Rev. Dr. Mark E. Parsons II became our pastor in November 2022. He has served the church since 1999 in both music and pastoral ministry, in both United Methodist and Presbyterian contexts, in both Ohio and West Virginia. Pastor Mark holds a Doctor of Ministry in Theology and the Arts (Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC), a Master of Divinity (Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Delaware, Ohio), and a Bachelor of Arts (West Virginia University). His doctoral work focused on the arts and theology, specifically on developing and implementing a spiritual exploration curriculum for queer Christians. Prior to coming to Dover, he most recently served as pastor of Gallipolis First Presbyterian Church in the Presbytery of Scioto Valley, where he has also served as a presbytery leader and as a commissioner to the 225th General Assembly. He has served as consultant and conflict mediator for numerous congregations in his role as chair of his presbytery’s version of the Committee on Ministers and Congregations. Pastor Mark is father to Markus and Isabella, as well as to his two fur babies, Bentley (hound dog) and Whitney (cat). Pastor Mark is a lifelong pianist and vocalist, avid bibliophile, lover of travel, connoisseur of craft beer and bourbon, and fan of all things creative. He is thrilled to serve the people of The Presbyterian Church of Dover with passion and compassion as we move into God’s glorious future.
Dr. Heather A. Hamilton, Ed.D., a native of Fairfield, CT, has performed as pianist, accompanist, organist, percussionist and conductor throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. She attended the Mannes College of Music in New York City where she studied conducting with Amy Kaiser and Yakov Kreizbeg, organ with William Whitehead at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, as well as piano and chamber music. She has performed with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of CT, and all three orchestras of the Manhattan School of Music as well as toured playing in the orchestra as pianist and percussionist. Dr. Hamilton has played in many NYC venues including Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space and Town Hall as well as concert hall, churches and schools throughout the United States and Europe. At the Manhattan School of Music, Dr. Hamilton was a full-tuition scholarship student achieving the degree of Master of Music in Solo Piano Performance in 1993. She studied piano with Marc Silverman and Jeaneane Dowis and then was invited back to the Manhattan School as the first pianist in the Orchestral Performance Program studying under Harriet Wingreen, pianist with the New York Philharmonic, thus earning a second master’s degree. As a graduate student, she premiered over eighty new works and was fortunate to work with acclaimed composers Aaron Jay Kernis, Richard Danielpour, and John Corigliano. She was a fellow recipient and attended the National Orchestral Institute in Maryland, The Waterloo Music Festival at Princeton University, was assistant to Ms. Dowis at the Music Studies Abroad Program in Provence, France, for two summers, and was a conducting student at the Tanglewood Music Center in 1987 learning from Leonard Bernstein, Gustav Meier, Seiji Ozawa among others. Dr. Hamilton has performed under the batons of Marin Alsop, Leonard Slatkin, Kurt Masur, Gerard Schwartz, and Gunther Schuller. She was founder and conductor of the Meetinghouse Orchestra and made her European conducting debut conducting Brahms’s Requiem in Varna, Bulgaria. Dr. Hamilton was the Lead for Faith Formation at the Unitarian Church in Westport, CT, before relocating to Delaware this past October. She is the former Music Director for Saugatuck Congregational Church, UCC, Westport, CT, and First Church Congregational, UCC in Fairfield, CT. Heather earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Bridgeport in 2010. She and her spouse Linda live in the Beaches area of Delaware with their dog, Finn.
Ms. Karen Joseph is the Office Manager at PCD. Karen was a lifelong resident of Massachusetts until moving to Dover, DE. in September 2020. She has one child, Joshua, who remains in Massachusetts and works as an Electrical Engineer. Karen has been fine tuning her office skills since the age of 14 when she began working part-time in an insurance office. Since then, she has had several long-term positions within the corporate world, but her most extensive was as an Administrative/Executive Assistant in a Fortune 500 company for 22+ years. Karen went on to pursue a career as a home stager, interior designer, realtor and furniture sales rep.
Mrs. Barbara Bayers, BS/MS Music Ed, Master of Arts in Learning, is the Media Technology Coordinator for PCD. Her duties involve all aspects of the livestream broadcast, Facebook posts, producing the monthly movie for the Narthex TV, and scheduling all Zoom meetings for the church. Barb is retired from teaching middle school choral music (34 years) in the Fairfield County, CT. She has been an organist/choir director for 60+ years and is active as an organ substitute. Barb and her husband, Mark Douyard, have been members of PCD since 2016.
Mrs. Betsy Gray is the handbell director at PCD. She has been playing bells since 1974 and joined the Bells of Praise when she joined PCD in 1995. She is a cradle Presbyterian having been baptized in the Tenafly Presbyterian Church in New Jersey. She graduated from Waynesburg University with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in History. She worked with little people, ages infant to six years, for 27 years in her own home. She is happily married to Jimmy, the mother of two wonderful daughters and two stepdaughters. The lights of her life are her seven grandchildren. Her hobbies are music, both playing and singing, reading mysteries and historical fiction, as well as researching ancestry for herself and many friends.