First United Methodist Church

Church Leadership

Pastor – Rev. Debra Hanson, DMin

We welcome Reverend Deb at FUMC as of July 1, 2018.  She has previously served in a variety of pastoral positions in Wareham, MA, Seabrook, NH and in Maine at Kennebunk, Goodwin Mills and Hampden.  She is a graduate of the Andover Newton Theological School and previously served as an elementary music teacher.  In addition, she has been active in Nicaragua and Guatemala on various mission trips over the years.  

More recently, Rev. Deb – and, her husband, David Atkinson – have served as youth ministry and group leaders for a program affiliated with the Tuttle Road UMC in Cumberland, Maine.  She holds a philosophy of “walking the walk and talking the talk” by empowering the laity to develop leadership skills for bringing the Word of God to reality for the missions she serves.  We anticipate everyone will welcome her with open arms and look forward to her leadership in helping us to meet not only the needs of our members but of the greater communities we also serve.  

Pastor’s Assistant – Dave Richards

Born in Portsmouth, Dave grew up in Rye, graduated from PHS in 1976, attended Clarkson College and lives in Dover, NH.  He is a loving father of three, grandfather of six and a husband to one!  He has attended this church his entire life and is a fourth generation Methodist to belong to FUMC Portsmouth.  He has been quoted as saying “I have been blessed to have such great role models in my family” and we are fortunate to have him as one our role models and his leadership as the Pastor’s Assistant.

Director of Music – Bevan Bloemendaal

Bevan is a Pastor’s kid and a 3rd generation church organist, pianist, choral director and vocalist from the Midwest.  While studying music he traveled Europe as a vocalist and shares his passion of storytelling through the ministry of music.  He believes that if you don’t feel moved to an emotional response he hasn’t done his job.   He has been with FUMC since 2003 and resides in the New England area with his partner of over 2 decades and 4-legged little boy named Jett.

Lay Leader & Sound Technician – Sue Sarosiek

With a singer/songwriter daughter Sue understands the nuances of overall sound balance, synchronizing, testing and adjusting equipment ensuring that the audible output is one that is fitting to the occasion, song,  and speaker using the equipment.  She has been a member of FUMC now for almost 15 years and is an active part of the church community.

Lay Servants – [left to right] John VanReenen, Sue Sarosiek,  Dave Richards,  Karen Sarosiek, Dennis Veilleux

Church Sexton – Cathy Steinmetz

A daughter of a police officer and one of the original 101 Airborne “Band of Brothers” her role model was kind, sweet, generous and had high standards…we are glad she has brought all of those wonderful attributes to us here at FUMC.  Cathy found her way to NH from Florida over 2 years ago and has learned that you can “learn and grow” through life’s joys and sorrows and we are glad to have her part of our church family.

Coffee Hour Leader – Ken Westbrook