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STAFF

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Rev. Dr. Matthew Wooster (he/him/his) 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 and Hudson, Ohio, before serving most recently as Senior Minister of Wellesley Hills Congregational Church UCC in 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 Rev. Betsy Wooster, and they are proud parents and grandparents of two sons, and their spouses, and one grandchild.

Matt enjoys playing basketball, hiking and cycling, music and theater, reading on a hammock, and spending time with family and friends.

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Pastor Dillon Shipman (he/him/his) joined Plymouth Church as Designated Associate Minister in February 2023. Originally from Painesville, Ohio, Dillon studied at Cleveland State University for his undergrad, and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (Evanston, Illinois) for his Master of Divinity. While living in Chicagoland for a decade, he served as Director of Music and Associate for Pastoral Care at St. Elisabeth’s Episcopal Church (Glencoe, Illinois). Dillon is excited to be back home in Northeast Ohio, near family and friends, and ready to grow new relationships here at Plymouth and in the United Church of Christ!

 

Dillon is passionate about liturgy and music, queer spirituality, interfaith dialogue, and youth and intergenerational ministry. He is thrilled to work alongside the Plymouth congregation to share God’s radical, boundless love to the community within and beyond our church walls. His fiancé Cody is a hospitality director and world traveler, and Dillon enjoys all the trips they take together. You’ll often find him at the piano bench, lost in a good book, sharing a good meal with loved ones, and on Sunday afternoons, watching the NASCAR and IndyCar races!

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The position of Minister of Music and the Arts is in transition.

For more information, visit the Music and Arts Minister Transition page.

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As the Director of Christian Education for Plymouth, Leslie Szalay (she/her/hers) 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.

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Brenna Threatt (she/her/hers) joined Plymouth Church in April 2024 as the Office and Communications Administrator. She previously worked in her home town of Grand Rapids, MI as an administrative assistant, nanny, and substitute teacher. In every role, Brenna prioritizes serving people well through organization and attention-to-detail.

Brenna and her fiancée, Macy, love exploring Cleveland and beyond with Playhouse Square shows, visits to wineries, eating at great local restaurants, and lots of bakery and coffee trips. In her free time, Brenna loves to cook new recipes, crochet projects, read from her endless to-be-read list, or take a walk or hike in a scenic spot.

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Paul Holter (he/him/his) 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!

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Kathryn Kundrat (she/her/hers) 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!

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Derrick Williams (he/him/his) joined the staff in June 2024 as the Church Sexton.  He is a retired marketing and coaching professional of 30 years.  Mr. Williams also has several years of experience as a cleaning supervisor and maintenance technician.  Derrick is a proud father of 3 young men and 1 young lady.  In his spare time, Derrick serves as president and CEO of a non-profit organization called Band of Brothers Organization.  Derrick is proud to join the Plymouth Church team, and he looks forward to doing a great job with the upkeeping of the church.

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