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Jerry Morris began as lead pastor of Lake Street UMC in July of 2017. Jerry grew up in Singapore, where his parents were missionaries,
and went to college in Oklahoma and seminary in Kentucky. He and his wife
Rebecca have been in Wisconsin since 1998. Before becoming a pastor, Jerry was
a professor of Hebrew Bible at both the college and seminary levels. He is also
the author of a series of Young Adult books set within the world of Arthurian
legend (“The Squire’s Tales”). From both perspectives – Hebrew Bible scholar
and novelist – Jerry believes deeply that we need less theological debate and
more storytelling in church.
Jerry and Rebecca have three adult children:
William, Ethan, and Grace.
Ellen has been working at Lake Street since 1972. After graduating from UW-Eau Claire with a Bachelor of Business Administration, she received a call a few months following graduation that Lake Street was looking for someone special to manage the office. A friday interview turned into the first day of work on Monday and Ellen has been our Administrative Secretary ever since. A lover of the beauty of the Chippewa Valley, she enjoys outdoor activities such as gardening, yard work, and taking short walks. She is avidly involved in bowling activities on the local, state, and national levels. Ellen and her sister, Marcia, own a small home on the East Hill along with their two kitties, Peaches and Misty.
HAS BEEN A MEMBER OF LAKE STREET UMC FOR 30 YEARS AS A PART OF HER
“AWESOME JOURNEY TOWARDS GOD’S LOVE. AS THE MINISTRY COORDINATOR, SHE
HELPS TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH BY HELPING
THEM DISCOVER WHERE AND HOW TO USE THEIR GIFTS TO SERVE AND SHARE GOD’S
LOVE WITH OTHERS WITHIN THE CHURCH AND IN THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE. BLOOD
DRIVES, COMMUNITY MEALS, WORKING WITH YOUTH, TALKING TO STUDENTS AT
UWEC; THERE IS A PLACE TO USE YOUR GIFTS AND CHRIS WILL HELP YOU FIND
THAT PLACE. CHRIS HAS A BACKGROUND IN TEACHING AND SPENDS MOST OF HER TIME VOLUNTEERING IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, HER CHURCH, AND THE COMMUNITY.
I bring to you many years of experience as an organist, choir director and accompanist,
and a worship and music coordinator of both traditional and contemporary music. Over
the years of serving different churches, I’ve learned how important it is to listen and
accept suggestions not only from other staff, but also from the members of the
I have played the piano since nine years old, and spent
my middle, high school and college years studying solo piano repertoire, alongside
accompanying choirs, musicals and instrumentalists. I finished a degree in history at
Marshall University, worked as a paralegal for a decade in Ohio and West Virginia, then
was a stay-at-home parent for another decade with my five children in Madison.
I have had the chance to work with many
instrumentalists and vocalists on more than forty different collaborative projects. I
accompanied the University Women’s Choir for a year. I have taken on many piano
students of differing skill levels and ages, including a preschool student and a retired
nurse. I am thrilled at the opportunities I have to pursue music in Eau Claire, and am
very much looking forward to fulfilling the role of one of Lake Street United Methodist’s
REV. RICHARD B. (RICK) BROWN RETIRED FROM FULL TIME MINISTRY IN 2010, AFTER SERVING 10-1/2 YEARS AS A LICENSED LOCAL PASTOR WITHIN THE DETROIT ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH. IN 2015 RICK ACCEPTED THE ROLE OF PASTOR OF VISITATION FOR LAKE STREET CHURCH.
RICK WAS RAISED IN MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, EARNING HIS DEGREE IN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA. IN THE SPRING OF 1971 HE MARRIED RANDI TOMMERAAS, AND A FEW WEEKS LATER HE WAS COMMISSIONED A SECOND LIEUTENANT IN THE USAF. AT SUMMER’S END HE WAS CALLED TO ACTIVE DUTY, EARNING HIS WINGS AS A USAF PILOT. DURING A 20 YEAR MILITARY CAREER HE SAW DUTY AS A PILOT, ENGINEER, EXECUTIVE OFFICER, AND COMMANDER, QUALIFIED IN SIX DIFFERENT AIRCRAFT TYPES, COMPLETED AN ADVANCED DEGREE IN ELECTRICAL AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING, BEING STATIONED WITHIN THE US, ASIA, AND EUROPE.
My parents moved to Eau Claire in 1956 and brought my sister and I along. They joined Lake Street, a church I grew up in. As a kid I went to Sunday school, was in the youth choir and active in MYF. I married Marleine in 1971 and we moved to California where we enjoyed a couple of years while I was serving in the Navy. We moved back to Eau Claire in 1973 and started a family (we have 2 children and 2 grand children). I worked at that time at Community State Bank where I stayed 26 years. In 1999, I went back to school and received a master's degree in guidance and counseling. In 2002, I became the school counselor for Plum City School District. I retired in 2010. I enjoy fishing, gardening, our place on the Chippewa Flowage, photography, family and friends.
Aaron joined the Lake Street team in April of 2016 as Communication Facilitator. In this role, he manages and coordinates the ways in which Lake Street communicates with its members and with the outside world. He manages all websites, social media, radio broadcasts, and worship presentations. Outside of Lake Street, he is a Media Specialist for the Eau Claire Area School District. A native of Fort Atkinson, Wi, Aaron Moved to the Chippewa Valley in 2012.
I’m Kenna Szymanski. I graduated from CVTC with a degree in early childhood education. I’ve been working with children and families for about 8 years now and I’m so excited to expand that further by being the children’s ministry coordinator here at Lake street. In addition to now being the children’s ministry coordinator here, I own a childcare center out of my home. I'm married to my wonderful husband Brian. We have an extraordinary son, Franklin, and a Great Dane puppy, Arthur.