News & Events
John M. Schluep
John M. Schluep has been Senior Pastor since 2000. He is
also an Assistant Professor at Kent State University. Prior
to his pastoral work, John was an U.S. Army officer. As a
local pastor, John has worked with numerous area schools in
times of crisis. He consulted with the PBS productions: “Adolescent
Suicide: A Generation at Risk,” “The Family,”
and “The Learning Years.”
Dr. Schluep earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Ohio
State University, a Masters of Divinity at The Methodist Theological
School of Ohio, and a Doctor of Ministry from Boston University.
He was ordained in The United Methodist Church in 1981, and
was received as a Pastor in Full Connection in The United
Church of Christ in 2004.
John has been married for 38 years to Beth Varian and together
they have three adult children.
Matthew C. Wooster
Matthew C. Wooster came to First Congregational Church in
June, 2003. As Associate Minister, Matt shares with John Schluep the worship leadership and pastoral care for the congregation. He also oversees Christian Education and leads the confirmation and youth ministry
for high school students. Matt previously served as Associate Minister
at First Congregational Church in Hudson, Ohio.
Dr. Wooster attained a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Miami
University, a Masters of Divinity from The Methodist Theological
School in Ohio, where he received The Ronald L. Williams Book
Prize in Theology and Ethics, and a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching at Chicago Theological Seminary. He was ordained in The United
Church of Christ in January, 2001 at First Community Church
of Columbus, Ohio, the congregation in which he was raised.
Matt and his wife Betsy have been married since 2003. Betsy
Wooster serves the Fairmount Presbyterian Church as
Director of Spiritual Formation. Matt has two stepsons,
James and Sam, who are both in college.
Read Rev. Matt's blog - Notes From The Trail
Wendy Brown joined the staff of First Congregational Church
in June 2004 and serves as Director of Christian Education. Wendy
organizes the Sunday morning activities for children up through
grade 8. These activities include Sunday school, choir, nursery
care and children’s worship. She is a graduate of Westminster
College with a degree in education. Wendy loves working with
children and encourages them to learn about God through hands-on
Wendy’s Christian Education background includes working
for First Congregational Church of Akron for 8 years. She
also served on a national level for the National Association
of Congregational Christian Churches for the Commission for
Wendy and her husband Ken live in Tallmadge with their two
children. Wendy grew up in First Congregational Church
as a child so she feels like she has “come home”
to a church she loves.
Nancy Lynn robinson - director of christian music
Nancy Lynn Robinson came to the First Congregational Church
of Tallmadge in
March, 2002 as the Organist, and in September, 2006, she assumed
position of Director of Christian Music. Before her arrival
Congregational Church, she was the Director of Music/Organist
at The First
Baptist Church of Akron for 10 years. She has been playing
directing choirs since she was in high school.
Nancy Lynn is also the Director of St. Cecilia Society Chorus,
and is a
member of Tuesday Musical Association, Akron Symphony Guild,
Music, American Guild of Organists, and Delta Kappa Gamma.She is the Musical Director of the St. Cecilia Choral Society and is a member of Singer's Companye
performs as a piano and/or organist accompanist for various
and instrumental groups.
Nancy Lynn has a Masters of Music Degree in Choral Music
and Organ, and she
was a choral music teacher in the Akron Public Schools. She
lives with her husband Larry, and two cats, Princess and Patches.
Nancy BekEn – Administrative Assistant
Hours: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday – Friday
Nancy has held this position since 1990. She oversees the church office, assists the pastors, boards, and committees, and is responsible for all membership information updates.
Nancy is the first person to ask about:
• Scheduling use of building facilities
• Scheduling a wedding or baptism
• An appointment with the pastor
• Updating the calendar
• Receiving worship services on cassette tape by mail
Nancy and husband Ron reside in Rootstown, where they are restoring a century home. Married for over 49 years, they have three married daughters and six grandchildren. She enjoys family functions, good friends, crossword puzzles, Scrabble, flower gardens, Green & UA football games, and the Steelers.
Beth loresch – Church Receptionist
Hours: 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.
Beth is likely the first person whom you will talk to when visiting or calling the church during the week. She produces the Sunday worship bulletins and the church’s newsletter, The Herald. Beth joined the church staff in January, 2012. She comes with a background in Organizational Development, having obtained her Masters in O.D. at Case Weatherhead School of Management. She did training and development work in both corporate and non-profit settings prior to taking this position. Beth lives in Stow with her husband, Jonathan. They have 4 adult children. Beth enjoys playing in her church’s bell choir and in a small 4 in hand bell group. She also teaches Sunday school and facilitates an adult Bible Study as a part of a Wednesday night program. She loves people, music, reading and bike riding.
Beth is the first person to ask about:
• Submissions for the church newsletter - The Herald
• Information for the worship bulletins