Rev. Greg Larsen
Senior Minister
Pastor Greg Larsen is a native of Michigan, who was born and raised in Grand Rapids and also in the United Church of Christ. After graduating from Grand Valley State University with an undergraduate degree in Psychology, he pursued a graduate degree at Western Theological Seminary, graduating with a Master of Divinity in 2007. He comes to Rochester from a previous position in the high plains of Colorado and the warmth of the east coast of Florida. Pastor Greg has long experience and training in youth ministries, police chaplaincy, and suicide prevention. He has a heart for worship and serving Jesus Christ. He values teaching a scholarly approach to our sacred texts, believing the Old Testament Hebrew and the New Testament Greek have more to offer than simple translation into our American English. His passions are his family, playing and singing all genres of music, and teaching a refreshing view of God’s Holy Word.
Deanna Sparks
Office Manager
Deanna Sparks has been attending FCC of Rochester for about 15 years, and officially transferred from the FCC of Romeo in 2010. She is a member of the Faith Formation Committee and frequently teaches the Pre-K to 1 Prayer Party class on Sunday mornings. She resides in Romeo with her daughter, Kate.
Kathie Bowden
Kathie Bowden has been organist/pianist at First Congregational Church for the past 28 years, providing service music and accompaniment for congregational singing for each Sunday service and all special services throughout the year. She is accompanist for the Sanctuary Choir and other soloists and groups as needed. Kathie is also the primary organist for all weddings and funerals. She has taught piano and organ to many children of the church and community. Kathie has a BA in Education and a BM in Organ Performance from Oakland University and loves being able to use her God- given gift of music to support and enhance worship at FCC. Kathie is married to Lee Bowden and has two grown sons and three grandchildren.
Lisa Wilmot
Dir. of Faith Formation
Lisa Wilmot joined First Congregational Church in 2002 and joined the staff in June 2013 as Director of Faith Formation. She was drawn to the church from her first visit because of the wonderful children’s programs. First Congregational Church was a great fit for Lisa from the start; she has been a member of the Board of Christian Education (now known as Faith Formation), since 2002. She has worked with the senior high youth group (SHYG) and the middle school youth group (KOOL or Kids of Our Lord) as its advisor since 2007. Lisa grew up in the United Church of Christ in Warren, Michigan. She has her Associates Degree in Business Administration from Oakland Community College. Lisa and her husband Gene have lived in Rochester Hills for 20 years and are the proud parents of two sons, Aaron and Matthew.
Abbie Goerg
CrossWords, Director
Abbie Goerg is the lead vocalist and director of our CrossWords Band. Abbie presently works as an account manager at a local credit union. This past year she has been very busy with the CompAct Team, helping our church move towards Open and Affirming (ONA). She grew up in First Congregational Church, Rochester.
Bruce Young
Resurrection Brass, Director
Bruce Young is a retired school teacher who has directed the Resurrection Brass since 2004. Resurrection Brass plays contemporary and classical music, performs alone and with other musical groups in the church, and plays at other churches in the area. Bruce and his wife Polly have been members of First Congregational Church in Rochester for more than 35 years and have always been involved in the church music program in some way. In addition to the brass group, he has been a member of the Sanctuary choir, and served on and chaired the music committee. He has been the trumpet player in the church Dixieland group and has been in the Resurrection Brass since it started in 1989. Bruce enjoys being part of this group and feels that the Resurrection Brass is an important part of our church’s musical ministry. Bruce and Polly have two grown children and two grandchildren.
Bob Sheldrick
Handbell Director
Bob Sheldrick is a longtime handbell director at the church, presently leading the Alleluia and Jubilation Ringers. He works in international sales of computer software. He and wife Barbara live in Rochester Hills and have two children, Shannon and Andrew.
Kim Martin
Office Assistant
Kim Martin is the church office assistant. Kim grew up in our church and presently works in the office part-time, driving in from Romeo where she lives with her husband and four (mostly) grown children.
Keith Hartley
Keith Hartley has been a member of First Congregational Church since 1984 and has been the full-time custodian at FCC since 1985. He is married to Sherry Hartley, and they have one daughter, Casey, who teaches middle school, and lives near Orlando with her new husband, Bo Sun. Both Keith and Sherry are active members of the Sanctuary Choir. While Keith coordinates much of the sound booth operation during worship, Sherry serves on the Music Committee.
Eric Rendel
Custodial Assistant
Eric Rendel is the assistant custodian of the church, as well as a member of the CrossWords Band. In addition to his work for the church, Eric cares for daughter Marina, while his wife, Dr. Lana Beach works as a veterinarian.