Senior Pastor Rev. Melinda Wood
Rev. Melinda “Lindy” Keenan Wood was called by the Pilgrim UCC congregation on June 25 and began work in September 2017 as our new Senior Pastor.
After spending three incredible years working at churches and community organizations in Winston Salem, and studying what she loved in divinity school at Wake Forest University, Mandy was delighted to become a (capital P) Pilgrim in 2013.
Originally from the northeastern part of the state, she feels at home in this light- and love-filled sanctuary surrounded by trees. She is grateful to continue growing forth in the light of this community of faith — a community that does justice, loves mercy, and makes delicious food. This church isn’t kidding about that “taste and see” psalm… and neither is Durham.
Mandy and her wife, Janel, have a very spirited 4-year-old who frequently sabatoges the children’s messages during worship. Mandy’s family is a constant source of joy, laughter, and learning — totally worth the sleep deprivation.
Mandy is grateful for adventures in Durham seeking the kindom and widening the table with as many different kinds of people as possible…
Roman Testroet, Music Director
Roman is a resident of Durham, where he was a graduate student at Duke in Historical Musicology, with interests in Church Music and Hip-Hop. In addition to his position at Pilgrim, Roman directs the Collegium Musicum Early Music Choir at Duke and serves as the Interim Curator of their instrument collection. He is forever grateful to have found such a thoughtful and profoundly welcoming community at Pilgrim UCC.
Danny Spiegel, Organist
Danny received his Master of Music in Piano Performance from The Juilliard School, previously studying Piano and English Literature at Peabody Conservatory and Johns Hopkins University. He performs classical music as soloist and chamber musician and enjoys improvisation and jazz. Danny is also a lawyer practicing as an appellate public defender in Durham. Apart from these pursuits, he is interested in yoga and meditation, poetry, and world soccer.
Danny is happy to be a part of a church that welcomes people from all walks of life and strives for social justice.
Marty Powell, Administrative Assistant
Betty is a Life and Spiritual Coach, a pilgrim who journeyed far before finding her home and ministry in the United Church of Christ – from Kentucky to North Carolina, through diverse faith traditions, and from a career as a lawyer and then as a chaplain and chaplain educator. As a Spiritual Growth Coach, Betty engages conversation and creative inquiry to help others explore ways of nurturing more meaningful relationships with God, others and themselves. Betty offers a calm listening presence that opens space for resting and rejoicing in who we are, while also exploring the “more” of what we hope for on life’s journey – personally, professionally and spiritually. Betty is also a grief counselor and co-administrator of the “Growing Thru Grief” support group sponsored by a coalition of Durham-area churches, including Pilgrim. Betty enjoys good food with family and friends; movies of all sorts; music and dancing; ocean beaches when the stars align for such travel; writing; and listening to books on tape, a newfound love.
To schedule an appointment for life coaching, spiritual coaching or grief counseling, contact Betty at firstname.lastname@example.org.