The Team

Rev. Dave Stambaugh


Rev. Dave came to Essex in July of 2022 having served churches in New Jersey, California, and Connecticut as both a solo and associate minister. He holds a Master of Divinity from Alliance Seminary and a Master of Sacred Theology from Drew University. Rev. Dave also serves as the chaplain for the Essex Fire Department. He is an avid pickleball player, cyclist, and enjoys playing drums.

Shari Wilcox

Music / Choir Director

Shari graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor of Music Performance Degree. She is a member of the faculty of The Community Music School in Centerbrook, where she teaches piano and voice. As an award-winning mezzo-soprano, Shari has appeared in opera, musical theater, and as a guest soloist with regional orchestras. Shari has served at FCC Essex since 2007. If you’d like to learn more about Shari, click here.

Cheryl Harger

Bell Choir Director

Cheryl Harger has been directing handbells at FCC Essex since 1999 and has also been ringing in the community handbell choir, Shoreline Ringers, since 2008. Although her degree is in accounting, music has always been a part of her life which started when her mother taught her piano as a young girl.

Kevin Xiao


Kevin Xiao was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and moved with his family to Connecticut in 1999. Since then, he has received his Bachelor and Master of Music Degree from the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford. Kevin joined the Music Ministry of FCC Essex in September 2019.

Kevin Xiao

Karen Burzin

Office Administrator

Karen and her family live in Ivoryton. Along with nurturing her spouse, 3 children, and two dogs, she also enjoys reading, gardening, and harvesting all that she has planted. She has been with FCC Essex since 2018.


This space is dedicated to our wonderful volunteers who we lovingly refer to as ‘unpaid’ staff. Their tireless service and dedication help to keep our church running smoothly.


(Judy Bibbiani, Mary Laurence Bickford, Jane Haeni & Joan Hill  assisting with the Mid Winter Meal Assembly. Committee members not pictured: Mike Hennessey, Cindy Marshall, Delcie McGrath)

Contact Us

We would love to hear from you!

Essex Congregational Church

6 Methodist Hill
Essex CT 06426

Office Hours
Tue - Fri, 9a - 1p

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