Staff Team

The staff of First Congregational Church UCC is a team of capable, committed individuals with diverse gifts and skills which, on a daily basis, supports church and community members involved in the church's ministry and mission by providing:

  • Hospitality, information and resources
  • A church-system perspective in support of lay-led ministries; and
  • A view of the church in the context of its local community, the various settings of the United Church of Christ, and wider ecumenical initiatives.

In addition, pastoral staff attend to the spiritual health and nurture of church members.

  • Rev. Heather Haginduff

    LEAD MINISTER

    Heather joined the FCC staff as lead pastor in January of 2018. She was born to two classically-trained musicians and dreamed of being an opera singer herself. After completing her Master’s degree in music from the University of Houston, she ventured out to start her singing career. It took a strange turn when Heather met her husband, Josh, in 2000, moved to Boulder Colorado, became a youth minister at a UCC church, went to seminary and was ordained in 2009. 


    It was through this humbling turn that Heather fell madly in love with Jesus and his Gospel message of love. Heather and Josh are so excited to live in the Springs, where they can eat in amazing restaurants, drink local craft beer and play in the sunshine. They have two feisty little feminists, Lula and Ruby. Heather enjoys yoga, shoe shopping, Enneagram work, travel, Hip Hop, eating whatever her husband cooks for her, laughing with friends, loving people and trusting God with it all.  

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  • Rev. Dr. Jacque Franklin

    Minister of Pastoral Care

    Jacque Franklin began her ministry as Associate Pastor of First Congregational UCC in August, 2008. Previously she served as Pastor of Visitation under lead Pastor Benjamin Broadbent. She came to the staff after serving as a Hospice Chaplain and a Chaplain to a local retirement community.She grew up in southern Ohio and moved to Tucson AZ at the age of 12. She graduated from University of AZ with a Fine Arts Degree and a minor in Agriculture. She worked as a horse groom for Ventura Farms in Thousand Oaks, CA. She wrote and published a children’s book, “Where Do I Look, A Child’s Search for the Grand Canyon” through Grand Canyon Publishers. She graduated from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, now known as Palmer Seminary, in ’89 with an emphasis in Pastoral Care and Counseling. Ordained in the American Baptist Church to Pastoral Ministry in ’90 she continued her education receiving a Doctorate in Ministry with an emphasis in Marriage and Family as Systems in 1997. Among her pastoral duties she served FBC of Dayton Ohio as Pastor of Urban Outreach and Youth Ministry and FBC of Colorado Springs as Associate Pastor. Rev. Franklin is dually aligned with her ordination recognized in both the American Baptist and United Church of Christ denominations. 


    Jacque met her husband, Tom Francis while serving a church in Dayton OH. Tom was a youth minister attending Film School at the time. He and Jacque were married at Dayton First Baptist Church and Westminster Presbyterian Church on August 27, 1994. Tom now has his degree in Organizational Psychology. They have two children, Joel Thomas Francis 5/14/1998 and Ellen Nicole Francis 1/21/2004.

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  • Mandy Todd

    Director of Music and Arts ministry

    For over a decade, Mandy Todd has led the music and arts ministry at First Congregational Church, serving first as part-time Chancel Choir Director (2006-2011) and since 2012, as Director of Music & Arts Ministry. In this role, Mandy oversees and leads the entire music and arts ministry, while also playing an integral role in planning worship. 


    Mandy received a BA in Music Education with a Choral Conducting Emphasis from Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS, and a Master of Theological Studies degree focusing on Sacred Music from Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO.


    In December 2018, Mandy will begin a doctoral program at the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. She has studied conducting with Dr. Daniel Mahraun, Deborah Jenkins Teske, and Dr. James Jordan, and organ with Frank Shelton.

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  • candace WOODS

    director of youth and adult ministry

    Candace joined the First Congregational Church staff team in July 2014 and became a member of the congregation in 2015, because she found a true home at FCC. She has lived in the Springs since 2004, when she moved from Eastern Oregon to join an international Christian nonprofit. That led to experiences leading youth and young adults on service projects in Asia, such as rebuilding work in Thailand after the tsunami of 2004 and service to street kids in India. Candace is a pastor’s kid and was highly active in her youth group growing up, with camps and mission trips being the highlight of those youth activities for her. Her passion for international issues led her to attend Colorado College where she received a degree in History and Political Science focused on the Middle East with a minor in Religion in 2013. She is now currently in seminary at Iliff School of Theology as she pursues ordination in the United Church of Christ. 


