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. 


    Chuck has been a pastor for 22 years. He is passionate about his faith and relationship with Jesus. Chuck has a deep love for teaching and preaching God's Word. He has experience in youth ministry. He served as a youth pastor for the first two years of ministry. Since then he has served as a lead pastor. Family is very important to him. He is married and devoted to his lovely wife Barbi (who is also an ordained minister) Chuck and Barbi have three adult children. Their oldest is Leah who is married to Andrew, Sadie is their second child, and their youngest is Laban who is married to Jennifer. They have two grandchildren.  The Erbes currently live in Kent. EMAIL


    Doug has served at First Church since February 1992 in multiple capacities. He began as Pastor of Administration and Christian Education followed by Student Ministry Pastor  He currently serves as the Executive Pastor which helps us stay on task and ensure things are not overlooked. 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 Cooper and Boomer. 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

  • BRANDON SCHMIDTWorship Pastor & Leader

    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. EMAIL

  • CJ DORTONdirector of student ministry

    CJ grew up in the Church of God and recently graduated from Mid-America Christian University with a degree in Ministry of Leadership, where she received the James Earl Massey Preaching Award. CJ lives with her husband Westley, her dog Mateo Arthur, and her kitten Fred Rogers. In her free time she loves to listen to theology podcasts and take her dog swimming. She loves to know people deeply and share her story to help others with theirs. EMAIL

  • SUSAN WALTEROffice Manager

    As Office Manager Susan is the first point of contact for people reaching out to First Church. She works with the staff to maintain the church calendar of events,  staff meeting notes, orders supplies, maintains church management software and so much more. She has an Associate of Science degree from Ball State University. Susan and her husband (Doug Walter) enjoy the outdoors and when relaxing, snuggle with their two cats Cooper and Boomer. EMAIL

  • RYANN JAGGERCommunications Director

    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 two dogs. EMAIL


    Danielle is a lifelong member of our congregation and is an essential member of our Children's Ministry team. She is also greatly skilled in the area of financing and records all our financial transactions. EMAIL

  • Barbi Erbe | Pastor of Women’s Ministry

    Barbi has been involved in ministry for over 20 years. She was ordained by the Church of God in 2018. During the majority of this time, Barbi’s focus was student ministries. She was involved not only on the local level, but also in the district, for about 15 years. Recently, God has been leading her to women’s ministry. She sees the need for women to connect not only with God but with each other. She is excited to work with the women at First Church so that every woman will have a place to connect with other women through fellowship, discipleship and serving together while increasing their walk with the Lord. EMAIL

  • Jim South | Pastor of Visitation

    Jim has nearly 10 years experience as a youth minister in the Church of God and was ordained in September 1999. He has been married to his wife Kelly for 40 years and they have three children (Katie, Elisabeth and Lynnae) and three grandchildren. As the Visitation Pastor, Jim will provide pastoral care and regular visitation to members of the congregation who are unable to participate in worship or in the life of the congregation, generally due to health concerns or physical limitations. He also provides care when the Lead/Executive Pastors are unavailable. EMAIL