Leadership

Meet the People Who Love to Serve Our Church

Meet Our Clergy

Rev. Amy C. Gopp
Senior Pastor

The Rev. Amy C. Gopp serves as the first female senior pastor in the history of the Kent United Church of Christ. Prior to joining the KUCC, Pastor Amy responded to her calling to the work of Christ by serving as a global activist and peacemaker. Through dynamic preaching and creative teaching, she has urged God’s people to engage in compassionate service that imbues hope and Good News for all.  A committed ecumenist, Rev. Gopp most recently served as Vice President of External Relations for IMA World Health in Washington, DC.  With over two decades of experience in faith-based relief, refugee and development, she also served as the Director of Member Relations and Pastoral Care at Church World Service and as Executive Director of Week of Compassion, the relief, refugee and development fund of the Disciples of Christ.  A passionate activist for gender justice and girls and women’s education and empowerment, Gopp is one of the key founding leaders of the interfaith We Will Speak Out U.S. coalition and campaign to end sexual and gender-based violence.  She now serves as the President of the Faith Trust Institute’s Board of Directors and on the Safer Futures Domestic Violence and Resource Center Advisory Board in Portage County, Ohio.

Rev. Kim Nagy
Minister of Faith Formation

The Rev. Kim Nagy serves as the Minister of Faith Formation at Kent United Church of Christ. She grew up in Dover, Ohio, and graduated from Malone University in Canton with a bachelor's degree in Educational Ministries. In 2018 she graduated from Chicago Theological Seminary with an MDiv. Kim served as the Director of Christian Education and Youth in Uniontown, Ohio, and Director of Evangelism and Spiritual Growth in Elburn, Illinois, before coming to Kent in August 2018. She serves on several faith formation teams at the association, conference, and regional levels in the United Church of Christ and is a proud member of the Association of United Church Educators. Kim and her wife, Amanda, live in Lakewood with their two cats, Bingley and Jane. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring new places, reading biographies, and porch-sitting.

Greetings from Our Staff

Corey Fowler
Director of Music

Corey Fowler has been the Director of Music and Organist at Kent UCC since 2015 and the Director of Choirs at Roosevelt High School in Kent since 2012. He is also the Assistant Director of the Cleveland Chamber Choir, the premier professional choir in Cleveland. Corey received his bachelors in music education and earned a masters degree in choral conducting, both from Kent State. He also studied organ with Dr. Daniel Laginya at St. Columba Cathedral. He lives in Kent, Ohio with his wife, Katie, a classical vocalist and voice teacher, his daughters Clara and Nora, and two rescue pets.

Leslie Madden
Handbell Choir Director

Leslie L. Madden is a 1990 graduate of Field High School. A lover of music she went on to play euphonium and trombone at Kent State, where she earned a Bachelor Degree in Music with a  Minor in Secondary Education . In 2002 she earned a Masters Degree from the University of Akron. She started her career teaching general music in 1996 in the Cleveland area parochial schools. From 1997 to present she has taught instrumental music for the Akron Public Schools. She has been a member of the Kent UCC since 2000, and currently lives in Kent with her two children, Jessica (17) and Sam (20), and husband Jim of 24 years. Leslie has been the Kent United Church of Christ Bell Choir Director for 19 years. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her friends and family and traveling.

Rhuna Wall
Children’s Worship Team Director

Rhuna Wall is a recent graduate of Miami University. During her time there, she studied vocal performance and music education. Her main focus was in choral and general music education for students in grades K-12. Rhuna grew up at the Kent UCC, participating in the children’s choir, the chancel choir, and the UYF. Upon returning to her hometown of Kent to continue her studies in nursing at Kent State University, she couldn’t wait to use her knowledge and skills in music and education to contribute back to her beloved church community!

Leah Davis
Administrative Assistant

Leah Davis – Administrative Assistant, has worked at Kent UCC since November of 2017. Prior to coming to Kent UCC, she worked for American Friends Service Committee, an international Quaker-based social action organization, for just under 10 years. Prior to that she was a Title II Case Manager at a local HIV/AIDS service organization, Violet’s Cupboard.

