John C. Lentz, Jr., M.Div., Ph.D., Senior Pastor & Head of Staff
John joined Forest Hill Church as Senior Pastor in 1994. Originally from Winchester, Virginia, he and his wife Deanne reside in Cleveland Heights and raised their 3 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. Lois Annich, Interim Associate Pastor
Lois is delighted to serve Forest Hill as our 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 delight in their two grown children and quirky rescue dog, and try not to pass up any opportunities to enjoy live theater, movies, and 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!
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 directs each with energy and enthusiasm. 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 Hts. High School Vocal Music groups and mentors many young musicians. Anne has taken 1st or 2nd prizes in 7 national and international organ competitions and is a nationally-known recitalist and workshop leader. Recital venues include Washington’s National Cathedral, New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, California’s Crystal Cathedral, and Cleveland’s Severance Hall. Anne raised 2 daughters and has resided in Cleveland Heights for over 20 years. More info is available on her website.
David Wigger, Interim Coordinator of Youth and Children’s Ministries
David Wigger is an ordained pastor and hospital chaplain 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. He also spent a year as a Young Adult Volunteer living and teaching in the outskirts of Kisumu, Kenya. David is married to Forest Hill Church member Amy Wadsworth and father to 1-year-old Elly Wadsworth Wigger. 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.
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If you need something done fast and you want it done right, Lynda Bernays is the person to see. The consummate problem solver, Lynda’s official title is Office Administrator but we know her as the person who keeps track of seemingly everything and everyone. She’s passionate about protecting the environment and often rides her bike or walks to church from her home in Shaker Heights, which she shares with her husband Stan. They have two adult children, and one especially adorable grandson.
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 ensuring the building reflects our goals of being a welcoming, learning, worshiping, witnessing and discerning 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 Leonor’s Sanctuary apartment.
Our newest staff member, Financial Administrator Delilah Dervic, was born and raised in Cleveland. She graduated from Aviation High School and the University of Phoenix and has a BS in Business. She has a son, Ameer, who is 11 years old. Delilah speaks Arabic fluently! She is learning the rhythms of the church office and will soon be familiar with all things financial. Delilah may be reached by calling the church office (216-321-2660) or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please stop by her office (next to Lynda Bernays’) and wish her a warm welcome.
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!*
Publicity & Outreach
Originally our very part-time webmaster, Peg Weissbrod’s role has expanded to include advertising and other publicity pieces. She works with all ministries to publicize their events and sees the entire building as an opportunity to welcome and include all to Forest Hill Church.
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 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.*
Anthony Bland is one of our primary evening custodians. 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.
Rod Gordon is our newest staff member and has made himself instantly at home and an indispensable addition to the custodian team.
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