Meet the Minister and Staff of Miami Valley
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Minister – Rev. Kellie C. Kelly
Although I was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, I have lived across the country as an adult: Los Angeles (where I learned that it can be 70 degrees in February), Honolulu (where I learned how to weed a taro field), and Norfolk (where I learned that pollen can look like yellow snow). I’m happy to call Dayton home as MVUUF’s minister (since July 2018).
My parents and grandparents were all restaurant workers– my grandmother was a waitress, my grandfather a bartender, my father a cook, and my mother a waitress. Both my grandmother and my mother became single mothers. They each worked 60 to 75 hours per week to support their children. I myself am a third-generation single mother.
Raised Roman Catholic, I didn’t realize I could choose my own religion until my teen and young adult years. During this time, I explored alternatives from Robert Heinlein’s science fiction novel Job: A Comedy of Justice to the Willow Creek megachurch to the Bahá’i faith. Ultimately, my spiritual and religious exploration brought me to Unitarian Universalism. I have been an enthusiastic UU since 2001.
To read more about me, please click HERE
You can contact Kellie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Religious Education – Jerry Leggett
Jerry Leggett became MVUUF’s Director of Religious Education in December of 2018. He lives in heart of downtown Dayton (across from the new Metro library) with his partner, Patsy, and 10-week-old puppy, Torrey (a Cock-a-Doodle). They have three children (in California and Florida) and two (very cool) grandchildren, Jaxon, age 6 and Kelly, age 13. Jerry uses the pronouns “he” and “him.”
Jerry moved to Ohio from Hawaii in 2014 to accept the position of Executive Director of the Dayton International Peace Museum where he served until 2017. Jerry and Patsy collaborated with several local Rotarians to form the 21st Century Peace Literacy Foundation, an educational nonprofit dedicated to promoting peace literacy through the arts.
Jerry describes himself as a Free Thinker and is drawn to Unitarianism because of its seven core principles. His eclectic spiritual journey has been informed and deepened by the creative arts, psychology and humanistic philosophy. He has a curiosity and genuine respect for the many pathways people find toward wholeness; in his own formation he has been influenced by philosophical Buddhism, the historical Jesus tradition and secular humanism. Jerry’s favorite bumper sticker reads: Non-judgment Day is Coming!
To know Jerry is to listen to his original music. “I sing to breathe. Music and songwriting are the essence of my deepest connection to the Universe.” As a singer-songwriter and peace advocate, Leggett has performed his original music across the U.S. Most often, his music has been offered as a means to support at-risk populations and advocacy for a more peaceful, healthy and just world. You can reach Jerry via email at email@example.com.
Click here to find out more about Jerry’s professional experience.
Director of Music – Sara Davis
Sara grew up in Marysville, Ohio, and before graduating high school she was already earning money for college by playing keyboard in a country/square dance band and accompanying for the local Church of Christ. She earned her Bachelor of Music Education (B.M. Cum Laude, 1985) from Miami University, and taught elementary general music in both Middletown City and Springboro Community Schools.
Sara joined the UU faith in 1989 as a member of MVUUF (when they were located on Far Hills Avenue in Oakwood) where she and her husband, Tom, were married by the Rev. Chuck Thomas. She has previously worked as a Music Director for the Loveland United Methodist Church and the Lebanon Theatre Company, and as a volunteer for many years with the Mason Community Players.
Sara and Tom have two grown children, Eric and Laura, and live on two quiet acres in Clearcreek Township with their giant Lab, Leo.
Fellowship Administrator – Jennie Freiberger
Jennie has the friendly face and voice that greet you – via phone or in person – at the Fellowship, ensuring the office runs smoothly. She’s been our Fellowship Administrator since September, 2013, and is kept busy greeting visitors, preparing the weekly bulletin, monthly newsletter, Sunday deposit, new member paperwork, and anything else that needs doing!
Jennie grew up on a farm in Tipp City, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English/Creative Writing from Miami University (1987), and has worked in a law firm, an environmental services company, and 15 years in church office work before coming to MVUUF. She and her husband, Kevin, were married in 1990, and have two adult daughters, CaraLynn (and her husband, Brian and baby son, Isaac) and Samantha (and her significant other, Lance), as well as two beloved dogs, Hootie and Lucy. Jennie enjoys spending time with family (especially her sweet grandson, Izzy!), working in her garden and on various art projects, and spending “quality time” with her Kindle! You can reach Jennie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-436-3628.