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

So that all may be one

Our building may be old, but our thinking is not

Our Staff

Rev. Tony Clark

Interim Minister

Rev. Clark comes to us from Lakewood, Ohio. With a Master of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, he currently works at the UCC National Ministries (MESA) to train and support Committees on Ministry. He teaches Theology, has worked with many congregations to develop relationships, modernize worship, transition Open & Affirming into the church environment, helped to bring peace and understanding to members in strained relationships, worked to develop youth leadership and much more, as we will see. Rev. Clark has been a full-time minister in Kensington, CA, a full-time interim minister in St. Paul and Minneapolis, MN, a full-time Associate Minister in Duluth, MN. He is a hard worker and promises to bring new ideas to the table as well as comfort and well-being to our souls through his Bible-based sermons to enlighten us on Sunday mornings.

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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