Rev. Marie Bacchiocchi
Interim Conference Minister
Marie joined the Southeast Conference in March 2017, coming to us from the Central Atlantic Conference where she served as an Associate Conference Minister. Marie was raised Roman Catholic in Mansfield, Massachusetts where she learned how to be an ardent Boston sports fan. She received her BA from Mount Holyoke College, her M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and her MAT in elementary education from Rhode Island College. Marie is a trained Spiritual Director from the Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction in Tucson, Arizona. She has served congregations in Arizona, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Rhode Island as well as the Central Atlantic Conference as Associate Conference Minister. She loves working with individuals and congregations assisting them in discovering where God’s spirit is leading them, while contextualizing faith to current society and culture. When not involved in ministry, you will find Marie on the ballroom dance competition floor. She shares her home with the cats: Brownie, Keykey, Willow, and Peekaboo.
Rev. Valerie Coe Lowder
PATHWAYS Administrator / Registrar
Valerie is an authorized minister in the Southeast Conference, United Church of Christ. She has been a mentor to many women and men preparing for ministry. She served as a pastor in North Carolina and Virginia, a campus minister in Delaware, and a youth minister in Indiana and Pennsylvania. As an educator, she has taught Spanish to elementary and middle school students; religion, philosophy and ethics to college students; and currently is Director of a preschool/kindergarten. She holds a B.A. from Wake Forest University, a M.A. in Religious Studies from Indiana University, a M.Div. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with further studies at the Divinity School of Duke University, as well as a certificate in Clinical Pastoral Education. In addition to being a New Testament scholar and preacher, she is a mental health advocate, a hand-weaver and quilter. She is married to Dr. Patrick Lowder. They have two teenaged sons and a cat, although previously they traveled extensively, had season ballet tickets and sometimes enjoyed gardening.
Director of Communications
Don has been involved in church life since a youngster growing up in New Jersey. He was very active in his local United Methodist church youth group in junior and senior high school, participated in many church committees, was twice a youth delegate to Annual Conference, and was a summer counselor at a church camp. As an adult Don has been a youth leader at churches in Maryland and Georgia, led small group Bible studies, taught Sunday School, played trumpet with the brass ensemble, and served on countless committees. He currently is the Communications Minister for Kirkwood UCC in Atlanta. Don has a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Oklahoma and is a licensed architect. He’s been a Project Management Professional (PMP) with technology companies for over 20 years. Don is married to James Harris (a Member-in-Discernment with the UCC) and is the father of Emma.