The Rev. Dr. Daniel O'Connell, Senior Minister
The Rev. Angela Henderson, Minister
The Rev. Bonnie Vegiard, Minister
Randy Partain, Student Minister
Reverend Dr. Daniel O'Connell
With a conviction that the UU faith has something extraordinarily important to offer the world, Rev. O’Connell enjoys working with others to create worship experiences that touch the heart, light up the mind, and call congregation members to service. Having been raised in our faith, he is thoroughly grounded in Unitarian Universalism and committed to UU religious education. He seeks ways to describe, explain and celebrate the diverse spiritual paths among us.
Rev. O’Connell grew up in the suburbs of Washington D. C. attending the then new (1961) denomination of Unitarian Universalism. He was active in Liberal Religious Youth, the UU senior high program of the era, and served in UU Young Adult groups all over the country. He is the son of a physicist (atheist) father, and UU church music director (theist) mother. Daniel attended Montgomery College and in 1982, received an Associates of Arts degree in Radio, TV and Film. In 1985, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland, majoring in Communications. He worked for several years selling software. Daniel attended seminary in Chicago and received his Doctorate of Ministry degree in 1996 from Meadville Lombard Theological School. He served as the minister of the UU Society of Northern Fairfield County in West Redding, CT for six years. During his next eight years, before joining us here in Houston, he served as Lead Minister for Eliot Unitarian Church in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Rev. Angela Henderson served as the Contract Minister of the Universalist Unitarian Church of Riverside, California in 2013-2014 and is excited to join the ministry team of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston as Assistant Minister. She received her Master of Divinity degree from Claremont School of Theology, served Pacific Unitarian Church in Rancho Palos Verdes, California as the full time intern minister in 2010 and was ordained by her intern congregation in 2012. Completing a total of six units of Clinical Pastoral Education including a one year residency at Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento, Rev. Henderson is a compassionate pastoral care minister. While serving as a chaplain at the UC Davis Medical center, she served as the UU Campus Minister at UC Davis in California. She has been active in matters of gender, racial, economic, and reproductive justice supporting the efforts of the Unitarian Universalist Association locally and nationally.
Rev. Bonnie Vegiard was ordained into the Unitarian Universalist ministry in 1996 after receiving her M.Div. from Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago. Previous to that, she had received a B.A. and M.A. in English Literature and Writing from the University of Missouri at Columbia, and she had taught various English courses at the University. She has served congregations in Woodbury, CT, St. Louis, MO, Waco, TX, and has now served First Unitarian Church of Houston, Thoreau/Stafford Campus since Aug. 2012. Rev. Vegiard has also completed a Chaplain Residency in the Houston Medical Center. She is currently working toward licensure in counseling by earning a M.S.W. at the University of Houston, and plans to add pastoral counseling to her ministry when that training is complete. She lives in SW Houston with her husband, Rev. Dr. Daniel O’Connell, and their two teen-aged children.
Randy Partain is a candidate for fellowshipped ministry with the Unitarian Universalist Association, in the process of attaining a Master of Divinity degree from Houston Graduate School of Theology. In 2005, he received a doctorate in Music Composition from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and has taught music courses at several local colleges. After over 20 years in music ministry in various Christian churches, Randy stepped away from church work for a few years as a matter of integrity. In his own spiritual journey, his personal beliefs had grown in a different direction than the beliefs promoted by the churches he served. A few years ago, he was energized and inspired to discover the UU principles that closely matched what he had come to believe about people, and he resumed a ministerial pathway with renewed vigor and a sense of spiritual homecoming. Randy envisions his ministry role as equal parts Healer, Warrior, Mystic, and Sage. Randy is passionate about building collaborative community around the guiding principle that all people have inherent worth and dignity, and his soul is fed by cooperative table-top games, thought-provoking movies, and (of course) music.
To reach the ministers, you may call the church office, 713-526-5200.