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.
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.
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.