• Sara ewing-merrill

    LEAD pastor

    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 were both pastors). After graduating from Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, NE, she moved to Washington, DC to pursue seminary studies at Wesley Theological Seminary, graduating with a Masters of Divinity in 2003. She has served churches in Old Orchard Beach and Saco, ME, and Sudbury, MA, and she's so grateful for the opportunity to serve in Portland. Sara and her husband, Allen, came to Portland in 2007 to plant a new church that has grown into HopeGateWay. Sara and Allen live with their two youngest daughters, Rachel and Kathryn, in Portland and look forward to visits home from their eldest daughter, Gloria.  In addition to her ministry with HopeGateWay, Sara was a co-founder of Greater Portland Family Promise, an affiliate of the national Family Promise program, dedicated to addressing the needs of families facing homelessness in the Greater Portland, Maine area.  Email  |  Facebook  |  Twitter


    Administrative & Program Coordinator

    Originally from the Midwest, Bethany fell in love with Maine while working as a camp counselor at Samantha Smith World Peace Camp three decades ago. Bethany and her husband Rick live in North Yarmouth and are parents to two daughters, Ksenia and Annika. Bethany has a BA in Russian Language and Literature from the University of Kansas, but has been mostly self-employed as a birth doula, photographer and musician, after a 9 year stint in corporate America. She has played piano since the age of 5 and an enduring past-time is finding new "favorite" songs to add to her Spotify playlist. She also enjoys photography, watching the sunrise, long walks and a variety of podcasts. Rick and Bethany love traveling and learning about cultures around the world. Bethany is trained in spiritual listening and has enjoyed volunteering as a mentor with residents of Hope House and training and supporting other mentors. She feels blessed to be working alongside the talented HopeGateWay team. Contact her at hello@hopegateway.com.

  • Christie Dahlin

    administrative coordinator

    Christie recently moved to Maine from the Pacific Northwest. She and her husband Samuel lived in Seattle for many years, where Christie attended Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry and graduated with her Masters of Divinity in 2020. Christie then had the joy of pastoring a Mennonite church in Boise, Idaho for two years and was recently ordained in the Mennonite Church. Their family then moved to the East Coast to be closer to extended family and start exploring what life is like here in Maine. Samuel and Christie have a three year old son, Jedidiah, and are looking forward to welcoming another little one into their family later this year. In her free time Christie enjoys reading a good novel, connecting with friends, and going on outdoor adventures with her family like cross-country skiing, hiking, biking or just meandering through the woods. Christie looks forward to getting to know the HopeGateWay community through helping out with the details of church life as the administrative coordinator to create programming for children and families. Contact her at christie@hopegateway.com.

  • Ophelia Hu Kinney

    Worship Coordinator

    Ophelia Hu Kinney is a second-generation Asian American and a Midwestern transplant. She and her wife Hayli have belonged to HopeGateWay since 2016. She enjoys trying to translate God and learning others' translations, though she's perpetually at a loss for words. Ophelia works as the Communications Specialist at Reconciling Ministries Network - to which HopeGateWay has belonged since 2009 - an international movement of LGBTQ-celebrating Methodists fighting for justice and inclusion in the Church. She enjoys short poems and long days, a picnic at the beach or a good talk with a friend. At HopeGateWay, Ophelia seeks to empower members to lift their own and each other’s voices to co-create an authentic worshipful experience. Let her know if you want to be a part of HopeGateWay's Sunday worship!  Email

  • Patsy Frey-Davis

    Communications coordinator

    Patsy Frey-Davis has been a member of HopeGateWay for about ten years and is grateful to be part of a community that does justice, loves kindness, and walks humbly with God.  She lives, writes, reads, cooks, and snarks from Bath, Maine with her husband and two ridiculously adorable children.  She'd love to hear any of your questions, comments, ideas, or inspiration. Email

  • Kelly Muse

    Lead musician

    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!

  • Marcie Bolte


    Marcie was born and raised in Maine. She comes from a large Mormon family and her faith has kept her strong! Having always had a passion for teaching, Marcie completed her masters degree in 2022 in Early Education Leadership. She taught Pre-K for several years and is currently a reading and math interventionist for Buxton Center Elementary School. She has an amazing son named Connor, who participates in basketball, baseball and Boy Scouts. In her free time, Marcie loves playing and watching all sports. She is thrilled to be working with HopeGateWay kids! 


  • Margaret Menger

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  • Don Rudalevige

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  • wanda stahl

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  • Rick Smart

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  • Elizabeth Beane

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  • Armand Turinyungu

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  • Matt Frey-Davis

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  • Art McClanahan

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