Rev. Jeff Gallagher
Minister of Music
Director of Finance & Technology
Rev. Jeffrey Gallagher was born and raised in Beverly, Massachusetts. Living a mere two-minute walk from Immanuel Congregational, United Church of Christ, Jeff is a life-long member of the United Church of Christ. Jeff has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degree in English from Salem State College in Salem, Massachusetts; a Master of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School in Newton Centre, Massachusetts; and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Bangor Theological Seminary in Bangor, Maine. Jeff is a nationally published poet and the author of a book published in 2013 by Chalice Press: Wilderness Blessings: How Down Syndrome Reconstructed Our Life and Faith.
Jeff believes strongly that the ministry of the church should extend beyond the church’s walls. As such, Jeff is very active in technology and media that seeks to help bring the message of the church to a wider—and hopefully younger—audience. In addition, Jeff has been active in ministerial efforts that share God’s love with those in need, such as: mission trips to Louisiana and Florida, Kittery’s Fuel and More Committee (offering fuel assistance to those in need), volunteering with the Special Olympics, End 68 Hours of Hunger (a supplemental nutrition program for school children), organizing a 5k road race to benefit local charities, and much more.
Prior to his ordination in 2003, Jeff worked as an Adjunct Faculty Member at Salem State College, Student Associate Pastor at West Gloucester Trinitarian Congregational Church in West Gloucester, Massachusetts and Assistant Pastor at Memorial Congregational Church in Sudbury, Massachusetts. Jeff was called to the First Congregational Church of Kittery Point, United Church of Christ in Kittery Point, Maine in 2003 and served as Pastor there for 11 years prior to his call in August, 2014 to become the Senior Pastor of the United Congregational Church of Tolland, United Church of Christ.
In addition to his work in the church, Jeff is honored to serve as the Chaplain of the Tolland Fire Department. Jeff enjoys running, playing soccer, reading, writing, spending time with his family, cheering on New England sports teams, and coaching with the Tolland Soccer Club. Jeff and his wife Kristen have two boys: Noah and Jacob.
Have a question? Click here to email Jeff Gallagher
Community Engagement Pastor
Melissa Spindler-Smith grew up in New London, CT where she grew up singing and finding great joy in the Congregational Church. She attended Smith College in Northampton, MA for her bachelors, focused in Spanish and Education, then moved to Washington DC where she studied and worked as an Interior Designer and completed a post-baccalaureate premedical program. Melissa left DC to begin seminary at Union Theological School in New York City, where she began working as a Director of Child & Family Ministries at Grace Church on Broadway. Melissa moved to Boston to finish her degree at Andover Newton Theological School, working at churches in West Roxbury, MA, West Hartford, CT, and Woodstock, CT. For the past 4 years, Melissa has been leading a team of teachers while serving as the Assistant Dean of Students at a boarding school for students with Autism and other learning challenges, also teaching life skills, art, math, and health classes. She is passionate about mental health awareness and education, and helping people feel empowered to work towards their best selves and the common good. Melissa and her spouse, James, are expecting to welcome their first child later this month! She enjoys spending time hiking, knitting, and is trying to learn to love biking.
Have a question? Click here to email Melissa Spindler-Smith.
Minister of Music
Allan Conway has served the church with his musical gifts during most of his life, beginning before his High School years in New Hampshire. Most recently, he was Minister of Music at Faith Lutheran Church in Middletown, CT for the past 11 years. He presently lives in Vernon, CT, near his two daughters Rachel and Christa, and his grandchildren, Odin, Eowyn, and Luna.
A 1982 graduate of the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford, Allan is in demand as a professional accompanist and pianist. His life as a performing musician has brought him to many distinctive collaborations with singers, instrumentalists and choirs, including performances at Carnegie Hall, in Italy and Perigueux, France. His extensive experience in the vocal, choral, operatic and instrumental literature continues to inform his rich and varied musical life.
After nearly 30 years, Allan recently retired from his position as Principal Pianist at the University of Connecticut, at Storrs. Other positions include Accompanist for the Greater Middletown Chorale (since 2001), CONCORA and the New England Chamber Choir. He is also Organist and Choir Director at Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford, CT, a position he has held since 1977.
Have a question? Click here to email Allan Conway.
Director, Communications & Technocology
Keri grew up south of Boston in Weymouth, Massachusetts. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Bryant College in Smithfield, Rhode Island. She had a double concentration in Computer Science and Marketing. She moved to Tolland with her husband Matt in 2003 and they both became members of the church in 2004. She and her husband Matt have 4 children; daughters Julia, Emma & Grace and their niece Kaylee.
Have a question? Click here to email Keri Condos.
Director of Children's Ministries
Kristen grew up in Beverly, MA with her parents and sister. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in English from Salem State College. Since graduating she has taught preschool, worked in a pediatrician’s office, and directed the church school at both Immanuel Congregational Church in Beverly, MA and the First Congregational Church of Kittery at Kittery Point, ME. Since moving to Tolland in 2014, Kristen taught the 4th-5th grade church school class before assuming her current position. She is also a 1:1 paraprofessional at Birch Grove Primary school. She enjoys spending time with her husband Jeff and their 2 sons, Noah & Jacob.
Have a question? Click here to email Kristen Gallagher.
Teresa grew up in the neighboring town of Stafford with her family including 2 sisters and 1 brother whom she is very close with. She has been employed at Tolland Green Learning Center for over 17 years working with the 3 year olds in the "Jungle Crew”. Teresa received her Associates degree in Early Childhood Education at Manchester Community College and recently completed a Director Course through Charter Oak State College. Teresa and her husband Rob moved to Tolland this last summer. Her son Patrick will be entering the second grade and her daughter Mikayla just graduated from Stafford High. She is excited to lead Tolland Green Learning Center!