First Parish Church in York Maine. While there she developed a hand bell and chime choir, a high school choir, and conducted & rehearsed the children’s choir and senior choir.  Kimberley has also played the organ and piano for weddings and funeral services.

Kim has also been a performing artist with chamber orchestras, summer theater musicals, works as an accompanist for Seaglass Performing Arts, Seacoast Community Chorus, and Women Singing Out. In addition, she has taught piano for 22 years to children and adults in a wide age range, and planned their recitals.


Mary MacLeod exeter 2014Mary MacLeod, Office Administrator

Mary comes to us from Rhode Island where she worked as a paralegal for many years. She received her bachelors in Political Science from American University in Washington, DC. She has been employed in the church office since 2014. Her office is located at 12 Center St. rear. To see her for any of your business needs, please stop by during business hours, Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to 3 pm.

She can be contacted at 603-772-4216 or office @


Renay Allen-Hitzrot, Web Communications

Renay holds a Masters In Business Communications from Southern New Hampshire University. She is the Webmistress of this site, the editor of the monthly Tower newsletter and Church Bits e-blasts, and is very interested in Sustainability. Renay is also a NH Justice of the Peace. She works part-time and virtual.

She can be contacted at editor @


Faith P. Walsh,  Financial Services Manager

Faith Walsh holds degrees in Accounting from Southern new Hampshire University, and is a CPA. Faith has been employed at the church doing the books and the pledges since 2006. In the past she has been a trustee and a treasurer for the church. Currently, she rings in the handbell choir. Please contact her if you have questions on your pledges or donations.

Jim Walsh, Sexton:   office

Tom Bergeron, Moderator:   Moderator


To view additional committee chairpersons and volunteer lay leadership, please see the annual report, housed under the “About Us” tab.

View or print our Welcome Booklet 2014-2015