Rev. Cheryl Meachen was appointed to the First United Methodist Church in Brattleboro, Vermont in 2009 and additionally, as of July 1, 2014, she serves as coordinating pastor of the Leyden United Methodist Church. Pastor Cheryl served as pastor of Marlow United Methodist Church in New Hampshire from 2005 – 2009. She was active as a volunteer, in lay leadership, and the music ministries at Wesley United Methodist Church in Concord New Hampshire from 2001 – 2005 and was raised in the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Concord. She completed her Clinical Pastoral Education in 2008 at Havenwood-Heritage Heights also in Concord.
Pastor Cheryl earned her Master of Divinity Degree in 2010 from Boston University School of Theology with a specialized track in Congregational Development and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Human Services in 2007 from Franklin Pierce University. She was commissioned as a provisional member of the New England Conference in June 2013.
Pastor Cheryl serves the Brattleboro Restorative Justice Center on the Citizen Advisory Panel doing reparative reintegration work and in a Circle of Support and Accountability to provide group mentoring to help people who have committed serious and violent offenses become productive, safe citizens upon release from prison. She chairs the Vermont District Committee for Church Revitalization / New Church Starts and serves on the Conference Committee for Congregational and Community Development. Pastor Cheryl served on the Steering Committee of the Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition and teaches Parenting Teens Wisely classes. She participates in the Brattleboro Area Interfaith Clergy Association and Monadnock United Methodist Clergy Cluster. Pastor Cheryl is currently the Chaplain for the Red Knights Firefighter Motorcycle Club, VT Chapter II, the Guilford Volunteer Fire Department, the Blue Knights Police Motorcycle Club, VT Chapter II, and previously served as volunteer chaplain for Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and Blue Knights of NH, Chapter 1. She also previously served as a Director of the Concord Female Charitable Society; President of the Paralegal Association of New Hampshire; Publicity Director for the Concord Chorale and Secretary of the Rumford School PTO; as well as being a member of the Board of Directors for both the Brattleboro Area Drop In Center and Brattleboro Pastoral Counseling Center.
Pastor Cheryl has a heart for passionate spirituality and inspired worship and brings musical gifts as well as technological expertise to her work. She is available by appointment or by chance at the church office.
Before her call to ministry in the United Methodist Church, Pastor Cheryl worked as a paralegal for Attorney Peter S. Wright, Jr. at Howard & Gleason and then Wright & Cherry from 1986 – 1996, both in Henniker, New Hampshire. She earned a Certificate in Paralegal Studies from New Hampshire Technical Institute in 1990. After a few years off to raise her children, while doing tax and medical transcription work from home, Pastor Cheryl returned to working with Professor Wright at the University of New Hampshire School of Law in Concord NH managing the Criminal, Consumer and Intellectual Property Law Clinics assisting indigent and low income clients with their legal needs and providing guidance to law students.
Pastor Cheryl lives in Brattleboro with her husband Jim, a security officer for Cheshire Medical Center and part-time police officer in Winchester NH. Their son, Josh, is a student and athlete at BUHS. Daughter Christi is a music teacher and lives with her husband Marc Catino in Concord New Hampshire. Pastor Cheryl’s hobbies include piano, kayaking, gardening, singing, letterboxing, motorcycling, skydiving and crocheting.
The Work of the Pastor
As pastor, Rev. Meachen prepares and leads worship, preaching each Sunday morning at 8:45 in Leyden MA and 10:00 in Brattleboro VT. She also leads a worship service and plays the piano at The Thompson House on the third Thursday of each month at 10:30am. She facilitates a Monday Morning Quarterback discussion at 10:30am where people come to discuss the sermon, delve more deeply into the Word and consider ways to enact their faith in the world. Pastor Cheryl also leads other Bible studies throughout the year including a Disciple I Bible Study on Wednesday evenings. She presides over the sacraments of communion and baptism. She meets with church leaders and attends committee and council meetings. She is the face of the church in Brattleboro and at VT District and NE Conference United Methodist meetings. She prays daily for each church member and constituent; spends at least one day a week visiting people in their homes, nursing homes, and hospitals and spends Monday mornings in the church office or at other times at Bruegger’s Bagels on Canal Street, at the library or Tulip Cafe in Harmony Lot, available to the public. She spends Fridays in Leyden at the church office or around town.
Please contact Pastor Cheryl when you have a graduation, anniversary, or other special event that you would like her to pray for. When you are facing a difficult decision and would like someone to discuss it with, she is here to listen and to offer prayer for wisdom and guidance. When planning a wedding, Pastor Cheryl can provide premarital counseling and planning for a Christian ceremony. When anticipating a death in the family, let her pray for you and your loved one as she or he transitions from this life to the eternal. Pastor Cheryl is here to serve you and encourage you in all of life’s situations.