Meet Our Staff
John C. Lentz, Jr., M.Div., Ph.D.
Pastor & Head of Staff
John joined the staff as Senior Pastor in 1994. Originally from Winchester, Virginia, he, his wife Deanne, and their 3 children quickly made their mark on Forest Hill.
John focuses on helping people accept and live into the fact that they are beloved children of God, and on nurturing the development of a spirit in people that helps bring about change. “I want people to enjoy their faith and their life, to celebrate and take risks. Then we can work together with energy and joy for each other and our community.”
A graduate of Kenyon College, Yale University, and Edinburgh University in Scotland, John enjoys and encourages discussion and participation in activities that impact the community. He may be found on the stage of Cleveland Heights High School competing in a spelling bee for Reaching Heights, announcing for local sports teams, or helping to organize forums on the public schools. Whether preaching, baptizing an infant, officiating at a wedding, cheering on the FHC softball team, or supporting various Cleveland Heights and regional activities, he is spirited and enthusiastic, and his message is personalized and upbeat.
Rev. Lois Annich
Interim Associate Pastor
Lois is delighted to serve Forest Hill as one of the Interim Associate Pastors. She has had a long and varied career in ministry– serving in congregations, hospitals, alcohol treatment units, and pastoral counseling centers. A graduate of Middlebury College and Yale Divinity School, Lois is a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, a certified member of the International Coach Federation, and a yoga teacher. Lois recently graduated from Auburn Seminary’s Coaching Program and gets really excited about helping faith leaders and churches find ways to sustain themselves personally and professionally. Lois is married to Richard Israel, a Lutheran pastor who serves at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights. They take much delight in their two grown children and quirky rescue dog, and try not to pass up any opportunities to enjoy live theater, the movies, and time walking in nature.
Lois loves preaching, teaching, pastoral care and counseling and is thrilled for the opportunity to collaborate with the gifted Forest Hill Church staff!
Interim Associate Pastor
Newly graduated, newly married, Rachel knows a lot about transition! As one of Forest Hill Church’s interim pastors, she sees her role to be attentive to this transitional time in the life of Forest Hill, and is looking forward to walking alongside the congregation as leadership changes. She plans to poke around in all sorts of dusty corners (both literal and figurative) and ask lots of questions in order to support both members and staff brush up on communicating clearly with one another and with people
outside of the church. You’ll find her frequently hanging around with youth and young adults.
Rachel is delighted to be back at Forest Hill!
Anne Wilson, M.M., F.A.G.O., Ch.M.
Director of Music & Organist
Anne has been Director of Music at Forest Hill since 1993 and Organist since 1989. Equally at home with the children’s choir, the youth choir, the adult choir and the bell choir, she runs from one group to the next with energy and enthusiasm. (Read more about our choirs and the music program.)
Anne earned her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees (Organ Performance) from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and holds the American Guild of Organists’ highest honors: the Fellowship and Choirmaster certificates. She has composed many pieces of music and has been featured on WCLV’s Not the Dead, White, Male Composers Hour, as well as National Public Radio’s “Pipedreams” program.
Active in the greater Cleveland musical community, Anne is rehearsal pianist for Apollo’s Fire and founder of the Greater Cleveland Classical Guitar Society. She also accompanies the Cleveland Heights High School Vocal Music groups and mentors many young musicians.
Anne has taken first or second prizes in seven national and international organ competitions and is a nationally known recitalist and workshop leader. Recital venues have included Washington’s National Cathedral, New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, California’s Crystal Cathedral, and Cleveland’s Severance Hall. Anne raised two daughters and has resided in Cleveland Heights for over 20 years. More information is available on her website.
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Director of Youth Ministries
Shannon is a full–time student at Notre Dame College studying Pastoral Ministry and Theology. Shannon and her husband LaDon have three children: Lotus, Zen, and Lyric. Her philosophy of ministry is “Love God, Change the World.” As our Director of Youth Ministries, Shannon’s goal is to encourage and inspire our youth to love creation and be the change they want to see in the world. Shannon really, really loves coffee, baking, the outdoors, and reading everything from Dietrich Bonhoeffer to Stan Lee. She dreams of owning a log cabin in the middle of the woods where she’ll write the next great American novel.
Director of Children’s Ministries
As Director of Children’s Ministries, Kate oversees our Pathways to the Promise Land program for grades 1-5, as well as our Children in Worship class for 4 and 5 year-olds. She is also responsible for our childcare program. The parent of three active boys, Kate is highly-qualified to care for and guide the children of Forest Hill Church.
Rev. Patricia (Tricia) Dykers Koenig
Forest Hill is grateful to have Tricia Dykers Koenig, National Organizer for The Covenant Network of Presbyterians, on board as our Parish Associate. She brings a wealth of experience from her service as pastor to several churches including, most recently, Noble Road Presbyterian.
After receiving her undergraduate degree from Duke University, Tricia earned her Master of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary. She has filled a variety of positions for the Presbytery of the Western Reserve, including moderating the Committee on Ministry Suitability, the Committee on Preparation for Ministry, the Mission Council, the Committee on Nominations, and the Evangelism Committee, and serving as Commissioner to the 203rd General Assembly of the PC(USA).
Tricia has two grown sons and lives with her husband in Cleveland Heights. An active community organizer, she has served as President of the Heights Interfaith Council, participates in Habitat for Humanity, SHARE, Heights Families for Equality, the Unity Through Diversity Project, and is a board member of Presbyterians for Lesbian and Gay Concerns and More Light Presbyterians.
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Want something done? Want it done fast? Want it done right? Lynda’s the person to see. Her official title is Office Administrator but we know her as the person who keeps track of John and, seemingly, everything and everyone else. She’s passionate about protecting the environment and often rides her bike or walks to church from her home in Shaker Heights.
Because Becky Austin is only in the office on Mondays and Wednesdays, many members only talk with her on the phone or receive her financial statements. So they may be forgiven for imagining her to be some kind of magical financial wizard. But she is our real live Financial Officer and works with Treasurer Graham Peters to expertly manage our finances.
Sunday Nursery Supervisor & Caregiver
Tracy Long has been calming the babies and soothing separation anxiety at Forest Hill since 2008. An experienced Nanny during the week, Tracy is the glue that holds our volunteer caregivers together. Children who have “graduated” to older classrooms or Pathways still stop by for a Tracy hug. Forest Hill is lucky to have her in our Nursery!
Stavros Gazis originally hails from Greece, although he has lived in Cleveland for many years. Conscientious, kind, and very particular about how his church is kept, Stavros is always busy, and always smiling.
Michael Broadwater is one of our part-time custodians and is often in charge on Sunday mornings. He has a strong interest and background in electronic media and is always ready to help untangle a mechanical problem. More than just a part-time staff member, Michael is a vital participant in Forest Hill Church activities.
Other Custodial Staff (not pictured)