ABOUT PLYMOUTH CHURCH
& OUR STAFF

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Our History

Forged in the fight to end slavery in the United States, Plymouth Church has stood since 1854 as a tireless Congregational cathedral of progressive Christianity in Lawrence, Kansas.

 

It's a mission we carry into our third century as we aim to live out the Gospels in both word and deed, committed to following a loving God as a community of faith proudly open to all who seek to share in it.

Our Beliefs

Plymouth is a congregation that speaks its mind. In the service of and belief in a loving and accepting God, we gladly own our role as disciples of Jesus Christ in our respective time and place in the world.

 

The Gospels of peace, inclusion, and hope are too often drowned out, co-opted and defined as tools of division. From our pulpit to our pews, and through our doors the strength of our unified voice proudly bursts forth in a defiant act of reclamation of the conversation on what it means to be a Christian in the 21st Century.

Plymouth is a member congregation of the United Church of Christ

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Our Commitment to Being an Open & Affirming Congregation

Inspired by our history, we have sought to be a community gathered for the worship of God and the service of all, not just for those who identify as heterosexual, but truly for all individuals and couples, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and straight. We work and pray for the progress of knowledge, the promotion of justice, and the realization of our shared humanity. We extend our extravagant welcome and the bounds of love. We are blessed to be a community of faith through which God is still speaking.

You Are Welcome Here

Pastors & Ministers

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Senior Pastor

Rev. Dr. Valerie Miller-Coleman

LAWSON DEAN, CAROLINE; ASSOCIATE PASTOR.

Associate Pastor

Rev. Caroline Lawson Dean

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Pastor of Care & Welcome

Rev. Heather Coates

In 2019, Valerie became the first female Senior Pastor in Plymouth's 167-year history. Valerie's leadership has brought to Plymouth visionary innovation and energy. At Plymouth, Valerie has built and nurtured a solid spiritual foundation for an active, alive, and social justice-oriented community of faith.  

785-843-3220 ext. 1

Caroline joined Plymouth's staff in 2019 and quickly became a mentor, teacher, and spiritual leader to our dynamic youth group. Plymouth's youth and mission ministries thrive under Caroline's leadership, a powerful and thoughtful voice for social justice concerns in Lawrence and beyond.

785-843-3220 ext. 2

In 2022, Heather joined the Plymouth staff to serve as our Pastor of Care & Welcome. Heather served as Pastor of St. John's United Church of Christ in Baldwin City, Kansas, and taught World Religions at Bishop Seabury Academy. Heather is a gifted pastor and caretaker serving our beloved community.

785-843-3220 ext. 6

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Minister of Music & Fine Arts

Kim Manz

Kim has served as Plymouth's Minister of Music & Fine Arts since 2007. An extremely talented musician and excellent educator, if you have musical or artistic talent, Kim is more than excited to give you a stage at Plymouth to share these talents with the community. 

785-843-3220 ext. 3

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Director of Faith Formation

Kara Young Eun Holcombe

Kara has served as Plymouth's Director of Faith Formation since 2022. Kara is a passionate and creative instructor how strives to create physical and emotionally safe spaces for Plymouth's children and youth to help them learn and explore their faiths. 

785-843-3220 ext. 5

Church Staff

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Operations Manager

Nikki Richardson

Nikki has served as Plymouth's Operations Manager since 2021.

785-843-3220 ext. 7

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Media & Communications

Jeremy Winfrey

Jeremy has served as the lead of Plymouth's Media & Communications since 2017.

785-843-3220 ext. 4

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Staff Accountant

Melissa Praderio

Melissa has served as Plymouth's Staff Accountant since 2021.

785-843-3220 ext. 1013

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Administrative Assistant

Lori Herpich

Facilities Manager

Rex Russell

Lori has served as Plymouth's Administrative Assistant since 2021.

785-843-3220 ext. 8

Rex has served as Plymouth's Facilities Manager since 2014.

785-843-3220 ext. 9