Leah graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Akron in 2003 with her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work.  Throughout her college years, she earned numerous accolades and distinctions. In 2004 Leah went on to obtain her licensure (LSW) the following year.

Over the years Leah helped to create, formulate, and emulate the only LGBT youth program in Akron, Ohio at the former Akron Pride Center. She participated in fundraising and grant writing for the Pride Center as well as other local agencies and non-profits. The youth program was recognized nationally in Newsweek in 2003, as well as being featured in the Akron Beacon Journal, and Gay People’s Chronicle. Leah has developed and presented workshops as well to social work professionals, non-profits, schools, guidance counselors, universities, and health-care workers on LGBT issues, LGBT youth, and HIV and AIDS. 

Leah resides in Cuyahoga Falls and is a professional musician and paranormal investigator in her free time. 

Heather Cronin
Financial Administrator

Heather is a Graduate of Cuyahoga Community College. She has her Associates of Applied Business in Accounting. She also received her Bookkeeping and Payroll Certifications. Heather's previous experience is in customer service, office management and accounting. She grew up with a love for numbers and followed up with a career using numbers! She loves to use her knowledge and help others. Heather and her boyfriend currently live in Brady Lake with a combined total of 5 kids and their dog named Boujee. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family. On the weekends they are usually somewhere off-roading. Some of her interests include cars, food, animals, and the outdoors. 

Don Deibler
Custodian

A Pennsylvanian by birth, Don has lived in several states. He graduated from Bible college in Iowa and eventually moved to California, where he met and married his lovely wife Pamela. In 2005 they moved to Brimfield, Ohio. They have four children, ages 11 to 18 years old. Don has been employed at the church since 2010. He has extensive custodial experience and has also, in the past, worked with mentally challenged individuals. He likes working at Kent UCC, where he feels respected and appreciated. Don enjoys good working relationships with both church staff and active church members.

Don's interests include Bible reading and study and interaction with his Adult Bible Fellowship at church. He enjoys hiking with his family and bicycling with his youngest daughter. Bird watching and nature photography are two of his greatest passions. He also watches Hallmark Mysteries with his wife.

Meet Our Lay Leadership

Church Officers

Updated 2020

Moderator — Jaime Baughman

Vice Moderator — Jeffrey Roeger

Clerk — Barbara Hanniford

Treasurer — Kay Hansford

Council

Updated 2020

Moderator — Jaime Baughman
Vice Moderator — Jeff Roeger
Treasurer — Kay Hansford
Clerk — Barb Hanniford
Diaconate — Don Bubenzer
Education — Becky Dunlap
Fellowship — Julie Wallace
Finance — Dick Symons
Nominating — Jen Case
Outreach — Terri Silver
Personnel — Michael Spayd
Property — John Hetrick and Marilyn Sorrick
Stewardship — Karen Carmany
Worship & the Arts — Glenn Hanniford
Youth Representative — Leah Bennington
Member At Large — Barbara Werstler

Our Leadership Philosophy

We believe the Holy Spirit moves among the gathered community, “inspiring” all believers with a variety of gifts, calling us all to witness and service. In our church we emphasize the model found in the second chapter of The Acts of the Apostles where God’s Holy Spirit moves among all the gathered believers. Like the Protestant reformers, we affirm “the priesthood of all believers.” We believe that our Christian faith calls us into direct relationship with God, a relationship for which we are responsible as individuals and as a community. Therefore, our form of church governance is “Congregationalist.” Every member of the congregation is called to invest time, talent, and treasure in the Christian ministry we share. The congregational meeting of church members makes decisions about our mission and ministry, our budget and other commitments, and calls ordained ministers to serve among us as pastors and teachers.

Ministries, Council and officers elected by the congregational meeting organize the work of the church with our pastors and other staff. We encourage every member to take some role in advancing the ministry of the church as we aim to live out the Gospel mission.

Officers and council chairs of the church may be contacted by e-mail office@kentucc.org or telephone (330) 673-9534