The Unitarian Universalist Church of Savannah

311 East Harris Street, Savannah, GA 31401  *  Troup Square  *  912-549-0326

UU Savannah Minister and Staff

Rev. David Messner - Minister

Rev. Dave was called by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Savannah in May and began serving in August of 2012.  Themes of his ministry include how our spiritual beliefs and commitments directly impact our choices, enliven our relationships and transform the real experience of living.  He believes that an active faith life and a caring church community can make all-the-difference, even for devoutly ‘non-religious’ people. He believes that church can do more, if we expect more, invest more and open ourselves to the possibilities.

Dave was born and raised as a Unitarian Universalist and has been part of a number of UU congregations, large and small, over the past 40-plus years.  He was ordained by the First Unitarian Church of Rochester where he served as a ministerial intern and as a consulting assistant minister for membership development. His training has also included being a chaplain intern and resident at the University of Rochester Medical Center and as a weekend minister with the Green Bay Area UU Fellowship.  He earned his Master of Divinity from the University of Chicago with particular emphasis on theology and religious ethics.  His education also includes an MBA from Yale University with concentrations in marketing, strategy and organization and an undergraduate degree in psychology from Reed College.

David’s prior professional life was in business, primarily working in corporate strategic planning and partnership development. Relationships and growth remain part of his core commitment to congregational development and making sure that the church is meaningfully connected to the world around it. 

David and his wife Jennifer have two children and one large dog.  They all love food, travel, the outdoors and books.  They live in Savannah.

Rev. Dave can be contacted at

Kelly Blackmarr - Music Director 

Kelly Blackmarr Carlile has been a member of UUCS since 1991 and its part-time Music Director since 1993.  Her musical background includes, since her teens, working in a variety of denominations (Baptist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, First Christian and Methodist) as well as in Reform Jewish Temples.  In addition to serving UUCS, Kelly currently also provides keyboard and vocal music for Wesley Oak United Methodist Church and Congregation Mickve Israel. 

Kelly is a Suma Cum Laude graduate of Florida State University where she majored in Music Education with an emphasis in Choral Music, and she is a recipient of the prestigious Robert Shaw Choral Conducting Award.  Truly a Renaissance woman, she is an accomplished pianist, organist, singer, flautist, guitarist, percussionist and penny whistle player, plus choral arranger and composer.  Kelly is well known in Savannah as both a performer and director. 

Kelly also has a Master’s Degree in Social Work, with a license in clinical social work, and in the past she served Savannah’s military veteran population in that capacity.

The UU Church of Savannah has been Kelly’s spiritual home of more than twenty years.  She believes in the church’s principles, loves its people, and thrives on serving them the best way she knows how…with beautiful music!

Kelly and her husband, Larry, have two daughters, Lillian and Nina.

Kelly can be contacted at

Eva Newbold - Director of Religious Education

Eva Newbold was raised in the UU church, and has attended the Unitarian Universalist Church of Savannah since 2004. UUCS and its RE program has played a central role in her coming of age into adulthood.

In 2012, she moved away to earn her B.A. in English Literature and Women’s Studies from Agnes Scott College and finished her M.A. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies this past May at the University of Florida. Since moving back to Richmond Hill, Eva has worked as the scheduling coordinator and personal assistant to Lisa Ring and her congressional campaign.

Eva has always been passionate about education and teaching, especially education that is intersectional and social justice oriented. Eva hopes to continue her political work and plans to continue to look for ways she can help influence and shape public policy, especially as it relates to education.

Eva grew up in the RE program of UUCS and plans to continue to work to foster a safe, welcoming environment that can foster exploration, learning, and fun. She is so thankful to have the opportunity to give back to a community that has given her so much.

Eva can be contacted at

Alan Kindler – Office Administrator  

Alan was raised outside of Pittsburgh, Pa but has lived in Virginia, North Carolina and New York City.  He and his wife, Rev. Susan Karlson came to Savannah in 2015, drawn by her rough-around-the-edges charm and a chance to lower their environmental footprint.  He and Susan have four daughters, all grown, and one cat.  Alan has run several remodeling companies and also worked in electronics sales and mobile phone customer service and tech support.  When not working, Alan is biking, hiking, kayaking or painting.

Alan can be reached at

Marc Coulombe - Wedding Coordinator and Sexton

Bio pending!

Marc can be reached at

Alex Borthwick - Accounting

Bio pending!

Alex can be reached at