Traditional Service & Sunday School - Sundays at 10:30am
Coffee Shop Service - Sundays at 9:30am

So that all may be one

Our building may be old, but our thinking is not

Our Staff

Arik Borstad

Pastor

Pastor Arik (Him/He/His) began his partnership with First Congregational Church on October 1, 2014. Since that time, he has grown to love the congregation for their openness, love, and hospitality. Arik received his Bachelor's degree with a major in Religious Studies from Elmhurst College and then went on to earn his Master of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis.

Growing up in the church as a lifelong member of the United Church of Christ, Arik is proud of the progressive values that the UCC puts forth. He is especially proud of the UCC's acceptance and welcoming of the LGBTQIA community and the UCC's dedication toward matters of ecological justice.

Outside of church, Pastor Arik is enjoying his life with his wife Allison, his son Sage, and his dog Milo. They will soon be welcoming another baby boy later this year! An introvert at heart, Arik enjoys reading, writing, and quiet evenings at home. While he may be a quiet person in most aspects of his life, he loves speaking with people and hearing people's stories. In fact, he would like nothing more than to speak with you and to get to know you better! If you have any questions or just want to talk, don't hesitate to call the office or send him an email to let him know!

Matthew Hogue-Smith

Minister for Pastoral Care and Spiritual Growth

Matthew Hogue-Smith (Him/He/His) is the current Minister for Pastoral Care and Spiritual Growth at First Congregational Church in North Ridgeville and a member in discernment within the association. He was born and raised in Elyria but currently resides in Lakewood with his husband Travis. Matthew Holds a master’s degree in practical theology and ministry with areas of research in pastoral care and formation from the sunny shores of Barry University in Miami, FL. Matthew is a strong advocate and hopeful contributor for the development of a trauma informed ministry. He is a certified mental first aid’r® and is a trained volunteer with the Lorain County LOSS (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors) team. He believes that within the UCC, all creation should not only be welcomed but they should also be extravagantly loved and accepted just as the creator God intended.

Mary Karlovec

Director of Christian Education
Mary Karlovec has been a lifelong educator and advocate for youth. Growing up at First Congregational, Mary has been an essential part of this congregation's life and history. Countless children have been shaped through Mary's leadership during her time as the Christian Education director, some of whom are grown and now have families of their own! Mary's dedication to the youth is only matched by the love she has for her family, as she spends what little free time she has with her husband Bob and her son Matt.

Barbara Habecker

Music Minister
Barbara Habecker wears many hats at First Congregational. Currently speaking (and still counting!) she is our Music Minister, choir director, organist, and bell choir director! Barb brings joy and levity to our music program, as well as a deep faith which helps shape the music ministry of the church. If you are ever interested in joining the choir or the bell choir, don’t hesitate to reach out and let her know!

Linda Matis

Administrative Secretary

Linda Matis began working at First Congregational UCC as administrative secretary in 2004. Since that time she has also taken on the responsibilities of financial secretary and church treasurer.

Linda grew up in North Ridgeville and graduated from NRHS. She attended First Congregational UCC as a child and in November 2008 rejoined the church. "I love my church family! I love being the secretary for my church and worshipping here as well."

Linda and her husband Robert were married in 1987 and they have two children, Steven and Stephanie. Outside of the church, Linda likes to read and travel.

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36363 Center Ridge Road | North Ridgeville, OH 44039 | 440-327-2921
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