    Candace loves living in Downtown Colorado Springs with her pup Tucker. She enjoys yoga, reading, hammocking, spending time out with friends, and attending scholarly lectures, because she is, in fact, a super nerd.
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  • del hokanson

    director of children's and faith ministry

    Del Hokanson joined the staff team in 2008 as Coordinator of Education. Even though she is still part time, her position expanded a few years later to becoming the Director of Childrens’ and Family Ministry which now includes creating weekly Kids’ Community worship as well as overseeing, recruiting and training Sunday School teachers and the Godly Play Team. Del and her family have been members for over 25 years so she has shared the view from the pew, and both Del and her husband Pete have served on the Church Council prior to her employment. Del has a passion for creating community through creative, spiritual and life affirming coaching. Her desire is to locate the beauty and wholeness of each and every child as reflected in her history as a teacher and coach. 


    Graduating with a Bachelor of Education from Adelaide, South Australia, she has taught PE/Health/Biology in Middle/High Schools for 15 years in Australia, coached and created a community Field Hockey program working with the USFHA for 10 years, and taught math/science to third graders for five years in Colorado Springs. Another of her passions includes the Our Whole Lives: Sexuality and Our Faith program, which she helped introduce to FCC and taught for 10 years to over 100 teens.


    In her spare time she loves to travel and anything active in the outdoors from skiing, cycling, triathlons, and camping, especially when she can share them with Pete and their two adult daughters, Kea and Hannah.

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  • ruth roland

    director of financial ministries

    Ruth worked in the Oil and Gas and Airline industries as an accountant, auditor and manager prior to moving to Colorado Springs. She began working at the First Congregational Church in 1997. In addition to a degree in accounting, she holds a graduate certificate from UCCS in Nonprofit Fund Development. She lives downtown with husband David Petersen and daughter Thea.

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  • emily bond

    communications coordinator

    Emily joined the Staff of FCC in July, 2013. Born and raised in London, England, she graduated with a degree in Music from the University of Bristol. A skilled horse-rider, Emily spent many years teaching others to ride, competing at horse shows, and training horses. She also worked as a caterer in London and Bristol, which led to opening a restaurant in Bath where she designed and produced creative menus as chef. 


    Emily moved to Crested Butte, CO in 2001 to work for the Crested Butte Music Festival in Development, Marketing and Production for almost ten years. She also served as the President of the Colorado Music Alliance (CMA) from 2007-2009. In 2009, Emily was hired as the Office Manager of the Union Congregational Church in Crested Butte. Promotional and marketing work led to a job offer at FCC in the Springs in 2013 - where she thrives with a fabulous staff team!


    Emily’s passion is to perform classical music and musical theater on stage. She frequently performs with her mother, Elizabeth Bond – mezzo soprano. Other interests include exploring new cultures and cuisines; kickboxing, horse-riding; and enjoying life with her daughter, Kayla!

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  • david acton

    organist and office administrator

    David joined the staff team as organist and office administrator in July 2017. Previously, he served as the organ scholar of the First Congregational Church of Kalamazoo, Michigan. His nearly twelve years of experience as an organist have also included freelance work and positions at the First Christian Church in Greencastle, Indiana and Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Indianapolis. David was featured as an organ soloist in the 2017 Western Michigan University Showcase Spectacular and as a recitalist in the 2016 and 2017 Lenten Organ Recital Series, hosted by the First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo.


    David graduated in April 2017 with a Master of Music degree in French horn performance and secondary emphases in organ and choral conducting from Western Michigan University. He served as a graduate assistant in the horn studio and played as a member of the University Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band, and Graduate Chamber Ensembles. David received his Bachelor of Music degree in French horn performance at DePauw University in 2015. 


    When not playing music, David enjoys drinking coffee, watching Netflix, reading, and running. He is also an avid hiker and is excited to explore the plethora of beautiful hiking opportunities in the Springs.

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  • Facility and nursery staff

    Lesli Weaver - Congregational Nurse

    Robert Scheafer and Doris Fletcher - Custodians
    Kiara Nath - Nursery Attendant Supervisor
    Sean Drevs, Kären Knabe, Kaitlyn O’Donnell, Kiara Nath and Thea Roland - Nursery Attendants
    Ani Rose Whaleswan and Curt Daniel - Sunday Sextons