Ministers and Staff
Our ministers are the people. We are also blessed with a group of talented and gifted individuals who love the church and who give of themselves in its service as members of our staff. Their most important job, however, is to encourage and bring out the gifts of members and friends of the congregation. Including you!
David came to Park Hill in November 2007 after serving an inner city congregation in Cleveland for 15 years. Originally from a farm in North Dakota, David earned a B.A. from Dakota Wesleyan University, M.Div. from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, and a Doctor of Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. His D.Min. research was a study called Openly Gay and Lesbian Pastors Called by Predominantly Straight UCC Congregations - of which he was one of the first in the country when ordained in 1993. He also worked for the UCC national offices - the Office for Church in Society in DC and the Hunger Action Office in Cleveland - and served churches in Wishek, North Dakota, and Letcher and Loomis, South Dakota.
David and his husband Art met when Art was a TV reporter covering an event at his Cleveland church. Every year David was held "hostage" in the steeple to collect food and funds for the neighborhood hunger center. For that, David was named one of Cleveland's 50 Most Interesting People.
In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, David teaches UCC History at Iliff School of Theology, loves to hike in the mountains, and travel to such places as Thailand, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka - 25 countries and counting!
Minister for Faith Formation
Jeremy joined the Park Hill staff in July 2008. In addition to his work in faith formation, he is the Associate Regional Director at the Anti-Defamation League.
Jeremy graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from the Iliff School of Theology in May 2005. Before entering seminary, he received his bachelors degree in journalism from Colorado State University and worked as a religion reporter for the Greeley Tribune and Scottsbluff Star-Herald. He also worked as Internal Communications Director for Banner Health System, which has four hospitals in northern Colorado.
Jeremy and his husband, David Claypool, live in northwest Denver. They enjoy gardening, beekeeping, making homemade wine, and sharing meals with family and friends.
Minister for Congregational Care
Terri served as our pastoral intern while studying at Iliff School of Theology and is currently serving our Caring Ministry as the Minister for Congregational Care. She lives in Brighton with her husband Brian. She spent 26 years in the legal field, serving at the Adams County Judicial Center. Terri loves reading, gardening, cooking, and camping.
Director of Music Ministries
Billie Busby Smith received a Bachelor of Music in organ performance from Salem College, Winston-Salem, N.C. and a Master of Music degree in organ performance from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She currently serves as Director of Music and organist at Park Hill Congregational Church and has served as musician for such churches as King of Glory Lutheran Church, Metropolitan Community Church of the Rockies, and Macedonia Baptist Church. She has taught organ and piano at the college level and privately, as well as performing as an organist, harpsichordist and accompanist. Billie serves on the Boards of the American Guild of Organists, Bennie L Williams Spiritual Voices, Working Together Foundation and the Colorado Symphony Guild.
Billie is a retired hospital administrator and enjoys being a transplanted Southerner in Denver. She and her husband, Sid love to hike, spend time with their 4 children and 9 grandchildren and volunteering for a variety of non-profits.
Minister for Interfaith Relations
Susan learned early in life that people of different faith traditions, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds enrich each other’s lives by sharing their various perspectives, and that difference strengthens a community. Susan and her husband, Hal Simmons, were co-founders in 2001 of the Denver Abrahamic Initiative, an organization dedicated to fostering dialogue and collaboration among Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
Susan went on to become the founder and Executive Director of Knitting4Peace, a non-profit organization that creates and has delivered over 150,000 specifically requested knit, crochet, woven, and quilted items to women, children, and families across the United States and more than 70 countries around the world. She retired as Executive Director in August 2018. K4P remains housed at our church.
Susan was ordained and joined the Park Hill staff in January 2014. She received her Masters of Divinity degree from the Iliff School of Theology (2009) and certification as a Spiritual Director (2000) after retiring from a career in corporate business.
Tammy has worked for Park Hill since November 2014. Originally from Nebraska, Tammy went to college at Bellevue College near Omaha, and Aurora Community College in Denver. She was an Executive Assistant for over 20 years, and then worked as the Office Administrator at Impact Christian Church in Woodland Park and Sonrise United Methodist Church in Pueblo. Tammy and her husband Jan have 3 dogs and 1 cat and love to spend time outdoors hiking and BBQing. Tammy also enjoys reading, archery, cooking, swimming, college football and occasional golf.
Kate joined the Park Hill UCC staff in April 2019. She has her M.Div. from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC, and her B.A. in English from Florida State University. She and her husband Daniel met in DC and traveled the world before settling in Aurora in 2017 with their two dogs, Penny and Loki. In addition to her work at Park Hill UCC, Kate walks dogs and volunteers with a number of youth and/or literacy programs in the metro area including Reading Partners, Refugee English classes, and Aurora's youth mentoring program. In her free time, Kate enjoys gardening, writing, and pretty much anything outdoors.
Patricia Rahawi is our Nursery Attendant
John Beltz is our Handyman