About the NACCC

About the NACCC

As a member of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches, your church joins with other churches around the country for mutual encouragement and support. By sharing fellowship through the NACCC, each church is made stronger by access to a multitude of resources and expertise and by the assistance of neighboring churches.

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400 Years of Faith

Our History

Our History

Over 60 years ago, the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (NACCC) was incorporated as a fellowship of Congregational churches. The churches in this fellowship opposed merging with the Evangelical and Reformed Church that some Congregational churches favored. While the idea of merging with another denomination was not, in and of itself, offensive, the concerns about this particular merger centered on Congregational identity, practice, and cherished values.

Those against the merger feared that it would establish a church hierarchy and that the local congregation would lose its independence and ability to self-govern. While this is a simplistic summary of a complicated and emotionally-fraught period of history, it illustrates how core principles and practices of the Congregational Way were the driving values that formed the NACCC.

Understanding Congregationalism The Art and Practice of the Congregational Way

Our Mission

It is our mission to nurture fellowship among Congregational Christian Churches and to support ministries of the local church in its community and to the world, all in the name of Christ.

Our Vision

Vital and healthy Congregational Churches, sharing the love of Jesus the Christ.
The NACCC will continue to provide the resources, aid, and fellowship that empower strong, healthy churches to thrive.

Because the NACCC is an association of individual churches, the NACCC depends on a structure of volunteers to determine and manage its programs and policies.  NACCC staff serves to encourage and support this important work on behalf of member churches.

Governing Documents

As a recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the NACCC follows a series of standardized bylaws and incorporation standards to ensure successful adherence at all times.

Leadership Teams

The NACCC Leadership Teams

The NACCC is stewarded by a dedicated board of volunteers who form our Leadership Council and Board of Directors. Each elected leader gifts their unique experience, insight, and expertise to help ensure the versatility and stability of our organization. If you require contact information for a leadership team member, please email the NACCC office.

About the NACCC

Current Leadership Council

The Leadership Council is responsible for program implementation and strategic visioning of the NACCC.

Rev. Art Ritter

Moderator & Chairperson
Novi, Michigan

Rev. Justin Nierer

Vitality Ministry Council Rep.
Jackson, Michigan

Patrick Stewart

Treasurer
Marshaltown, Iowa

Rev. Dr. Mary Biedron

Historian
Farmington Hills, Michigan

Kate O’Dell

Secretary
Anchorage, Alaska

Rev. Sarah Terlouw

Vitality Ministry Council Rep.
Saugatuck, Michigan

Melinda Jaster

Youth Representative
Elkader, Iowa

Mary Prendergast

Growth Ministry Council Rep.
Pomona, California

Gerald Zwaga

Mission & Outreach Council Rep.
Citrus Springs, Florida

Rev. Rich Miller-Todd

Mission & Outreach Council Rep.
Berwick, Iowa

Rev. Ezekiel Rodriguez

Growth Ministry Council Rep.
National City, California

Current Ministry Council Members

Our development, clerical maintenance, and organizational advancement are the direct result of our ministry councils, who volunteer their time to enhance the vitality, growth, and mission work of the NACCC.

VITALITY

Encouraging and supporting the congregations of the NACCC in their mission of strengthening church life

Rev. Justin Nierer, Chair

Leadership Council Representative
Jackson, Michigan
2017-2020 & 2020-2023

Cynthia Hardy

Chandler, Arizona
2019-2022

Rev. Ian Macdonald

Sherman Oaks, California
2018-2021

Rev. Robb Tarr

Gahanna, Ohio
2022-2025

Rev. Sarah Terlouw

Leadership Council Representative
Saugatuck, Michigan
2017-2020 & 2020- 2023

GROWTH

Encouraging and supporting the congregations of the NACCC in their mission of faith and discipleship

Mary Prendergast, Chair

Leadership Council Representative
Pomona, California
[2015-2017 completed a two-year replacement]
2017-2020 & 2020-2023

Pastor Michael Freeman

Princeton, Illinois
2022-2025

Rev. Ezekiel Rodriguez

Leadership Council Representative
National City, California

2021-2024

Rev. Dr. John Tamilio III

Beverly, Massachusetts
2017-2020 & 2020- 2023

Rev. Dr. William “Ron” Tolliver

Crystal, Michigan
2022-2025

MISSIONS & OUTREACH

Encouraging and supporting congregations of the NACCC in their mission of spreading the word and work of Christ in the world – both locally and globally

Rev. Richard Miller Todd, Chair

Leadership Council Representative
Berwick, Iowa

2021-2023

Rev. Bob Higgins

Idalia, Colorado
2022-2025

Amana Talala Mbise

Anchorage, Alaska
2022-2025

Gerald Zwaga

Leadership Council Representative
Citrus Springs, Florida

2021-2024

Current Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for all legal and financial matters of the NACCC.

Jodee Lord

Vice Moderator & Chair
Staten Island, New York

Rev. Dr. Beth Bingham

Sherman Oaks, California

Rev. Art Ritter

Moderator
Novi, Michigan

Claudia Kniefel

Anchorage, Alaska

Patrick Stewart

Treasurer
Marshalltown, Iowa

Curt Schmidt

Bound Brook, New Jersey

Kate O’Dell

Secretary
Anchorage, Alaska

Rev. Thomas Van Tassell

Saugatuck, Michigan

The NACCC Staff

Members of the NACCC staff serve our organization in a professional capacity, to provide administrative, development, communications, and structural support to our mission, vision, and overall association. Our NACCC staff includes:

Rev. Dr. Ashley Cleere

Executive Director
email

Debra Fulton

Director of Development & Communications
email

Rev. Dr. Charles Packer

Dean of Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies
email

Tracy Bernhardt

Development & Communications Assistant
email

Marianne King

Editor of The Congregationalist magazine
email

Julie Robie​

Missions Coordinator
email

Carrie Dahm

Assistant to Executive Director & Meeting Planner
email

Cheryl Milnes

Chief Financial Officer
email

Laura Wright

Executive Assistant to the Center for Congregational Leadership ​& Pastoral Search Coordinator
email 

Annual Reports

Thank you for making a difference! Your support and leadership to the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (NACCC) helps us to nurture fellowship among Congregational Christian Churches and to support ministries of the local church in its community and to the world, all in the name of Christ.

Our current annual report reflects donations to the NACCC between April 1, 2019-March 31, 2020.

Connect with the NACCC Team

If you have any questions or would like to know more about the NACCC, please send us a message. We look forward to hearing from you!

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