Rev. Dr. Mark Boyea, Minister

978-526-7661 ext. 2

Rev Mark began at First Parish in January 2020 after being the Senior Minister of First Congregational Church in Westfield, New Jersey.  He led the development of a comprehensive adult studies program, involving courses in bible studies, spirituality, church history, and current events; documentary film discussions; museum, theater and monastery trips; and forums and guest speakers on topics such as Islam, Judaism, the environment and the Syrian refugee crisis. Dr. Boyea and his wife, Cindy, helped lead a thriving church school and youth program, punctuated by annual mission trips.

In a 20-year career before entering the ministry, Dr. Boyea, who holds a PhD in the Psychology of Human Performance,  served as a coach, athletics administrator, faculty member, counselor, and sport psychologist at the university, college, and private school levels at institutions such as The University of Maryland, George Mason University, Daniel Webster College (NH), and Thomas College (ME).

While guided by his faith throughout his personal and professional lives, it was during his tenure as Director of Athletics and Instructor of Psychology at The Montclair Kimberley Academy in New Jersey that Dr. Boyea realized what had always drawn him to teaching, coaching, and counseling – the desire to help people become all that God wants them to be. From this insight, he made the decision to enter seminary and received his Master of Divinity degree in May 2005.  Dr. Boyea continues to work on occasion with adult, college, and high school athletes and coaches, as well as teachers, musicians and business leaders on the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of human performance and leadership.  He has authored several articles and was a contributing editor for three books: Coaching and Character, The Power of Three, and The Educated Child. In addition, he continues to serve as guest lecturer at high schools and colleges throughout the country.

He holds a B.A. in Sociology from Potsdam College (NY), a M.Ed. in Education and Administration from East Stroudsburg University (PA), a M.Div, from Drew University (NJ), and a Ph.D from the University of Maryland.

Mark (Dr. Boyea prefers to just be called Mark) and his wife Cindy, who manages commercial real estate, love to exercise, so keep an eye out for them running or walking the streets of Manchester and at the MAC.  They also love microbrews — you may spot them at the new Great Marsh brewery in Essex. They have two adult children:  son Ryan, a residential real estate engineer in New York, and daughter Kelsey, a law clerk at the Veterans Administration in Washington, D.C.

Dr Herman Weiss, Director of Music-Organist

Dr. Weiss is an internationally renowned composer, conductor, organist and pianist. Dr. Weiss is co-founder of two chamber music societies and created a Master of Music program in composition at the Longy School of Music, where he chaired the department of composition for twelve years. Formerly president and founding member of the Composers in Red Sneakers, he most recently served as organist-choir director for the Village Church of Nahant and, with Marsha Johnson, is a part of the Dreamsong Duo. Read more from the Music Committee here

Jeanne M. Westcott,  Director of Youth and Children’s Programs

978-526-7661 ext. 3

Jeanne is a highly experienced and accomplished professional, having lead successful Church School and Youth efforts at both Federated Church in Sturbridge and Wilbraham United Church in MA. She is a certified Christian Educator through our denomination, the United Church of Christ, as well as a licensed teacher in MA with experience guiding infants through adult age students. In addition, Jeanne is an avid artist and writer who is
highly skilled at utilizing music, movement, creative processes, service and spirit-led expressions in her work with children and youth.
Talented. Proven. Creative. Engaging. Deeply Committed to children, youth and our Christian Spiritual path. That’s Jeanne Westcott, our new Director of Youth and Children’s Programs.
Jeanne also teaches at the Devereux School in Marblehead. She and her husband Bruce live in Manchester-by-the-Sea.