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.
Conference Administrator / Registrar
Heather is originally from Des Moines, Iowa, where she and her husband Alex were both raised in the UCC. Heather has a Bachelor or Arts in History and Religion from Simpson College. While at Simpson, Heather was a member of Delta Delta Delta and it was through that membership that she discovered that she is good with the Administrative side of organizational work. She moved to Atlanta with her husband Alex in 2010 to attend Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, graduating with a Master of Divinity. Heather is Member in Discernment with the UCC and is the Administrative Minister at Kirkwood UCC in Atlanta. She also helps teach a UCC History and Polity class with the Rev. Dr. Tim Downs. Her interests include interfaith work, refugee support, and modern biblical interpretations. In her spare time she enjoys playing board games with her husband and friends, reading, and getting her two cats, Merlyn and Gwen, to chase red dots around the house.
Rev. Valerie Coe Lowder
PATHWAYS Administrator / Registrar
The Rev. Valerie Coe Lowder 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.
Debbie has lived in Tucker, Georgia for 20 years since moving to Atlanta from Cincinnati, Ohio. She has a long haired Dachshund named Sidney. Born and raised in Ohio, Debbie was transferred to Atlanta because of her job with Kroger in the early 90s. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio (a UCC affliated university) and a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology from the University of Cincinnati. Her career with Kroger spanned the fields of Marketing, Human Resources, Sales Management and Consumer Research. She retired in 2006 after 25 years with the company. She is an active member of Central Congregational United Church of Christ and former moderator. She is the President of the Toco Hills Community Alliance Board and a former Board member of the UCC Southeast Conference. Debbie volunteers monthly with the Grace Memorial Soup Kitchen, and is a driver for Open Door’s Prison Ministries. She currently serves as Generosity Coordinator and enjoys assisting churches with stewardship and OCWM events.
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 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.
Rev. Chris Lyman Waldron
Information Technology Specialist
Chris is the former pastor of Praxis UCC, which he started with his wife, and co-pastor, Leah. He is passionate about service, social and environmental justice, and youth ministry. Chris serves on the executive board of Justice and Witness Ministries and has previously served on the Conference Board of Directors. In addition to his work at the Conference, Chris also does freelance IT support.