Meet the Staff:
Rev. Ross Varney, Pastor:
Rev. Ross Varney is a native of Walpole, Massachusetts, one of four children born to Harold and Janice Varney. He comes from a family of educators, and thus is somewhat of a "life-long student."
Though identifying with Moses' speech difficulty, he began to speak publicly in High School, giving the Voice of Democracy Address on Memorial Day, and the Valedictory Address at graduation. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Williams College with a degree in Chemistry, taught Spanish for four years in Maryland, then received the Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary with a concentration in pastoral care and counseling.
Rev. Varney began his ministry with facilitating the merger of the two UCC churches in Kingston and Brentwood, New Hampshire. He served as pastor there from 1988 to 1995, with focus on social witness, including starting a drug abuse prevention program. He then served as Associate Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Needham, Massachusetts, with an emphasis on youth and music ministries. He has now been pastor at Belleville since fall of 2001.
At Belleville, Rev. Varney seeks to minister in areas of his own strengths, while encouraging the gifts and new ministries of all church members. Since coming to Belleville, he has started a regular midweek Bible Discussion, a visitation ministry team, a men's fellowship, and an instrumental ensemble. He believes strongly in the spontaneous leading of the Holy Spirit, thus is always open to the One who says "I make all things new!"
Rev. Varney is also active in the Newburyport Clergy Association, the Essex Association Minister's Fellowship, the Partnership with the Pentecostal Church of Chile, and is on the board of Honduras Hope, an ecumenical mission to mountain villages. True to his family heritage, he often pursues continuing education opportunities, especially in the areas of interfaith dialogue and spiritual formation.
David Morrow, Organist/Choir Director:
David Morrow is Belleville's Organist and Choir Director. His thirty-eight year career includes expertise in both orchestral and choral conducting. Within the Greater Boston theatrical community he is considered one of the finest vocal coaches and music directors and is a past recipient of the Best Musical Director away from NETC.
David's performance expertise is as a keyboard player and organist (piano being his main instrument) with extensive expertise as a string player (string bass, performing with the St. Petersburg Opera Orchestra during their New England tour), a brass player (trumpet, French horn, and trombone), a woodwind player (flute) and vocalist (Brass/Baritone). He has played professionally as pit musician on the string bass and keyboards (synthesizer, piano, and harpsichord), toured with brass ensembles (as a trombonist), and sung in the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus under conductors George Szell, Robert Shaw, Leonard Bernstein, and Herbert Von Karajan, and the Providence Opera Choras.
David also has a varied acting career having been cast in several films and commercials including The Perfect Storm, Amistad and Meet Joe Black.
Bob Locke, Sexton:
Bob Locke was born and raised in Newbury, Massachusetts and is a graduate of Newburyport High School. After graduating from College, Bob began working at the newly constructed Triton Regional High School as Director of Data Processing and Technology. After 31 years of service to Triton, Bob retired and started his own Handyman business. Currently Bob is the Sexton at Belleville Church and is also Chairman of the Capital Campaign Building Committee. As Chairman of the Capital Campaign he has overseen the completion of the connector, kitchenette, bathroom, which are all handicapped accessible, along with relocating the new Church office and upgrading the ladies room.
Bob and his wife Shirley were married in the Meetinghouse and they have two children, Jennifer and Steven. Bob and Shirley joined the Church shortly after they were married and have been very active on committees and boards.
Bob began playing the guitar in 1964 and studied the Berklee Method as well as Classical guitar for four years. Bob played at the Fire House Grand Opening, Georgetown Club as well as many socials, weddings and our own Church.