Rev. Dr. Matthew Wooster has served as the 19th settled Senior Minister of Plymouth Church UCC since August 2021. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Matt is a graduate of Miami University, and completed his Master of Divinity at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio. Matt was ordained on January 7, 2001, and served UCC congregations in Tallmadge, Ohio, Hudson, Ohio, before serving most recently as Senior Minister of Wellesley Hills Congregational Church UCC in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Matt completed his Doctor of Ministry at Chicago Theological Seminary in 2013, with a focus on preaching.
Matt describes his ministry in these words: “I am called to nurture among people an awareness of God’s presence in our lives and a faithful response to God’s love. I believe that it is the practices of worship, pastoral care, and communicating a prophetic vision that foster a vibrant and growing faith.”
Matt is married to Betsy Wooster, and they have two adult sons. In addition to ministry, Matt enjoys playing basketball, hiking and cycling, music and theater, reading on a hammock, and spending time with family and friends.
Listen to a sermon from Rev. Matt W.
The position of Associate Minister is in transition.
For more information, visit the Pastoral Transition page.
James P. Riggs has created a diverse music program, bringing children, adults, instrumentalists, handbell ringers, and singers together through music of many genres since becoming our Minister of Music & the Arts in 1998. He oversees ArtsPlymouth programming for Plymouth Church and for the community including an active concert series attracting 4,000 people annually by The Cleveland Chamber Music Society, The Cleveland Classical Guitar Society, Les Délices, and BlueWater Chamber Orchestra. Jim has developed an organ scholar program, now in its 19th year, to provide student organists with professional experience. Jim holds a Master of Arts in Organ Performance from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Bachelor of Music degree in Sacred Music from Seton Hill University, and an Associate of Arts degree in Business Management from Harrisburg Area Community College. He is a member of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) where he has served as Dean of the Cleveland Chapter and has articles published in The American Organist, the official journal of the AGO. He serves as organist for the Baldwin Wallace Men’s Chorus and volunteers for Meals on Wheels. Jim enjoys cooking and gardening with his partner Scott, and spending time with their rescue dogs.
As the Director of Christian Education for Plymouth, Leslie Szalay oversees the programs for young children and families including Sunday School and summer Children’s Church. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati, Leslie served as the DCE for the Bath United Church of Christ for two years, before joining the Plymouth Church staff in 2015. Leslie is married to Shaker Heights High School German teacher Herr Dr. Keith Szalay, and they have three young children. Together they enjoy spending time outdoors, gardening, cooking and traveling.
Paul Holter joined the staff of Plymouth Church as the Facility Manager in September of 2018. Paul is a lifelong learner and student of the liberal arts and sciences: he holds a B.A. in Biology from the College of Wooster; a B.S. in Chemistry from Cleveland State University; and an M.B.A. from the Weatherhead School at Case Western Reserve University. He has served in many roles, from engineer to safety officer to facilities leader in settings as varied as academic institutions and horse racing tracks. He is resolutely committed to service and stewardship in his role. Outside of Plymouth Church, he is married to his College of Wooster classmate & sweetheart Connie and together they are the parents of Avery and Grant, residing in Euclid. At home he enjoys binge watching Netflix, reading, and hosting parties at the local neighborhood beach club, especially beer tastings! He is an avid high school football fan and a collector of comic books!
Kathryn Kundrat joined the staff of Plymouth Church in January of 2019 as our Finance Administrator. She is a graduate of Oberlin College and has enjoyed a long career providing accounting and human resource services for a wide range of organizations. Her goal is always to simplify and streamline information systems so they are accessible and serve the needs of the organization. She will be the main contact for information and questions about your pledges and giving. She is married to her high school sweetheart and their daughter is a third generation resident of Cleveland Heights, OH. In her spare time, Kathryn enjoys reading a good book, walking, cooking and tending her garden that blooms February through November!