CLA Welcomes Four New Board Members

09 Jul 2023 in

The Congregational Library & Archives is pleased to welcome four new members to the Board of Directors this month.

“The Congregational Library and Archives lives into its motto that ‘History Matters,’ but it would be more apt to say that history is always mattering; now, like never before,” says Rich Elliott, Chair of the Board. “And something significant is happening in our organization’s heart for showing that sharing our shared religious, cultural, and civic history is critical to navigating the complex issues facing our contemporary culture. As we connect with scores of new visitors to the CLA through our expanded programming, scholarship, and outreach, we also have the most talented, diverse, accomplished, and passionate board that the CLA has ever seen.”

We are also profoundly appreciative of the contributions of the three board members who are finishing their appointments: Christopher Bennett, Linda Smith Rhoads, and Adrian Chastain Weimer. Their contributions to the Board’s Investment, Governance, and Programs committees have been vital to our success.

Please join us in welcoming our new Board members.


Laura Hamby is a lifelong member of the Congregational Church of Soquel (CCS) and served on staff at CCS as Director of Christian Education and Youth for 27 years. She is retired from her 35-year career at Mission Hill Middle School and is currently the President of the NACCC Congregational Foundation Board of Directors.


Though presumably moving towards “retirement,” Don Hill works as a consultant to non-profits in governance, strategic planning/visioning, and financial development. He served on the national staff of the United Church of Christ (2000-2013) and as chief development officer for several non-profits. When not consulting, Hill works as a photographer.


Rev. Dr. Charles A. Packer is the Senior Minister of the Pine Hill Congregational Church in West Bloomfield, Michigan and Adjunct Professor at the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, Michigan. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit, and is the most recent Dean of the Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies for the NACCC.


Dr. Julia M. Speller is Professor Emerita in American Religious History and Culture at Chicago Theological Seminary where she served for 25 years. She is the author of Walkin’ The Talk: Keepin’ the Faith in Africentric Congregations and is currently a member of the United Church of Christ Historical Council and has been engaged in the work of several UCC committees over the years.