Pastors & Staff

Rev. Nanette Pitt
Senior Minister
Email: nanette.pitt@akronfcc.org

Reverend Nanette Pitt is a dynamic preacher, engaging teacher and gifted pastoral leader who brings a deep faith, diverse skills and an all-around aptitude to her ministry. Nanette is Rev Nanette Pittpassionate about spreading the good news of God’s love, peace and justice and believes the church has a vital role to play in society, offering an experience of authentic community and connectedness to God, self, and other.

Nanette has years of experience as an award-winning theatre professional, directing, producing and performing in a wide range of critically acclaimed stage productions in South Africa and Boston, Mass. In addition, she has run her own business and worked extensively in the church as she discerned a call to ordained ministry. She graduated with highest academic honors from Simmons College in 2008 and from Andover Newton Theological School in 2012. At both institutions she was recognized with numerous awards and inducted into the prestigious Jonathan Edwards Honors Society at Andover Newton.

As a scholar her work has spanned transnational studies and theology with a strong focus on social justice and gender studies. Born and raised in South Africa her awareness of oppression came about at a young age and her passion for bringing about social change was ignited.

Nanette describes herself as a “relationally-oriented leader and community builder, empathically caring while holding fast to a visioning and empowering ethic.” She brings a “prophetic sense of future-possibility” to her leadership and deeply values the Congregationalist tradition.

Before being called to First Church, Nanette served as Acting Associate Pastor of First Church, West Hartford, Conn. where her duties ranged from preaching to offering visitation and pastoral care, working with committees and providing leadership to programs such as Confirmation and small groups for senior members. In her ministry with the Forward in Faith, Communications and Parish Care teams, Nanette was credited with introducing many exciting new initiatives including a new church website and logo, a covenanted space and ministry sharing relationship with a Hispanic congregation, and programming such as a weekly Prayer Circle and monthly Celtic Evening Eucharist.

Nanette lives in Highland Square with her husband, the Reverend Steven Savides. Steven is a PhD student at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, where his concentration is Theology and Peace Studies. He has served as Senior Minister of two congregations of the United Church of Christ and is a former journalist, having worked for The Christian Science Monitor (Boston), The Eastern Province Herald (Port Elizabeth, SA) and The Pretoria News (Pretoria, SA).

Antigone Lowery
Associate Minister
Email: antigone.lowery@akronfcc.org

Antigone is a motivated pastor who is passionate about discipleship and making disciples. Her love for God and the church is rooted in her experience as a youth ministry student and teacher, and she cares deeply about ministering to people of all ages and from all walks of life. She is driven by a deep desire to love and serve others the way that Jesus did, with authenticity and selflessness.

In addition to her love for the local church, Antigone is passionate about ministering to those in the Armed Forces and currently serves as an Army Reserve Chaplain. It was in the military where her desire to share the love of God with service members and their families was amplified, and she believes that it also increased her desire to serve the local church.

Antigone earned a Bachelor of Arts from Judson University in 2012 and Master of Divinity with honors from Alliance Theological Seminary in May 2018. Antigone is currently in the process of becoming an ordained minister with the United Church of Christ. After graduating from seminary, Antigone served as the Transitional Minister for the United Church of Spring Valley in Spring Valley, New York where she was responsible for preaching, pastoral care, and other administrative concerns. She has also served as a youth ministry leader and led AWANA programs for middle school and high school aged students.

Along with her younger sister, Antigone grew up in Denton, Texas, a suburb just north of Dallas-Fort Worth. There, she developed a love for tennis which she also played competitively in college. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, attending sporting events, and CrossFit.

Antigone comes to First Church eager to learn, eager to serve, and most of all eager to love everyone that she encounters.

Rev. William O. Rodefer
Associate Pastor Emeritus

Program Staff

Julie Lehman
Choir Director & Organist (11am worship)
Email: julie.lehman@akronfcc.org

Dave Aberth
Musician & Vocalist (9:30am worship)
Email: firerider@yahoo.com

Christine Allison
Handbell Choir Director
Email: cdanotes@gmail.com

Valerie Niese Stewart
Children’s Choir Director
Email: valerieniese@aol.com

Mary Ann Gray
Childcare Worker

Jessica Busson
Childcare Worker

Kalie Hasson
Childcare Worker

Administrative Staff

Janis Worley
Finance and Operations Manager
Email: janis.worley@akronfcc.org

Kasey Kalchert
Congregational Life Coordinator
Email: kasey.kalchert@akronfcc.org

Patricia Durkos
Administrative and Financial Assistant
Email: patty.durkos@akronfcc.org

Building and Grounds Staff

Debbie Riley
Food Service and Cleaning Coordinator
Email: debbie.riley@akronfcc.org

Russ Gaippe
Facility Maintenance Coordinator
Email: russ.gaippe@akronfcc.org

Darren Jones-Baker
Event Support Staff & Cleaner