|Weldon Frederick (Fred) Wooden||Senior Minister|
I came to FSC in March 2005, coming from the First Unitarian Church in Brooklyn, New York. I served in Texas and Massachusetts before that, and spent my college and seminary days in the midwest. My wife and I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. Asked why I came here, I say, "Liberal religion has always been a minority voice, but wherever it arises, (and it can be found in everywhere), it questions the boundaries of thought, word, and deed that exist. I believe that the fundamental vision of liberal religion is that every person is a unique "child of God", and that each person has a unique "divine" gift to offer the world. Religious communities aren't for saving souls, they are for growing them."
In addition to my work at FSC, I share a weekly radio show, "Voice of the Liberal", write a blog, and am part of the Grand Rapids Urban League, among other things. I am also an occasional contributor to UU World magazine.
It has taken me a lifetime to find this vision. It will take me the rest of my life to explore its depth and power. It will take this Church, and others like it, to make it happen. If you share this hope, I hope you join us. We need all the help we can get. If you want to find out more about my ideas, check out the pages listed below. You can read my sermons, my blog, some articles I have had published, and some larger works.
|Patrick Hamrick||Executive Minister|
Rev. Patrick Hamrick has served FSC as its Executive Minister since February 2011. He joins Fred and Matthew on the FSC Executive Team and is responsible for: Operational integrity and compliance, including administrative staff oversight and employee policy compliance; Management and oversight of Stewardship and long-term financial development, including the Annual Campaign and on-going support for the Foundation; Newcomer, membership, and lay leadership oversight through supervision of the Beyond Sunday Shared Ministry Director, professional guidance of the Hospitality/Newcomer Ministry, and supporting program and ministry needs of lay leaders and groups in the Church; and internal and external communication management and oversight.
A North Carolina native, Patrick graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion and a certificate in Judaic Studies. He earned a Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School and served in Parish Ministry in Scotland and North Carolina for 19 years prior to his arrival in Grand Rapids. He is a Clergy member of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. For over 15 years he has been a Pastoral Care Specialist, (American Association of Pastoral Counselors). He is a 2010 graduate of the National Institute in Church Finance and Administration, (Candler School of Theology, Emory University), and will complete certification as a Church Business Administrator in 2012.
In addition, Patrick serves as President of the Board of Trustees of Hearts with Haiti, Inc., a U.S. non-profit that supports the work of three homes in Haiti serving former street children, former child slaves, and children with special needs. See the website at www.heartswithhaiti.org. He frequently leads groups of short-term volunteers to Haiti and speaks just enough Haitian Kreyol to be dangerous!
Patrick is married to Rev. Laura Beaver Hamrick. Their son, Dunn, is in elementary school. Patrick enjoys spending time parenting his son and supporting the arts, especially visual and performance arts. He has a special fondness for choral music and beautiful architecture.
|Ruth Hawley-Lowry||Acting Associate Minister|
|Ruth comes to Fountain Street Church via Chicago and New Jersey. She was born in Chicago and raised in Illinois. She graduated from Hope College, (majored in Religion and Psychology), Princeton Seminary, (emphasis on Ethics and Homiletics), and has taken courses at Univerity of Chicago, Jewish Theological Seminary, and Western Seminary. Her primary mentors come from the African and African-American traditions. She has pastored in the New York City area, Chicago area, and Grand Rapids area. She met her husband on a blind date in New Jersey, (he is a Facility Manager in two area churches), and loves being a mom to two teenagers. She writes "I am excited to be a part of such a vibrant and passionate Church. Fountain Street Church's demonstrated commitment to justice is impressive and compelling. I'm grateful for the welcome I've received and am eager to learn more about the wonderful people who comprise Fountain Street Church. Plus, where else can you worship with a Sanctuary full of dogs, cats, birds, and other creatures?"|
|Jason Hubbard||Acting Associate Minister for Worship & Youth|
|I was first called to serve Fountain Street church as Interim Education Minister in 2003-2005 – a time that blessed me greatly. Having served a small rural congregational church for the last 7 years, I am thrilled to return to FSC to serve as Acting Associate for Worship & Youth. I am a native Californian - graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara before moving to the Midwest in 1989 and graduating from Western Theological Seminary. I’m recently married to my beloved, Dana Lee, a local yoga teacher and traditional Indian Chai brewer. Together we have five (yes, that’s 5!) middle/high school age children. I am deeply passionate about pluralist religious education for every age. Having spent much of my youth in the theater and pursuing rock-n-roll dreams, I have a love for creative worship, a passion for working with young people, and a desire to connect it all to transformative work in the world. I enjoy yoga as spiritual practice, everything outdoors, local sustainable food, immersion travel, snow skiing, boating, and my ‘64 Corvair (Nader missed all the fun). I look forward to knowing you and learning how I might a part of your passion for Fountain Street Church.|
|David Lee Smith||Minister of Visitation|
Rev. Dr. David Lee Smith has a diverse religious background with roots in the Reformed (RCA) and Baptist (GARB) traditions. He is a graduate of Creston High School, GRCC, and Western Michigan University with a degree in Music Education.
After four years in the U.S. Air Force, (and also 30 more years in the Michigan National Guard), he worked in Grand Rapids in the telephone and computer industries. He graduated from the Chicago Theological Seminary with Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees. After a 21-year pastorate at the Burlingame Congregational United Church of Christ, in Wyoming Michigan, he completed three out-of-town interim pastor assignments and a chaplaincy at a local nursing home. He holds clergy standing in the Grand West Association (Michigan Conference) of the United Church of Christ.
Dave enjoys music, genealogy, and exploring issues related to religion, culture, politics, and world affairs. With his wife, Liz, he resides in Grandville.