Rev. Dr. Veronica R. Goines, M.Div., Ph.D., Co-Pastor
Forest Hill welcomed Rev. Goines as Co-Pastor at the end of 2018, after an extensive national search. Along with Rev. Lentz, Veronica shares equally in leading Forest Hill Church further along the path of restorative justice. Her role as co-pastor model reflects the church’s mission and vision as a church where all of God’s children are heard, seen, exalted and equal.
Veronica previously led the historic multicultural St. Andrew Presbyterian Church of Marin City, California. She earned her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley in 2017, after earning both her Master of Divinity Degree and a diploma in Pastoral Counseling from San Francisco Theological Seminary. She is certified in basic and advanced Clinical Pastoral Education at the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and at Stanford University Hospital.
In addition to her pastoral and chaplaincy experience, Veronica has also served in the local, regional, and national bodies of the Presbyterian Church, USA. She served as an Affiliate Faculty of San Francisco Theological Seminary, and preaches, teaches, and keynotes at local, regional, and national levels of the Presbyterian Church, and more.
A published writer, poet, and avid outdoors-woman, Veronica is thrilled to be in partnership with John, the Forest Hill Church congregation, and the greater community.
Rev. Dr. John C. Lentz, Jr., M.Div., Ph.D., Co-Pastor
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.
Rev. David Wigger, Interim Dir. Family, Youth, Children’s Ministries
David Wigger is an ordained pastor and hospital chaplain who is passionate about ensuring that our children and youth are surrounded by adults they can know and trust as they grow through the church. He has worked with children struggling with behavioral and emotional issues and taught students representing over 50 countries at a public elementary school in Wash. DC.
David also spent a year as a Young Adult Volunteer living and teaching in the outskirts of Kisumu, Kenya.
David is married to member Amy Wadsworth and father to Elly and Jacob. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, he enjoys listening to podcasts, bluegrass, and hip-hop and loves both Harry Potter and Beyoncé. David considers basketball and washing dishes to be spiritual disciplines.
back to the top
Qin Ying Tan,
Interim Music Director
We are blessed to welcome Qin Ying Tan (she goes by Ying) to the staff of Forest Hill Church. Ying holds multiple degrees from the Peabody Institute of Music in piano performance, harpsichord performance, and musicology, and graduated with a doctorate in harpsichord performance from Cleveland Institute of Music in 2019. The recipient of prizes and awards from the Trailblazer Foundation, the Eileen Southern Grant (America Musicological Society), and multiple full scholarships from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music and the Peabody Institute of Music at the Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Tan also won top prize at the International Young Artists’ Piano Competition in 2006. She has performed around the world.
Born and raised in racially-diverse Singapore, Ying’s experience in music and the arts is extremely multi-cultural. She has played and sung in Christian youth fellowship groups, Buddhist temples, and has played the Indonesian gamelan and the Chinese guzheng in community events. She will continue to work at Heights Christian Church in Shaker Heights, while she fills the Forest Hill Church position.
When not practicing or directing, Ying loves exploring beautiful Cleveland with her husband, Irwin Shung, and dachshund rescue, Jax. A self-confessed fan of “The Crown” and “Game of Thrones”, she welcomes conversations about music or culture with members of her new congregation.
Welcome to our new Youth Leader: Tara Beverly! Tara has been sharing her lovely, enthusiastic personality with our youth and working with David Wigger to keep delivering quality programming—at a social distance–with our children and youth during the pandemic. When you have an opportunity, please welcome her to our congregation!
Office Administrator & Communications
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.
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 is 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.
Web & Database
Our webmaster Peg Weissbrod also manages Breeze, the church database/directory that connects our members with one another. Along with Antoinette, she works to publicize church events and create publicity pieces encouraging people to “come and see” Forest Hill Church.
Sunday Nursery Supervisor & Caregiver
Tracy Long has been calming babies and soothing separation anxiety at Forest Hill since 2008. An experienced Nanny during the week, Tracy is the glue that holds our nursery volunteers 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 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.
Derrick is the newest member of our custodian team. You can find him at church most weekday afternoons. Stop by sometime and ask him about his many siblings and how his saint of a mother homeschooled them all!