Pastor Joel Bucklin – Senior Pastor
Pastor Joel began serving as senior pastor of First Church in July 2016. He previously worked as the youth pastor and associate pastor at the United Church of Huntington in Wellington, Ohio from 2009-2016. He has a passion for studying and teaching God’s Word, and seeing people incorporate their faith into their everyday lives.
Joel is originally from Western New York. He attended Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana and Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Bible & Religion and Mathematics, and his Master of Divinity with a concentration in the Old Testament.
Joel is married to his beautiful wife Alie. She is a special education teacher in Celina City Schools. Together they have one daughter named Josephine, who just turned two in 2016. In his spare time, Joel loves to spend time with his family, read, and follow sports.
“Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33
Tory Russell – Director of Children and Youth
Tory Russell began working at First Church in July of 2015. She graduated from North Park University in Chicago with a double major in Youth Ministry & Biblical and Theological Studies. At North Park, Tory interned at three different churches through out her four years before signing on to be the Director of Children & Youth at First Church after graduation. She has a passion for the Lord and for children and youth. She loves helping children and students know and grow in their relationship with Christ. Tory recently got engaged to Jake Breitigan and they plan to get married in October of 2017. In her free time Tory likes to cook, read, spend time with friends, and spend time in Michigan with her family on the lake.
Connie Schroer – Office Manager
Connie Schroer joined the staff at First Church in early 2006. She is married to Allen Schroer and they are parents to Zane who will be a senior in high school next year. She is the Office Manager & Treasurer and is responsible for all aspects of the office and finances of the church. Connie is in the office from 8am to 3pm M-F.
Susie Reineke – Assistant Secretary
Susie Reineke joined First Church in August of 2007. Susie is married to Stan Reineke and they are parents to Morgan, Marcus, and Meg. Her responsibilities include the monthly newsletter, special projects, answering phones, answering questions, and any other tasks required in the office. Susie works 2 to 3 days per week from 8 am to 3 pm.
Erik Hirschfeld – Music Director
Erik joined the staff of First Church in 2005. He is responsible for direction of the vocal and bell choirs, music selection and scheduling. He is married to Janna and they are parents to Audrey, Mitchell, Clinton, Victoria and Weston. They have 7 grandchildren. Erik is a mail carrier for the US Post Office by day. In their spare time they raise German Shepherds. One thing most people don’t know about Erik is that he is a square dance caller!
Sharon Chaney – Pianist
Sharon began serving First Church in 2013 as accompanist for the choir, bell choir and vocalists in the music program. She is also a full time piano instructor and accompanist for many local schools and musical organizations. She is married to Robert and they are parents to Rob, Erica, Ben and Caitlin. They have 4 grandchildren and one on the way!
Building Maintenance Staff
Greg & Lori Kremer
Greg & Lori joined First Church as staff members in 2016. They took over the job of daily care, cleaning and maintenance of the church and ministry center buildings. They also set up for events and make sure those who use the facilities have a great experience. Both also serve the church in volunteer roles. Greg helps run the sound system on Sunday mornings and Lori prepares amazing meals for our Wonderful Wednesday program each year during Lent.