Rev. Terry Burke – Minister

Rev. Terry Burke originally came to the Jamaica Plain church in 1983 as a denominational extension minister, with the charge to revive a small, mostly elderly congregation. He was called as the regularly settled minister in 1985. In 2007, Terry and the congregation went through a process of “recovenanting” in which both minister and congregation chose to renew the bond between them.

Terry loves urban neighborhood ministry and was featured in a chapter of Kathleen Hirsch’s book on Jamaica Plain, A Home in the Heart of the City. He sees church life in terms of spiritual growth, doing justice, and providing community. Married to church Music Director Ellen McGuire (who preceeded him at the church!), he has three children, two still in college. Besides his ministry with the church and time with family, Terry also actively supports the Samaritans telephone helpline, Interfaith Worker Justice, and Jobs With Justice, and loves writing fiction. For his February “mini-sabbatical” in 2011, he and his daughter walked 300 miles of the Camino, the pilgrimage to St. James Compostela, in honor of their late friend Priscilla Holmes.

Ellen McGuire – Music Director

Ellen McGuire has been organist and music director at First Church since 1979. She particularly enjoys playing the beautiful 1854 Hook mechanical-action organ and creating music with her choir of volunteers who love to sing.



Kimberly Wootan - Director of Religious Education

Kimberly Wootan – Director of Religious Education


Kimberly Wootan has been a religious educator for the last 17 years. Her main goal is to create a beloved, intergenerational community. She believes this can be accomplished best through social justice work, but also sees ministry in playing games and reading stories with children.

She now attends Boston University School of Theology.  Her three sons are also in college which makes for lively discussions about the meaning of life, the cosmos and educational debt around the dinner table! She enjoys knitting, hiking and gardening, but most of the time her nose is stuck in a book.

Jennifer Waddell - Incoming Congregational Administrator

Jennifer Waddell – Incoming Congregational Administrator

Jennifer Waddell has lived in Jamaica Plain since 1989. She worked for a publishing company downtown in many capacities for fifteen years but now prefers the combination of part-time work and being self-employed.

She graduated with Honors in Photography from SUNY Purchase and she has her own small portrait photography business. She may be reached at




Rev. Marshall Hawkins — Affiliate Minister

Rev. Marshall Hawkins is a community minister who works as an editor for the Unitarian Universalist Association—the denominational headquarters located in Boston. He came to First Church as a ministerial intern in 2001 and never left! The congregation ordained Marshall in 2003, and voted to endorse his ministry and accept his affiliation.

Before working at the UUA, Marshall spent five years serving as a hospice chaplain.

Marshall often provides ministerial coverage at First Church when Rev. Terry Burke is away, is a member of the Social Action Group, and is one of the delegates from First Church to the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization.

Rev. Jason Lydon – Affiliate Minister

Rev. Jason Lydon served the Community Church of Boston for the last seven years and comes to us as a community minister focused in prison abolition organizing and LGBTQ prisoner support.  Jason is a non-theistic humanist, raised in UU congregations, and passionate about the connections between theology and justice.  Jason is available for pastoral support, strategizing for justice, and is an excellent movie going companion. You can reach him at


Julia Terry - Outgoing Congregational Administrator

Julia Terry – Outgoing Congregational Administrator

Julia Terry, our outgoing Congregational Administrator, hails from Alaska.  Julia may be contacted via her personal email.