HopeGateWay ~ Portland, ME logo

About Us

our leadership


Allen Ewing-Merrill // Lead Pastor

contact Allen

Allen loves music, art, good coffee, all things chocolate, traveling, and laughing with friends. A native Mainer, he grew up in a small town on the rocky mid-coast, in a family of teachers. After graduating from the University of Maine, Orono, he taught high school English for a few years, then headed off to Boston University School of Theology, where he spent three years. He has served rural and suburban churches, but he feels most alive in Portland's urban context, where he sees God profoundly at work in sidewalk conversations, coffee shops, art galleries, music venues, community meals, and the diversity of this inclusive Christian community which includes the full socio-econonimc spectrum, young adults and retirees, families with young children, members of the LGBT community, persons in recovery from addiction, immigrants from several African countries, and peace-loving, justice-seeking misfits. He loves experimenting with new ways of connecting with God through worship, dreaming about the future of the church, and the creative exchange of ideas between learners. Find Allen on Facebook.


Sara Ewing-Merrill // Lead Pastor

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Sara's mission in life is to create safe places for people to encounter God. She finds great joy in accompanying people on their journey of faith – especially when she can help people wrestle with questions and doubts, explore faith for the first time, or take new steps on their journey. Sara grew up on the prairie in South Dakota, the daughter of two preachers’ kids (her grandfathers are both retired pastors). After graduating from Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, NE, she moved to our nation’s capital to pursue seminary studies at Wesley Theological Seminary, graduating with a Masters of Divinity in 2003. She has served churches in Old Orchard Beach & Saco, ME and Sudbury, MA, and she's so grateful for the opportunity now to serve in Portland. Her special interests in ministry include sacred dance, worship arts, and exploring new forms of worship. Find Sara on Facebook.


Liz Leuthner // Office Manager

contact Liz

Liz has been an active member of the HopeGateWay community since moving to Portland from Providence, RI, where she worked for many years as an editor, curator and educator. In addition to her administrative duties at HGW, Liz leads our free Wednesday yoga and meditation groups. She is a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher and when not at HGW, is leading classes around Portland. Liz is in the HGW office Tuesday-Thursday, 10 am - 2 pm. Stop in and say hello!


Kelly Muse // Lead Musician

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Portland musician Kelly Muse has nearly two decades of experience as a performer, bandleader, and educator and recently earned his MBA at the University of Southern Maine. Kelly enjoys bringing a hint of variety and spontaneity to the worship music at HopeGateWay. He encourages all to sing, harmonize, even bring instruments to join in!


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