Our Staff


Rev. James Lumsden

Bridge Pastor

The Rev. James Lumsden joins First Church as bridge minister in February.
James received a call to ministry in 1968 at the Potter’s House (a ministry to artists at the
Church of the Savior) shortly after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Before
seminary at Union Theological Seminary in NYC, he organized with Cesar Chavez for farm
worker justice, worked to build a worker-coop among Mississippi pulpwood cutters, and
graduated with a degree in political philosophy from San Francisco State University. His D. Min.
from San Francisco Theological Seminary considers the interface of contemporary culture with
the sacred.

After 40 years of ordained service to four congregations of the United Church and support for
the wider church, Rev. Lumsden retired to explore contemplation and a “ministry of presence”
with Arche Ottawa. He fronts a folk-rock band, loves to garden, adores his wife, two
daughters, and two grandchildren, and is learning to listen to the holy within the ebb and flow
of the seasons. A small spiritual direction practice, Be Still and Know and online live streaming
reflection, Small is Holy round out his current inward/outward journey.







Elayne Murphy

Office Administrator

Contact Elayne

Church Office phone: 413-458-4273

After serving in the Peace Corps in Jordan and working for Teach for America in North Carolina, Elayne came to Williamstown 18 years ago when her husband, a Williams alum, accepted a job at the college. Her two children, Amelia and Teague, attend Mt. Greylock High School as 11th and 9th graders respectively. Both children have “grown-up” in the church. Amelia now helps in the nursery and Teague assists with technology. She is excited to be a member of an awesome staff team and appreciates the opportunity to see Trevor, her husband, at work on Fridays when he stops in the office to say he is heading up to wind the church clock. She is passionate about supporting people: particularly in helping them be successful. She also cares deeply about wisely utilizing resources in our very robust community with many human and physical resources. She was born and raised in the Catholic tradition; and likes to say, with tongue in cheek, that she moved away from it because she doesn’t do guilt. Her faith journey continues with the central tenet that no one religion has all the answers. Her favorite thing to do in the Berkshires is play outside, particularly hiking.













Ed Lawrence

Minister of Music

Contact Ed

Ed moved to Bennington in 1974 for a public school teaching job. He only lasted a year in public school, but moved into choral and church jobs after that. Ed’s Methodist missionary grandfather was important in his early faith development. He has had a Vermont Civil Union, and now marriage, to his longtime partner Diego Uribe.  He’s pleased that First Church made an early commitment to be an Open and Affirming (LGBTQ-inclusive) church. He also likes that the church invites an open-minded, intellectual exploration of scriptural truth. He lives for outdoor activities in the summer, including vegetable gardening and blueberry picking.

If you are interested in youth or adult choir, contact Ed.







Bridget Spann

Outreach Community Organizer

Contact Bridget

Bridget moved to Williamstown in 2004 with her husband, Don Zasada, to work on a transition plan with Sam and Elizabeth Smith in order to become the new farmers at Caretaker Farm. Bridget and Don have a daughter, Gabriela, 16, and a son, Micah, who is 12 years old. She values First Church’s focus on social justice and community, along with the activism of the church and individual members. Bridget grew up in the Catholic Church, attended Notre Dame, served as a lay missionary for two years in Chile, and here in town attends the Second Congregational Church in Williamstown. She loves hiking up Stony Ledge, which is a spiritual destination for her. She says the Stony Ledge vista “shows both how far I have come and how much more there is to experience.”







Hilary Greene

Tag Sale Coordinator

Contact Hilary

Hilary Greene has been the FCC Tag Sale Manager since 2019. Prior to this, Hilary had extensive experience planning for and conducting benefit tag sales through her work as Director of the Berkshire Immigrant Center where monthly benefit sales were held for the Refugee Resettlement program. Hilary is a firm believer in recycling, reusing, and repurposing and loves that the church’s “Giant Tag Sale” enables others to purchase high quality goods at reasonable prices, cuts down on consumerism, and keeps things out of the landfill.

Cross country skiing and mountain biking are Hilary’s favorite pastimes, and she has been a coach of the Mt. Greylock Nordic team since 1999. Hilary currently lives in Williamstown with her husband, Seth, and their sixteen year old son, Declan.