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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 three awesome shaggy dogs. 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 her at

Brooke Spicer

Office Manager

Brooke joined the staff in 2008. As the Administrator/Office Manager of FCUCC, Brooke does everything from communications and editing and printing the Sunday bulletins 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 has held various office managerial and supervisory positions in her past. Brooke and her husband, Adam, have two children – a daughter and a son. She also has three younger brothers and a younger sister. You can reach Brooke by e-mailing or calling the church office, (319) 362-1926.

Cathy Intlekofer

Office Assistant

Cathy works in the office on Fridays and fills in as needed. After growing up in Des Moines, Iowa, she attended Iowa State University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Cathy is semi-retired after working at TrueNorth Companies in Cedar Rapids for 25 years. She has one daughter and son-in-law, three sons, one granddaughter and one grandson. Cathy and her husband, Jeff, renovate houses in their spare time. To contact Cathy, email

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 a wonderful grandson. You can reach him at

Cathy Bixby

Children’s Ministry Coordinator, Youth Music Director/Tone Chime & Hand Bell Director

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 grandchildren on the way. You can contact her at

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Doris Gitzy


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; her husband, John, died in 2009. You can e-mail Doris at

Iris Strong

Youth Ministry Leader

Many of you have known or known of Iris as she has been actively involved in the Boys and Girls Club, Café 361, and other activities in the First Congregational family over the last many years. We are thrilled to bring Iris’ unique set of gifts and talents to our staff and know that our youth will be blessed from her leadership. Iris leads Youth Activities for our 6th-12th grade youth.  You can reach Iris by email at