Our Ministry Team

Working closely with the Church Council, Leadership Teams, and mission leaders,
the Ministry Team helps implement the day-to-day mission and ministry of the congregation.

  • Rev. Hank Fairman

    Senior Pastor

    Pastor Hank is on Sabbatical from May 20, 2025 through August 19, 2024. Please contact the church office with any pastoral or administrative needs during this period.

    You are welcomed and encouraged to follow his rest, renewal, and reflections on his blog:


    His covenant is to post “pretty regularly” (though he may not reply back to comments).

    The Rev. Henry E. “Hank” Fairman was called as the eighteenth Senior Pastor of St. John UCC on August 7, 2016. His ministry with the congregation began on September 1, 2016.

    Pastor Hank has served United Church of Christ congregations in Illinois, Michigan, and Virginia as well as spending many years with the Ohio Conference UCC Outdoor Ministries. He has had regular involvement with the wider church in local, regional and national settings of the UCC, especially in ministries related to children’s ministry and youth ministry.

    Rev. Fairman was born in Rockford, Illinois and raised in southern Virginia, Michigan and Ohio. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University focusing on the art, history, and religion of the ancient Near East. He received his Master of Divinity from Chicago Theological Seminary with emphasis on youth ministry and pastoral care. Hank has a passion for investigating the transitional moments in our personal lives and congregational life, and how they inform and challenge our growing and evolving faith.

    Hank and his wife Christina are the proud parents of Elliot. Hank enjoys engaging the outdoors with his family, working on local and regional affordable housing projects, reading too many books, and sharing his passion for music. Hank and Christina also enjoy touring the byways by motorcycle.

  • Rev. Rachel Kirk

    Pastor for Community and Mission   

    The Rev. Rachel Lohmann Kirk has served as Pastor for Community and Mission since September 2020. She is a lifelong member of the United Church of Christ and was ordained by the Florida Conference of the UCC in January 2022. Originally from Gainesville, Florida, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Grinnell College and her Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt Divinity School. She then completed a Clinical Pastoral Education Residency at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, Colorado, serving for one year as a chaplain there.

    At St. John UCC, Rachel promotes faith formation for all ages and coordinates justice work within and beyond the congregation. She is also the Director of HELIX Youth Outreach, an afterschool program for middle school youth promoting Social/Emotional Learning. A proud Millennial and LGBTQ+ leader, she is passionate about promoting intergenerational communities, providing spiritual care to individuals and groups, and lifelong learning as a cornerstone of Christian faith.

    Rachel enjoys hiking, gardening, and short-lived craft projects. 

    You can contact Rachel directly at 352-215-7135 or email her by clicking this link.

  • Rev. Ted Michalsen

    Sabbatical Pastor, May-August 2024

    Rev. Ted Michalsen joins us in late May as our Sabbatical Pastor. His time with us will support the Ministry Teams through the Sabbatical Period, sharing in worship leadership and pastoral care with the congregation.

    Pastor Ted is a close friend (and neighbor!) of our congregation, currently teaching art and art history at Aquin Schools. 

    Ted is an ordained minister in the UnitedChurch of Christ, serving in local church ministry for fifteen years.

  • Pamela  Wessel

    Director of Congregational Life

    Pam's gifts in ministry enrich the life of our congregation as she discerns the gifts of the people and helps them match their gifts with the ministries and missions of the church. Pam's organizational skills direct the events of the church and her caring manner reaches out to members and non-members alike.

    Pam is married to Dan and they enjoy spending their time with family, doing fun activities together in the outdoors. 

    Email Pam

  • Randy Cook

    Principal Musician and Accompanist

    Randy joined the Music Ministry team in March 2019. He is an IT specialist by profession, but his passion is music. He served Embury UMC as organist for 26 years and is accompanist for the Freeport Choral Society. His gifts include in accompanying our choirs, leading our service music, and offering special music on the organ and piano.

  • Carson Meyers

    Creative Media Specialist

    Carson earned her bachelor's degree in education and taught English and ESL in local school districts before making a career switch to communications. Carson currently serves as the creative media specialist at St. John UCC, focusing her talents to promote the mission, values, and events within the schedule, social media, and communications. Carson is engaged to David and enjoys spending their time with family, doing fun outdoor activities.