Mya Ewing, Children’s Ministries[email Mya]
David Kuechle, Youth Ministries[email Church Office]
Born in England and raised in New York, Fred is now very happy to call the Bay Area home and to be the Senior Minister of Hillcrest Congregational Church. Among the things that attracted him to Hillcrest were the words of our Hillcrest Covenant: “Responding to God’s love and will, we unite in striving to walk in the way of Jesus Christ….” As pastor and teacher, Fred enjoys working with others to experience God in their lives and answer God’s call to serve.
Before coming to Hillcrest, Fred served as the Director of the Center for Church Life and Professor of Biblical Studies at Auburn Theological Seminary in New York, where he developed and directed a professional coaching and consulting program for church leaders and ministries. Prior to that, he served as Minister for Education (Interim) at The Riverside Church in New York and as Associate Professor of New Testament at Union Theological Seminary in New York.
Fred is the author and editor of several books and articles on the New Testament and early Church, including a recently published commentary on Paul’s Letter to the Galatians and a forthcoming commentary on the Shorter Epistles of Paul (Westminster/John Knox Press). He has also written on the challenges and opportunities for the churches today.
He has preached, lectured and led workshops throughout the United States and abroad, served on the Advisory Boards of Christian Networks Journal and The Yellow Star Project, contributed to the San Francisco Examiner, and has been interviewed by local newscasts as well as by the BBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, Jewish Week, The Middle East Times, and ARD German Radio.
Fred is married to Kerstin Weidmann, also a pastor, and has two children, Joshua and Katie, both in college. He enjoys baseball (now more so watching than playing), bike riding, traveling around California (and elsewhere), listening to music (jazz, blues, rock, and classical), reading (history, mostly) and attempting to play the piano.
When asked about his ministry at Hillcrest, Fred responds, “God is at work in the world. The people and ministries of Hillcrest are the recipients of God’s grace and serve as God’s hands and feet in helping to put that grace to action in our own lives and on behalf the community and world. Join us, and grow with us.” [email Fred]
A native of Southern California, Ray found a congenial rut in Northern California and spent his entire professional life here. He has served congregations in Berkeley, Redding, San Francisco and Orinda. He “retired” in 1991, and has served nine congregations as Interim or Transitional consultant.
A graduate of Pamona College, Rev. Welles attended Yale Divinity School, the Pacific School of Religion, and holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary. He was ordained in South Pasadena in 1955.
Ray serves as Director for Carmel Valley Manor, and has been a Trustee of the Pacific School of Religion. He is an Annuitant Visitor for the UCC Pension Boards, visiting several dozen retired clergy or their widows each year. He authored three publications, none of which were ever mentioned in the New York Times, nor are they available on Amazon, but they say much about him:
- Between the No-Longer and the Not-Yet, A New Model of Interim Ministry, 1977
- Prophets and Paupers, Religion in the California Gold Rush, 1848-1869, with Harland E. Hogue
- Familiar Strangers, Encounters with Jesus, Eight Soliliquies by Those Who Knew Him, 2000
In 2001, Ray received the Arts Minister of the Year Award from the Center for Arts and Religious Education, Pacific School of Religion. While in Redding, he engaged Frank Lloyd Wright to design the building for the new congregation there. For many years, Ray had a private practice in family therapy and spiritual counseling. He also helped design the Interim Ministry specialty, and was instrumental in the building of Orinda Senior Village in Orinda.
Ray’s special interests are marriage preparation and spiritual eldering. He preaches often and consults with clergy and lay leaders. With his wife Jackie, he has been a docent at Big Basin Redwoods State Park. After owning property in Boulder Creek for thirty-five years, he moved to Rossmoor in Walnut Creek in 2000. He married Jacqueline Bell in 1952, and enjoys his two daughters and six grandchildren who loom large in his life. [email Ray]
Mya works with the children and youth of Hillcrest. She has a background in theatre and music and incorporates both into her ministry as often as possible. She has worked with children and teens teaching and mentoring. and is really excited to come up with fresh and creative ways to share the gospel with our youth. Mya (and baby Nina too) is so happy to be a part of this community.
David is Hillcrest’s Minister in Training. Born in Los Angeles, he attended Grinnell College in Iowa, graduating in 2007. He worked as a teacher before accepting the call to ministry. Currently, he is a student at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, and is pursuing ordination. He is excited for the opportunity to work at a church community like Hillcrest, particularly with the Christian Education program, and looks forward to the coming year.