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 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.
Clover Reuter Beal, M.Div.
Pastor & Director of Lay Leadership Development
Clover accepted the newly created position of Director of Lay Leadership Development in 2004, after having been active at Forest Hill with her husband Tim and their two children since 2000.
Graduating from Seattle Pacific University, Clover received her Master of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary. Prior to joining Forest Hill’s ministerial staff, she was Associate Director of United Protestant Campus Ministries, serving as a University Chaplain to students at Case Western Reserve, Cleveland State, and other area schools.
A self-professed “Bible nerd”, Clover’s spiritual depth, educational background, pastoral experience and gifts, along with her vision for Forest Hill, make her a dynamic and challenging pastor. She describes her deepest joy as gathering people in community to witness to the power of the Spirit. Clover’s focus is on discipleship: helping those who might not recognize God’s presence and activity in their lives grow in the areas of leadership development, gift identification, vocational discernment, education, and spiritual formation. She is especially talented at working with young adults, but people of all ages respond to her energy, warmth, and passion for building relationships. Clover and her family live in Shaker Heights.
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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 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
Keon L. Abner is a native of Ohio, the son of two Presbyterian pastors and brother to three older sisters. Keon is a student at Moody Theological Seminary, focusing on congregational care and youth ministry. With a strong passion for youth ministry, Keon’s ministry endeavors are in line with three actions: Relate, Cultivate, Culminate. Keon wants the youth in his care to know that the love of Christ is undeniable and can move beyond any barriers that people set before them. Keon is a musician and loves gospel, jazz, and classical music. His hobbies include reading, talking, and researching the latest technology finds. You may find Keon at a local Steak & Shake talking ministry and or theology, at the lake at dusk, or in a swimming pool somewhere. In every area of his life, Keon is an expressive, charismatic, voluble kind of guy who loves people and what they bring to the table.
Interim Director of Christian Education for Infants and Children
Dacia is a graduate of Dort College (Sioux City, Iowa) with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. With teaching experience in both church and school settings, she is a talented story teller, organizer and teacher. Dacia is married to Dustin; they have three children, Troy, Mallory and Makyndsie. Dacia likes to read and bake when she is can squeeze it in among parenting duties. She says, “As Director of Children’s Ministry, my vision is to cultivate personal relationships with Christ and to develop disciples of Christ who will go out and ‘let their light shine before all people’(Matt. 5:16).”
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 Clover and, seemingly, everything and everyone else. But Lynda also has a passion for alleviating hunger and runs our food pantry and bus ticket program. She’s also passionate about protecting the environment and rides her bike to church from her home in Shaker Heights.
Our Financial Officer Becky Austin is only in the office on Mondays and Wednesdays so many members may have only talked with her on the phone or received 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. (Just don’t get between her and her computer!)
Sunday Nursery Supervisor & Caregiver
Tracey Long has been calming the babies and soothing separation anxiety at Forest Hill since 2008. An experienced Nanny during the week, Tracey is the glue that holds our volunteer caregivers together. Children who have “graduated” to older classrooms or Pathways still stop by for a Tracey 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.