Since our inception, several pastors have ministered to the United Parish of Bowie.

Reverend Dr. Chris Deacon

Rev. Dr. Chris Deacon served as UPB Pastor from 2014-2022. Rev. Deacon's sermons were conversational and related scripture to daily life.  His Undergraduate education took place at Volunteer State Community College and the University of Tennessee. He received a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry (Docotral Project: Community in a Time of Covid) from the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Before coming to UPB, he was pastor at First Presbyterian Chuch in Farmington, IL and Faith United Presbyterian Church in Yates City, IL. While in Illinois, he also volunteered as a firefighter and EMT.


Rev. Deacon preached his final sermon at UPB in September 2022.  He now serves as Pastor at Northwood Presbyterian Church in Silver Spring, MD.

Reverend Jeri A. Fields

Rev. Jeri A. Fields served UPB from 2012-2014 as Interim Pastor. She attended Union College in Barbourville, KY, received her Masters of Arts from the University of Virginia, and her Masters of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.  Before coming to UPB, she provided workshops throughout the D.C. area on a variety of topics (working with people who have special needs, domestic violence awareness, disaster preparedness, and critical incident stress management).


Rev. Fields’ tenure at UPB came to an end following the installation of Rev. Chris Deacon as the congregation's pastor in 2014. She now serves as Pastor at Adelphi Presbyterian Church in Adelphi, MD.

Reverend Dan Holland

Rev. Dan Holland served UPB from 2008-2011 as Pastor. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Washington, and then enrolled at the San Francisco Theological Seminary, where he was awarded a Masters of Divinity and a Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction.  Rev. Holland grew up in a Navy family that lived in a variety of places.


Rev. Holland preached his final sermon at UPB in December 2011.  He now serves as Pastor at the Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church (Mount Vernon, WA).

Reverend Steve Howell

Rev. Steve Howell served UPB in 2008 as a Temporary Supply Pastor.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Pastoral Studies from Liberty University.  Prior to UPB, he served over 25 years in pastoral ministry, including a long tenure as Associate Pastor at Grace Brethren Church of Calvert County.

Rev. Howell’s tenure at UPB came to an end following the installation of Rev. Dan Holland as the congregation's pastor.  He now serves as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at ZimZam Global​​​​​​​ where he equips leaders, empowers children, and transforms communities through the establishment of new churches.

Reverend Dr. Michael Parker

Rev. Dr. Michael Parker served UPB from 2006-2008 as Interim Pastor. He received Bachelor of Science degrees in political science and history from UCLA and later attended the Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, CA).  Rev. Dr. Parker obtained a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in American cultural and religious history from the University of Maryland.

Rev. Dr. Parker preached his last UPB sermon in May 2008. He currently serves as the Presbyterian World Mission’s interim coordinator for Europe and the Middle East at the Presbyterian Outlook​​​​​​​.

Reverend Laura Collins

Rev. Laura Collins served UPB in 2006 as Temporary Supply Pastor.  She received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Guilford College and a Masters of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary.  Prior to arriving at UPB, Rev. Collins served as Associate Pastor at the Third Presbyterian Church of Rochester, Pastor of Laurelton Presbyterian Church, and Pastor of Takoma Park Presbyterian Church.

Rev. Collins now serves as Development Officer, Government and Philanthropy at the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity​​​​​​​.

Reverend Dr. Carl O. Bickel

Rev. Dr. Carl O. Bickel served UPB as Founding Pastor from 1973-2006.  He received a Bachelors of Science from Lake Forest College of Illinois. He held graduate theological degrees from Union Theological Seminary in New York City (Masters of Divinity, Masters of Sacred Theology), the University of Chicago (Masters of Arts), and Loyola College (Masters of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in pastoral counseling.  Prior to his arrival at UPB, Rev. Dr. Bickel served churches in the New York City and Chicago areas, and was also a campus minister at the University of Illinois. Rev. Dr. Bickel enjoyed teaching theology and church history, and was an enthusiastic participant in church musical activities.  He also had a strong commitment to providing guidance to all who sought Christian counseling.  The UPB congregation loved his thoughtful sermons, which included frequent anecdotes about his family.

After a lengthy illness, Rev. Dr. Bickel passed away in February 2006.

Reverend Harry Applewhite

Rev. Harry Applewhite served UPB from 1972-1973 as Interim Pastor.  Prior to his arrival at UPB, Rev. Applewhite served as Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Champaign (Champaign, IL).  He later was the minister of the First Congregational Church of Bellevue (WA).  During his career, Rev. Applewhite dedicated himself to several social causes (school integration, the anti-Vietnam War movement, satellite communications, and prisoner rehabilitation.

Rev. Applewhite's tenure at UPB came to an end following the installation of Rev. Carl O. Bickel as the congregation's pastor.

Reverend Richard Schellhase

Rev. Richard Schellhase served UPB from 1970-1972 as Pastor.  He received a Bachelors of Science from Ursinus College, a Masters of Divinity from Lancaster Theological Seminary, and an honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Divinity from Ursinus College.  Additionally, he attended the University of Edinburgh and the Lutheran Theological Seminary.  Rev. Schellhase has had a long career as a respected clergyman in the Evangelical and Reformed Church (now United Church of Christ).