Fellowship, Nurture, Ministry, and Service
Deborah Davis-Johnson, Pastor
In the autumn of 2001, Deborah Davis-Johnson began her pastoral journey in Portland when she was called to lead Immanuel Baptist Church. Several years after that the ministry expanded when she was also called to guide Williston-West United Church of Christ into a remarkable merger which brought the two, similar and active congregations together as one, now well-known as Williston-Immanuel United Church. In the process, her American Baptist ordination credentials became officially and dually recognized by the UCC. Deborah graduated from Colgate Rochester Divinity School and was ordained by the church where she grew up, First Baptist Church in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Deborah has pastored American Baptist churches in Rochester NY and Lincoln RI. She and her husband have three adult children and four grandchildren. She thrives in her ministry here, with a special love for children and deep appreciation of worship that is both solid and creative. In addition to her ministry, grandmothering, walking, sewing and cooking bring her great joy.
Lydia Hews, Community Liaison
In a move to extend the church's commitment to ministering to the people of our inner-city neighborhood, Williston-Immanuel created a new part-time position of Community Liaison in January of 2013. Lydia Hews, a long-time member of Immanuel Baptist Church, and an ordained American Baptist Minister who recently returned to Portland after serving as Pastor of two ABC churches in Waltham and Winchester, Massachusetts, was hired for this position. In addition to her ministerial background, Lydia brings 25 years of experience as a social worker in Southern Maine. In Portland, which she considers "home", she is closer to two of her three adult children, who reside in Falmouth with their families.
Jeremy Young, Pastoral Intern
After completing the UCC's two-year Academy for Congregational Life and Leadership course, this past spring Jeremy began additional studies with the UCC's Maine School of Ministry. He is excited to be jointly teaching with Rev. Deborah in upcoming confirmation class; teaching an adult education study in December; leading more worship, both in roles of Worship Leader and preaching at various times; new week-night Bible studies; visiting homebound members of our congregation; and, most of all, providing pastoral care on Thursday's and Friday's.
Kathleen Scott, Director of Music and Organist
An accomplished opera coach and conductor, Kathleen recently was the musical Director of PORTopera's Maine's Emerging Artists Program. Her first position as a musical director was with the First Baptist Church of Saratoga Springs, NY, which eventually led to a career with the Manhattan School of Music, the Crittendon Opera Workshops, the Boston Opera, Philadelphia Opera, and Lake George Opera. At Williston-Immanuel her intention is to maintain the high level and importance of music in worship, which has been a tradition for years at the church, and to provide a sense of continuity by using a variety of musical styles.
Denise Calkins, Assistant Director of Music and Accompanist
Early in her life Denise spent winters in Miami, Florida and summers in Camp Ellis, Maine. She now lives in South Portland with her husband, Mark, and two sons, Sam & Max. She earned her degree in music from the University of Southern Maine. Denise has a full studio of piano students as well as a teaching position at Waynflete School in Portland. Also, she accompanies several choirs in the area and is a music director at local community theaters. In her spare time she enjoys working out and spending time with friends and family.
Paula Costin, Youth Coordinator
Victoria Chicon, Nursery Care Provider
Katharina Roderick, Office Manager
Katharina grew up in Cape Elizabeth and now lives in Gorham with her husband, daughter and three cats. She studied French at University of Southern Maine and has worked in marketing, hospitality and market research. She enjoys traveling, reading and crafting. The management of the Church Office is Kat's responsibility, from 9 am to 2 pm every Monday through Thursday. (The Office is closed on Fridays and Saturdays.) She oversees a myriad of tasks related to the buildings, office routines, and hospitality.
Frank Ashnault , Sexton
Frank is retired from the Department of Defense of the U.S government and also as a Broker in the Real Estate business. After serving for seven years in the U.S Navy, and after returning to civilian life, he earned his Bachelor's degree in Business from the University of Southern Maine. He then returned to work for the Navy as a civilian employee. Following his government service, Frank entered the real estate business for about 5 years. He enjoys his work very much at Wlliston-Immanuel United Church, and gets a great deal of pleasure from serving the congregation.
Robin Warner, Security
Robin became a member of Williston-Immanuel United Church after meeting his wife, Jan, and they were married at the church on July 27, 2007. Soon after he began to serve on the Nurture Committee and started a monthly Men's Breakfast Group. Robin earned an Associate Degree in Applied Science from York County Community College in both architectural and mechanical fields of computer aided drafting and design. At W-IUC he continues to serve on the Board of Trustees and does security, janitorial and maintenance projects throughout the life and buildings of the church.