Meet our new senior minister!

First UCC is excited to welcome Rev. Cindy Maddox to challenge, inspire, and nourish us as we work to embody Jesus’ courageous love and justice in our community and the wider world. Cindy comes to First UCC from South Portland, Maine, where she served for the past eight years as senior minister of First Congregational Church, UCC, of South Portland. Prior to that, she served UCC churches in Danbury, Connecticut, and Asheville, North Carolina.

If you ask Cindy where she is from, she will answer Ohio-Florida-Alabama-Indiana. As an adult she added Minnesota, North Carolina, Georgia, Connecticut, and Maine to the list. Growing up in an evangelical pastor’s home, she moved frequently, following her father’s call to minister to churches that were hurting. But when the theology of those churches caused what she then believed to be irreparable damage to her soul, she left the church altogether. Her spiritual journey ultimately led her to the United Church of Christ, where she not only found healing, but also discovered her own call to ministry.

Cindy received her Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University, where she graduated with academic honors and earned the John Owen Smith Award for preaching.

Whether serving as an associate, solo, or senior pastor, Cindy’s greatest strengths in ministry have been preaching, creative worship, administration, and justice work.

Cindy’s family includes her wife Jackie, their 19-year-old daughter Amelia, and their 9-year-old son Joshua. They look forward to making a home in Northfield.

A vote of the congregation on Sunday, July 11, 2021, called Cindy to First UCC. She will begin her ministry on September 28, 2021.

The Search Process

Our search process began in the spring of 2020. Pastor Wendy Vander Hart joined us as Interim Senior Minister in March 2020, when we transitioned to online worship. Over the course of several months, the Transition Team developed a Church Profile based on small-group conversations with members, congregation-wide surveys and much research and discussion.

What emerged was a description of where we have been as a church family and where we want to go. The document captures our values, our aspirations and the qualities we seek in a senior minister.

In January of 2021, the Transition Team handed off its work to the Search Team. Our work in discerning our next Senior Minister was guided by these goals and these core competencies:

Goals

  • Advocate for social/racial justice in our community
  • Build bonds across generations
  • Develop practices that connect our faith to our actions
  • Strengthen our mode of governance and ministry

Core Competencies

  • Inspiring preacher and thoughtful leader who can guide our many ways of worship
  • Seasoned administrator who can work collaboratively with lay leaders and staff to develop and carry out our vision and mission
  • Strong advocate for social justice who relishes diversity and can help the congregation put our faith into action

We believe we have found these qualities in Rev. Cindy Maddox.

The Search Team

Team Members: John Barbour and Amanda Eastvold, co-chairs; Sarah Forster, Susan Evans, Scott Richardson, Trish Zimmerman, Mackenzie Perkins, Sam Steinberg, Moderator