Lynne Spencer-Smith

Minister
E-mail Lynne Spencer-Smith

Rev. Lynne Spencer-Smith came to Great Falls from Neenah, Wisconsin, where she has served the UCC church for the past 10 years. She previously served churches in Connecticut and the Iowa UCC Conference.  Lynne earned her Master of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary in 1993. She has participated in a variety of community and wider church capacities including Conference committees and working with Habitat for Humanity.  Raised in Utah, Lynne is excited to be in Great Falls and back near the mountains. Lynne is an avid horse person whose other interests include theater, the outdoors, and writing. Lynne’s husband, Greg, is a retired UCC minister who continues to be active in the ministry, providing pulpit supply and filling interim minister positions. Greg is an avid motorcyclist and golfer.  Lynne and Greg have four adult children and three grandchildren.

Holly Garcia

Office Manager
E-mail Holly Garcia

Holly has been our office manager for six years, serving as receptionist, secretary, bookkeeper, facility manager and more. Her husband, mark, is recently retired Air Force. Holly hails from Spokane and has one grown son. She presents a friendly face to the public and performs her tasks with efficency. Holly’s regular hours are 9am – 3pm. She can be reached at 406-453-4316 and greatfallsucc@bresnan.net.

Janet Koostra

Christian Education Coordinator
E-mail Janet Koostra

Janet and her husband Bob have been church members for over 25 years. Janet has served the church in many volunteer capacities, including as Moderator, Vice-Moderator and Chairperson of our Christian Service Board, Fellowship Board, Personnel Committee, and Journey Coordinating Committee. Janet has taught Sunday School, directed youth summer camps, Vacation Bible School and Christmas pageants. Janet currently is our youth group sponsor and also handles the duties of our part-time Christian Education Coordinator, supervising out Sunday School Program and other family activities. Janet and Bob have two daughters who are also very active in the church. In her spare time Janet does more church work.

Dennis Dell

Handbell Choir Director

Dennis was born and raised in Billings, Montana. Music has always been a big part of his life. His primary instrument is percussion, but his later training included bassoon. He started playing dance jobs when he was 15 years old and continues to do so today. He attended Montana State University and graduated in Industrial Engineering in 1972 and in Music Education in 1973.

Recently retired, Dennis has taught band and orchestra for the Great Falls Public Schools since the fall of 1973, starting at Paris Gibson Junior High, then to Great Falls High and North Middle School, and retiring from C.M. Russell High School. He earned a Masters of Music from Vander Cook College of Music in Chicago in 1981, and has done additional studies at Northern Colorado, University of Michigan, and University of Montana. Hi is listed as a faculty member at the University of Great Falls, teaching percussion methods and lessons as requested.

Dennis has been a member of the Great Falls Symphony for over 35 years and a member of the 1st Congregational Chancel Choir for over 30 years. He is the founding director of Cantabelle Ringers, our hand bell choir, which has been playing for the church as well as state-wide and regional conventions for twenty years. Dennis has recently begun a second bell choir, The Praise Ringers. We also have chimes and have had a youth chime choir.

Organist

Church Organist / Accompanist

Our Organist position is currently vacant. We hope to fill the position this fall.

Barbara Swaby

Director of Music Ministry

Barbara Swaby, has been the Director of Music Ministry for the First Congregational United Church of Christ since 2004, succeeding the renowned Mary Moore, who served the church for 44 years. Barb is a Great Falls native having graduated form Great Falls High School and Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.  Before retiring, Barbara taught for many years in the Great Falls Public Schools and has a private voice studio.

Barb is a member of the Great Falls Symphony, where she plays bass, and the Symphonic Choir where she is a lead Soprano.

She has been in many Great Falls Recital Series Operas and musicals presented by Summer Showcase.  Barbara serves as soprano soloist and adjudicator in the Northwest Region.

Barbara is married to Gordon Swaby, retired from Montana Air National Guard and the Red Cross.  They have one grown daughter.