Our Leadership

Jesus is our leader.  His leadership inspires the leadership you will find at First Church.  Our leaders are all committed to loving, worshipping and following Jesus.  Believing that Jesus comes first shapes the way our staff works together and serves the body. 

  • Lead Pastor: Josh Deeter

    Pastor Josh has a passion for teaching the Bible, leading the church and seeing lives changed when they encounter Jesus.  Josh has earned a bachelor's degree in Bible and Religion from Anderson University and has a Master's of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School at Samford University.  He lives in Tallmadge with this wife Emily, children Judah, Evelyn and JT and their Golden Retriever, Opal. Email.

  • STUDENT Pastor: Doug Walter

    Doug has served at First Church since February 1992 in multiple capacities. He currently serves as the Pastor of Student Ministry. Doug coordinates our Students' ministry team. Doug is also a member of the Northeast Ohio Student Board which plans four major events through out the year (Winter Retreat, Spring Overnighter, Student Camp and Fall Rally). He is a graduate of Anderson University and Ashland Theological Seminary. He and his beautiful wife, Susan, live in Tallmadge with their cats Tucker and Cooper. Email.


    Mindy is excited to partner with our children's department to help empower and equip them to impact the children to know God and build His kingdom. She has a degree in General Arts & Science with a focus in Social & Behavioral Science. Her studies were concentrated in child development and women's studies. Mindy and her husband Wayne live in Streetsboro. They have two children, Max and Faith. Email.

  • Office Manager: Brenda SMith

    Brenda has worked at First Church since 1998. She has been the Office Manager since 2007. Her job consists of keeping the pastors in line and their heads on straight. She has been an active part of our church for many years.  She has three married children; Brian, Matthew and Michelle and eight grandchildren. Email.

  • Communications Director: Ryann Jagger

    As Communications Director Ryann works with the staff to ensure the congregation is fully informed and excited about our mission. Ryann has nearly 20 years of experience in communications and design. She is an active member and volunteer at her Lutheran church in Hudson and is also passionate about being a Girls on the Run coach for middle school girls. Ryann is married to Jeff with three kids, two cats and one dog. Email.

  • Worship Pastor & Leader: Brandon Schmidt

    Brandon coordinates Sunday morning worship services and works with all Serve Teams involved—worship team, sound team, screen team and helps direct our online streaming. Brandon was born and raised in the Massillon area, and grew up in the Church of God.  Brandon has led worship for more than 20 years and has a passion for ministering through music and songwriting. For the last five years he served as Student Ministries Pastor at Forty Corners COG. Brandon has a heart for seeing young people become rooted in Jesus and growing into who God created them to be. Brandon is also a freelance graphic designer and photographer. He enjoys being an uncle to six nieces and nephews, laughing with friends, being outside, and playing with his dog, Jimmy.