1005 Giddings Avenue S.E.
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506
Rev. Ruth Fitzgerald, Pastor
Ruth was ordained in the UCC in 2009. She has served churches in West Michigan since her days as a Director of Christian Education in 1997. She even served as an intern here here at East Congregational in 2007 where she made many acquaintences.
She has served the First Congregational Church in Shelby, Michigan as pastor since 2009. As a widowed single mother of two adult children she found herself fulfilling a lifelong yearning to serve God's church. Because her attributes and abilities meshed so perfectly with our needs and desires, it is our fortunate circumstance and blessing that she responded to our call for a permanent pastor.
Director of Music & Arts Ministries
Director of Christian
Jameson Thompson, Director of Music & Arts Ministries
Jameson joined the ECC staff in October, 2016. Originally from Petoskey and Harbor Springs, he first played the organ for a service when he was only 12. He studied Music with a pipe organ emphasis at Calvin College and hopes to continue his education at Grand Valley State University to add a Business Management / Communications degree to his accomplishments.
Those of us at East are very excited about the new energy that Jameson brings to our worship services and weddings, and the inspiration he brings to our choirs. Come to East to hear Jameson bring our organs to life.
Jessica Kenworthy, Handbell Director
Jessica Kenworthy has been a member at East since the day she was born. She comes from a large family of East Church members and music enthusiasts. Her music instruction at East began as a toddler in the Cherub Choir and continues today as a member of the Chancel Choir. As a teenager, she was a member of the Sanctuary Bell Choir and fell in love with handbells. She also played flute in her middle and high school bands. Even though Jessica has a passion for music, she graduated from Grand Valley State University with a degree in Cell and Molecular Biology in 2011. She fulfills her need for music by singing in the choir and leading the newly formed bell choir at East. Rehearsals are Sundays after church, and anyone with basic music-reading skills is welcome to join (even if you’ve never rung a handbell before).
Becca Johnson, Director of Christian Education
Becca took the helm as Director of Christian Education on June 1, 2017. She has been a member of East Church since birth and comes from a family that is very active here. We are thrilled that she will be ensuring that our children are engaged and excited to learn about life in the love of Jesus.
Youth Ministries Director
Bren Elliott, Youth Ministries Director
We are excited introduce Bren Elliott to our staff at ECC. She received her Bachelor of Ministry Leadership degree from Cornerstone University and holds degrees in Human Services as well as American Sign Language.
Bren and her husband Tom raised their three sons in beautiful Traverse City where she worked in the public school system as a Sign Language Interpreter for the Deaf. She and Tom spent three years in Muskegon where Bren went back to school again and worked at Sanctuary at McAuley as an activities coordinator. Two and half years ago, a job opportunity for her husband brought them to Grand Rapids and East Church is blessed she is here!
She brings to us years of experience working with youth from all walks of life, with a special talent and passion for bridging the gap between mainstream youth and mentally, emotionally, and physically challenged youth. She feels, “It is important that in our faith we celebrate our differences and find value in the gifts God gives to each of us.”
Bren believes there are multiple ways to reach people with the word of Christ and who better to start with than the youth of our church here at ECC?!
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Cathy Thomas, Office Administrator
Cathy is a retired I.T. Manager for the State of Michigan and came to us in August of 2016 when she was looking for meaningful ways to serve God. She lives in the Lansing area, has two grown sons and three dachshunds. She served for four years as an office administrator at her Methodist church in Eagle.
Curtis Prussner, Custodian
Curtis' unofficial title is Minister of Maintenance since he has been serving East Church for over 20 years!