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Our Staff

The Rev. Dr. Dennis Calhoun, Senior Minister

Old North Church Marblehead MA

Dennis has served as our Senior Minister since September of 2007. Prior to coming to Marblehead, he served churches in New Milford and Middlebury, Connecticut. 


He holds degrees from the University of Missouri-Saint Louis, Yale Divinity School, and Princeton Theological Seminary, but credits the members of the churches he has served as his most influential teachers. Dennis and his wife Susan, Professor of Nursing at Endicott College, enjoy frequent visits from their daughters, Elly and Abby. 


You can reach him at

Lindsay Popperson, Associate Minister


Lindsay joined our staff in the summer of 2019. She is excited to be ministering in a place of such beauty and history. She is our half-time Associate Pastor, and will be joining Dennis in preaching and worship leadership, pastoral care, and advising the ministry boards of the church (with a focus on Community Life and Christian Formation). She is also the half-time Chaplain at Sherrill House Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing in Jamaica Plain. At Sherrill House, she leads worship and provides pastoral care to about 200 patients and residents. 

She earned her Master of Divinity from the Boston University School of Theology and her Bachelor’s degree from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC. Her prior ministry experience includes work in churches in Tallahassee, Florida, Jamaica Plain, MA, and Dedham, MA. In 2015, she was awarded the David H C Read Preacher-Scholar Prize, a national award for a graduating seminarian who shows excellence in preaching. 

She serves on the UCC’s Immigrant, Refugee and Asylum-Seeker Task Team, where she helps equip congregations across Massachusetts to take faithful action alongside and on behalf of migrants. 

Her wife, Ashley, is also a pastor in the UCC, serving a congregation in Norwell. They live in Jamaica Plain (a neighborhood of Boston) with their dog, Pope Joan, who is certified to provide pet therapy to people of all ages. Their family enjoys growing vegetables in their community garden and making frequent use of public libraries. 

Lindsay is eager to meet each and every one of you; she will take you up on any invitation (especially if the invitation involves coffee or sailing on your boat).


You can reach Lindsay at either or

Maria van Kalken, Minister of Music


Maria joined the staff at Old North Church in the fall of 1989.  To this day, she continues to enjoy a thrilling and thriving musical environment – embraced by the ministry, her colleagues on the staff, members of the congregation, and friends from surrounding communities – whereby she contributes to the preservation of a long-standing tradition of sacred music and its place in worship, and directs the overall Music Ministry program as an essential community outreach. 

Maria earned the degree of Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (Oberlin, Ohio) and Master of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music (Boston, MA). Her studies abroad have included pipe organ performance at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, under the patronage of the Rotary International Scholarship Fund, and the completion of an historical organ performance program in Pistoia, Italy. In addition to her work as Minister of Music—playing organ and directing the Senior Choir—Maria is Artistic Director of Concerts at Old North, presenting between two and six chamber music concerts annually, in the acoustically-glorious sanctuary of Old North Church.

Maria is a senior staff member of the Boston Early Music Festival (; as Assistant to the Executive Director, Maria is liaison to musicians from all over the world for the biennial Baroque opera, annual Chamber Opera Series, and opera touring and recording projects.

Please click here to read about Maria’s Music Ministry and her 31 years with the Old North Church Festival Chorus in the Marblehead Reporter.


You can reach Maria at

Karen Kilty, Director of Children’s Ministries

Old North Church Marblehead MA

Karen joined the staff of Old North on January 1, 2017. She is a Spiritual Director and Christian Educator. She attended Gateways to God, training in Spiritual Direction and Congregational Formation at Rolling Ridge Retreat Center in North Andover and she completed the Christian Education Certification program with the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ. By combining these two ministries it has given Karen the opportunity to deepen her understanding of faith development, who we are as people of the United Church of Christ, and to create programs and retreats for people of all ages, leading them to become more aware of God’s presence in their lives and in others.

She is a longtime member of Maple Street Congregational Church in Danvers where she has served in many capacities including the chair of Deacons, World Service, Church Growth and Church Clerk. Karen has taught Sunday school classes from pre -k to High school and lead the Acolyte Ministry for many years. Karen is also a graduate of Soul of Leadership, a partner of Executive Soul and Shalem Institute. It is a program that helps leaders integrate spiritual practices with leadership realities in order to lead in a more grounded and heart centered way. Karen is grateful to be called to companion people of all ages, and now especially ONC children and families, along their faith journey.

You can reach Karen at

Sarah Del Dotto, Youth Choirs Director

Old North Church Marblehead MA

Sarah is a graduate of the prestigious, world renowned, Eastman School of Music located in Rochester, New York. While still a student at the Eastman School, Sarah worked with faculty in the Community Education Divisio, where she was invited to be an aid in the early childhood music program, working with families and their children, ages 6 months up to 4 years old. Immediately upon graduation, Sarah received a position to teach in the Rush-Henrietta School District (NY) and the Greece Central School District (NY) before going on to be the Choral Director in the Greater Johnstown School District. 

Sarah completed the Master of Music (Piano Performance) program at the Longy School of Music, in Cambridge, MA. Besides being a dedicated piano teacher at the Del Dotto Piano School, Mrs. Del Dotto currently works as the middle school choral director and music teacher for the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, MA. She has also worked as a teaching artist for the Metropolitan Opera Guild. Previously, for nine years, Sarah was on the faculty of the Boston Yamaha Music School where she taught group classes and maintained a large private piano studio. Sarah loves being located on the beautiful North Shore!


You can reach Sarah at

Liz Smith, Bell Choir Director


Liz has been joyfully ringing handbells since 2008, when she joined her church’s bell choir. She soon began ringing with New England Ringers, one of New England’s finest audition handbell choirs. Liz has loved making music since childhood, when she studied piano and played clarinet, saxophone and oboe in many school and community music ensembles. She is thrilled to be with the Old North Church Hand Bell Choir. Liz is also a math tutor at Hadley Elementary School in Swampscott. When she is not taking pictures of the sunset or collecting sea glass, Liz spends her free time with her husband, their daughter, and their three grown sons.

You can reach Liz at

Lisa Nahatis, Office Manager


Lisa has been our Office Manager since 2002 .She is a resident of Danvers and is a graduate of Boston University School of Management.  Prior to working at Old North Church, she worked at the former Bank of Boston as an Accounting/Finance Manager and Systems Consultant.  If you need to schedule a wedding or baptism, or have questions about just about anything Old North related, she will either help you out herself, or find someone who will!


You can reach Lisa at or by calling 781-631-1244

Donna Bagarella, Office Administrator

Donna Bagarella.jpg

Donna joined the office staff in the summer of 2018. She and her husband are long time residents of Swampscott and she is familiar with many of our Old North members. She enjoys the beach, walking, and photography.


You can reach Donna at or 781-631-1244