Rev. David Howell has been a part of the First Congregational Church staff since 1997. Dave is a graduate of Stanford University and the Pacific School of Religion. In addition to being our Senior Pastor, he currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Center of Arts, Religion, and Education at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Dave brings creativity, humor and a passion for the arts to ministry through improvisation, theater, music, and puppetry. He is regularly outsmarted by Clarence the Camel. Dave and his wife Kristin have been married 18 years and have two daughters.
Rev. Dr. Eileen Altman began serving as an Associate Pastor at First Congregational Church of Palo Alto, UCC in 2007, soon after receiving her M.Div. from Pacific School of Religion; she was ordained later that year. Her particular responsibilities at the church are supporting adult faith formation, pastoral care, and social justice and outreach ministries. Prior to her seminary studies, Eileen was a stay-at-home mom for several years, after a ten year career working for healthier communities in low-income neighborhoods of Chicago. She received a M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical-community and social psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a B.A. in psychology from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. While growing up in Greenville, Mississippi, Eileen developed a passion for biblical studies, especially reading through the lens of "the least of these" our sisters and brothers. This passion has guided her life and work and is central to her call to ministry. Eileen’s leisure activities include walking (especially with her dog, Tess), reading, and hanging out in Santa Cruz.