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Meet Our Staff

The best church leader is a team. At First Congregational Church, we’re blessed with an outstanding group of dedicated believers and religious leaders who conduct services, run events and keep our community on a clear spiritual path.

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Rev. Christopher Stevens

Senior Pastor

Pastor Chris began his ministry at First Congregational Church in December 2023.  Previously, he had been the Senior Pastor at churches in Northern New England for 18 years.  


After completing an undergraduate degree in Business Marketing from the University of Massachusetts and working in the business world, Chris left all that behind to become a pastor.  He and his family moved to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary where he completed a Master’s Degree in Divinity.  Since then, he has influenced many lives in the communities he has served.


As a lifetime New Englander, Pastor Chris is “one of us” and understands our characteristic way of looking at the world. His weekly messages and teachings have the unique ability of bridging the gap between faith and people’s everyday lives. He is especially interested in exploring new ways in what it means to be a church in our ever-changing world. Chris has also taught ethics and philosophy at the college level for 8 years. He lives with his partner Heather and has two adult children.  He enjoys mountain biking, hiking, running, comfort food, whoopie pies and vacationing on Cold Stream Pond in Enfield, Maine.

Contact Reverend Christopher Stevens at


Rev. Barbara Papagian

Associate Pastor

As a newly Ordained Minister, I was installed as the Associate Pastor at First Congregational Church on May 16, 2021. 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.


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, and now as a Pastor.

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 Reverend Barbara Papagian at


Adam Peithmann

Director of Music Ministry

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 in Andover, MA. Adam and his family are delighted to be a part of the First Congregational Church of Manchester, NH.

Contact Adam Peithmann at

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Kelda York

Children's Ministry Coordinator

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 has sung in the choir in addtion to her other volunteer roles.  


Contact Kelda York at


Peter Perich

Building Manager

Peter has been a member of FCC since 1979, and on April 1, 2021, took on the position of Building Manager.  Peter has been involved in every aspect of FCC, serving as the Moderator of the Representative Council among his many achievements. Peter retired in 2018 as Assistant Principal at Memorial High School in Manchester, having spent nearly 50 years there starting as a student…he has been termed a “Granite State Great!”  Peter brings his skills of communication and organization to ensure our building is sound and secure.


Contact Peter at


Lauren Henderson

Executive Assistant

Lauren is the first person to greet you when you call or visit the church office during the week! She is our Church Executive Assistant, working with all the various church committees, community, and staff. She is responsible for church bulletins and newsletters, and manages the community food pantry.


Lauren lives in Manchester with her family. She is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, and her professional background includes library and museum work.

Contact Lauren at

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Nikki Brown


Nikki began working as the bookkeeper at FCC in February 2024. She lives in Bedford with her family and is a graduate of Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, where she studied Psychology and Elementary Education. Her professional background includes years of bookkeeping and administrative work for a Manchester-based small business.


Contact Nikki at


Sokhom Sar


Sokhom fled Cambodia via Thailand in 1983. FCC 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 FCC.


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 FCC office at 603-625-5093

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