Gilead Congregational Church

United Church of Christ

Sally Fritsche

Administrative Assistant

Sally has been our Administrative Assistant at the Gilead Church since 2001.  Her professionalism, positive attitude and kindness keeps everything running smoothly at the church.  Sally is married to Buddy and they have two children, Amanda and Jamie.

Rev. Dr. Denise Esslinger


Denise has served as the Pastor of the Gilead Church since 1998.  Prior to coming to the Gilead Church, she served as the Minister of Education at Foster Memorial Church in Springfield, MA.  Denise went to Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, PA where she received her M.Div. in 1991.  More recently, in 2009 Denise received her D.Min. in Preaching from Chicago Theological Seminary.  Denise has a passion for preaching and for creating a sense of welcome in worship.  Denise is married to Phil Parizeau.  Phil has two adult children and they have three grandchildren.

Danielle Hoehn

Minister of Music

Danielle joined us as our Minister of Music in January of 2020.  Danielle has had a passion for music all of her life and began taking organ lessons at the age of four.  She began playing the organ for church services at the age of ten. Danielle has degrees from both the Hartt School of Music and from Yale Divinity School.  Danielle has served as Minister of Music/Director of Music Ministries at several churches in Connecticut and most recently retired from serving as a Police Officer in Manchester. Danielle and her husband, Michael, have a blended family with four children and one grandchild.