October 4, 2022
Although Rev. Lentz joined Forest Hill Church as Senior Pastor in 1994, he gladly welcomed the opportunity to become one of our new Co-Pastors along with Co-Pastor Veronica Goines. Originally from Winchester, Virginia, John and his wife Deanne reside in Cleveland Heights and raised their 3 now-adult children in the CH-UH public schools.
John’s focus is helping people discover and live into their roles as beloved children of God, and nurturing people’s spiritual growth to help bring about change. “When people enjoy their faith and their life, they 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, 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 both personalized and upbeat.
Originally from Singapore, Qin Ying Tan arrived in Cleveland in 2012 to work on her doctorate and fell in love with culturally and racially diverse Cleveland. Ying feels very privileged to serve at Forest Hill Church and always seeks to support FHC’s vision of racial equity and social justice with a diverse selection of music. Since assuming directorship of the music ministry, Ying has introduced a new gospel choir, South American and African drum music, Chinese art songs, and popular genres, as well as presented music by relatively unknown classical composers like John Field, Florence Price, Marianna Martines, and Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre.
As a concert musician, Ying has been lauded by Cleveland Classical as “an excellent soloist, a compelling performer who is equally comfortable handling long strings of notes… and singing through emotive melodies with her instrument.” She is a firm believer that music has the influence to inspire and provide solace, and strives to constantly seek interpretations that will bring about inspiration to congregants. Performances this season includes appearances with Red Dot Baroque, Apollo’s Fire, Piano Cleveland, City Music, ORMACO Inc., the Performing Arts Series at the Cleveland Museum of Art, SEA Music Academy, and Affekt, which Tan co-directs. In her capacity as Artistic Director of the Resonance Masters’ Series in the Seattle area, Ying helped produce the west coast premiere of Phillip Glass’ “Annunciation” Piano Quintet.
In 2021, Ying and her husband, Irwin, welcomed daughter, Sofi, to their family. When not at work, Ying loves exploring and hiking around beautiful Cleveland. She welcomes conversations with YOU about culture, history, or how music can help to inspire change and to bring communities together.
Lakewood native Amy Wheatley earned her undergraduate degree from Kenyon College and her Ph.D. in Education from the University of Michigan. Her early career included research, teaching, and staff development in the field of early childhood/special education, and directing grants from the U.S. Depart. of Education, the University of Connecticut, the HighScope Foundation, and Akron Children’s Hospital.
Amy and her husband Karl have two college-age children, David and Katherine. Karl begins his 27th year on the faculty of the College of Education at Cleveland State University this fall.
Amy grew up in the United Methodist Church enjoying faith-filled mentors, Sunday night youth group meetings, Easter sunrise services, and mission trips to Appalachia. She and Karl were members of First Church Cleveland/University Circle United Methodist Church, where Amy spent 12 years as Director of Education. During the past year, she served as Dir. of Faith Formation at Old Stone Church where she led an initiative to grow children’s programming in a downtown congregation.
Creating safe and welcoming environments, helping young people build authentic relationships, and providing fun and engaging opportunities for learning and growth are Amy’s passions. She believes that faith develops over a lifetime through a variety of experiences in which we recognize the presence of God in our lives and seek to live in the way of Jesus. Young people experience such “faith forming” moments in many ways: in worship, in nature, during shared meals and conversation, in service to others, and through play, storytelling, games, music, and art.
Carol Wedell was born and raised near Seattle and earned a BA in Music from Whitworth College in Spokane before attending Princeton Theological Seminary. Following her graduation in 1982 and a year of hospital chaplaincy training, Carol was called to be the first clergywoman to join the five pastors of First Presbyterian Church in Fort Wayne, IN (a church of 1800 members). In 2000, Carol assumed a half-time role at Fairmount Presbyterian, and in 2005 was called as pastor of Church of the Western Reserve, where she served until 2011. Now officially retired, she is glad to formalize her role as Parish Associate at Forest Hill Church, which she and Mark have attended since 2013. Carol and Mark live in Willoughby and have three adult children.
Antoinette Richardson joined our staff just as we began our new Co-Pastor leadership team. She is well-versed in the latest office computer programs and applications and has introduced new and exciting ways of caring for the staff and congregation of Forest Hill Church. She manages our website and works to publicize God’s work at FHC.
Ann Donkin joined us in 2017 and quickly became an integral part of our ministry. With expertise and experience in all facets of building management, Ann’s goal is to make our building work for our members and the community, while supporting our mission and community. She’s a hoot and a half and can occasionally be found in her office on the 2nd floor education wing, next door to the Sanctuary apartment.
Nita Clark has slid so seamlessly into her role as our Finance Administrator that it’s hard to believe she’s been here for less than 6 months. Working with Treasurer Mary MacMillan, she calmly brings order to the paperwork that floods her desk every week.
Michael Broadwater is usually 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 and ministries.
Anthony Bland is our primary evening custodian. As the person in charge of the building during most ministry meetings, Anthony is even-tempered yet eager to help, as well as extremely knowledgeable about the workings of our building.
Thanks to Covid-19, it may be awhile before members are able to meet our newest staff member, Lisa Richardson, but Ann Donkin describes her as a terrific addition to the team.