Rev. melanie van weelden

senior minister

Melanie grew up in Cedar Rapids and is happy to be serving back in the city of Five Seasons (even though she’s not exactly sure what the deal is with the whole fifth season thing). She and husband Brian have three daughters and live in Cedar Rapids along with two awesome shaggy dogs and a cat. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Arts Management from Culver-Stockton College and her Masters of Divinity from Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, OK. You can e-mail Melanie here.

rev. dr. curt miner

pastoral care pastor

After a lifetime of loving theater and the Dodgers, Curt is a welcome addition to First Congregational and is here to provide pastoral care for those who are in need. He also works on communications for the church.  He received his BA from Northern Arizona, his MDiv from Pacific School of Religion and his DMin from Claremont School of Theology. You can reach Curt here.

brooke spicer

executive administrator

Brooke joined the staff in 2008. As the Administrator/Office Manager of FCUCC, Brooke does everything from communications and writing the newsletter to accounting. Brooke grew up in Cedar Rapids and graduated from Washington High School. She attended Kirkwood Community College and the University of Northern Iowa. She held various office managerial and supervisory positions in her past. Brooke has two children – a daughter and a son.  You can reach her by e-mailing here or calling the church office at (319) 362-1926.

dr. gerald kreitzer

chancel choir director

Dr. Kreitzer conducts the Chancel Choir, comprised of adults with a wide range of musical backgrounds, a position he has held since 1999. He also maintains the church’s music library. Professionally, Dr. Kreitzer is Director of Music Activities at Mount Mercy University and Artist Director of the Cedar Rapids Concert Chorale in Cedar Rapids. He earned a DMA in Musical Arts from the University of Iowa. He and his wife, Kelley, have four daughters and grandchildren. You can reach Gerry here.

Cathy bixby

children's ministry coordinator/handbells/youth music

Cathy coordinates the preschool-5th grade Sunday School education program.  Also, as Director of the Youth Music Program, Cathy works with young people in preschool through twelfth grade by creating opportunities to sing, play instruments, and socialize. As Hand Bell Director, Cathy leads adults, with and without hand bell experience, to play approximately six times a year. A graduate of Coe College, Cathy holds a Bachelor of Music degree. Except for a 15-month absence, Cathy has been leading music at First Congregational Church since 1983. She and her husband, Paul, have a growing family of three children, 2 sons-in-law and five grandchildren. You can contact her here.

iris strong

youth ministry leader

A fixture in the Cedar Rapids community, Ms. Iris is mentor and leader to more children than can be counted. She holds a BA in Elementary Education from Mt. Mercy University and brings a wealth of gifts and talents to our young people. Iris leads Youth Activities for our 6th-12th grade youth.  You can reach Iris by email here.

doris gitzy

pianist and organist

After serving for more than 20 years as a substitute organist, Doris was named to the full-time position in 1997. A native of Buckingham, Iowa, Doris began playing piano in her hometown church when she was 12 years old. She holds a B.A. in Education from the University of Northern Iowa and Bachelor of Arts in Music from Coe College. She worked at Coe College from 1981 until her retirement in 2006 as Assistant to the Dean of Faculty. In 2010 she returned to part-time work in the president’s office at the college but retired again in 2015. Doris has three sons.  You can e-mail Doris here.

Jeff Binger

Building maintenance custodian

Jeff was born at St Luke's in Cedar Rapids.  He grew up in Marion and graduated from Linn-Mar High School.  Jeff currently lives in Cedar Rapids.  He enjoys playing the drums.  Jeff really enjoys working here at FCUCC and helping us to maintain our building! You can reach Jeff HERE.