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, batting for 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.
Her spiritual depth, educational background, pastoral experience and gifts, along with her vision for Forest Hill, make Clover 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.
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Director of Christian Education
Liz joined the staff of Forest Hill Church in June 2004 as Director of Children’s Ministry for ages birth to grade 5, and in January 2006 became Director of Christian Education, birth through 12th grade. As an elementary teacher, Liz has a diverse background in teaching in different religious schools and in curriculum. She has a Bachelors of Science degree from Ashland University, and recently completed her Director of Christian Education certification.
Liz is a life-long member of Forest Hill Church. She has been involved in teaching throughout the grades including Confirmation, choosing curriculum, leading service projects, being a mid-high youth group advisor, as well as serving as an Elder on Session.
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Director of Youth Ministries
The newest member of the Forest Hill staff is Kristen Otte, our Director of Youth Ministries. For the past 3 years, Kristen served as the youth director at Rocky River Presbyterian Church just outside Charlotte, North Carolina. She is a native of Northeast Ohio, graduated from Mentor High School and attended college at Ohio Northern University.She recently married Brian Otte, a worship leader for the Mayfield United Methodist Church.
Kristen loves reading, writing and running, but not simultaneously. She loves serving in youth ministry and believes in the importance of their generation to the church, our country, and the world. Kristen wants parents to know that she believes the “teenage years are a pivotal time in the development of their faith and it’s essential for the church to take an active role in the lives of our youth and young adults.”
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.
Becky Austin is so quiet it was years before anyone knew she was on staff. But she does exist, and as Financial Officer, she handles all of our financial affairs. Becky is in the office Mondays and Wednesdays, and those who have met her confirm that she is a real live person and not just a magical financial wizard. Those who have only talked to her on the phone or received her financial statements know how expertly Becky manages money as well as people. Just don’t get between her and her computer!
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.