The Unitarian Universalist Church of Savannah

            311 East Harris Street, Savannah, GA 31401 (MAP)             912-549-0326            
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UU Savannah Staff

Rev. Susan Karlson - Minister


Rev. Susan Karlson is the half-time contract minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Savannah as of  January 1, 2020.  


Rev. Susan arrived in Savannah in June of 2015. She has served as a chaplain at Hospice Savannah from the fall of 2015 through December 31, 2019 when her new role at UUCS began. She lives with her spouse, Alan Kindler, the office administrator at UUCS, and their beguiling cat, Lolly. They have four daughters between them, two on the west coast and two on the east coast.


Susan has served three Unitarian Universalist congregations in Wilmington, North Carolina; Gulfport, Mississippi and Staten Island, New York as parish minister before becoming the minister at UUCS. As well, she served in a grant position as the Disaster Response Coordinator for the Central East Region after Superstorm Sandy hit the area.  She was responsible for bringing in teen and adult volunteers to assist in recovery, working with long term recovery groups in Brooklyn, Staten Island, Long Island and New Jersey. She worked with the volunteers on understanding more about the intersection of disasters and its impact on front line communities impacted by climate change. Susan has served on the Boards of the Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry (UUTRM), Green Sanctuary Advisory Board and is a GreenFaith fellow.  She currently holds the portfolio for workshops and trainings for UUTRM.  


She holds a Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in May of 2003. She has final fellowship as a Unitarian Universalist minister since 2007.  Susan also had a previous calling as a minister of yoga. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from Norfolk State University with concentrations in clinical work and strategies (community organization) and a B.A. in Sociology with a concentration in child welfare from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.


Susan enjoys affirming and acknowledging the gifts of people in the congregation and is a proponent of radical hospitality, opening the circle ever wider and deeper.  She looks forward to this new chapter in our congregation’s life and how we can continue to forge a dynamic, open, welcoming and thriving spiritual community together.  Rev Susan can be reached at [email protected]

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 has two daughters, Lillian and Nina.

Kelly can be contacted at [email protected]

Hannah Ringer - Director of Religious Education

Hannah Ringer and her husband, Shawn, and baby boy, Archer, moved from Iowa to Georgia two years ago. Her family relocated to the east coast to be closer to her two stepchildren, ages 9 and 10. Hannah and Shawn were drawn to the beautiful city of Savannah but currently reside in Richmond Hill. 


Hannah went to the University of Iowa, where she received her bachelor's degree in biology in 2009. She then lived in Alaska for some time, where she earned her master's degree in secondary science education in 2016. While in graduate school, she had the opportunity to teach in a remote village in Alaska where students actually flew to school! 


Hannah currently teaches middle and high school science at Savannah Classical Academy. She is moving out to Richmond Hill Middle School to teach 8th grade science for the 2020-2021 school year. Hannah is very passionate about education and enjoys working with students of all ages. She is excited for the opportunity to be the director of religious education at UU Church of Savannah. The strong sense of community, social justice, and core principles of the church have really drawn Hannah and her family in. She looks forward to exploring her spirituality in the comfort of such an inviting and open church atmosphere. 


In her free time, Hannah loves to spend time with her family and friends. She loves all things outdoors, including hiking, biking, and swimming. Hannah also loves to cook and curl up with a good book! She is always looking for new recipes and books so feel free to share your favorites with her! 


Hannah can be contacted at [email protected]

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 [email protected]






Marc Coulombe - Wedding Coordinator and Sexton

Bio pending!





Marc can be reached at [email protected]

Alex Borthwick - Accounting

Bio pending!


Alex can be reached at [email protected].