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. dr. donald longbottom

    TRANSItional lead minister

    We are honored to call the Reverend Dr. Donald Longbottom to First Congregational Church to serve as our Transitional Lead Minister. Dr. Don comes to us from the United Church of Christ South Central Conference Minister, living near Austin, Texas, with his wife, Mary Ann where he has served as the Conference Minister. 

    Dr. Don has successfully served many churches similar to our own in terms of size, capacity and challenges, in the role of Transitional Minister. In addition to his own stellar body of work, he joins us with the highest recommendations from his peer in the Rocky Mountain Conference, the Reverend Sue Artt, as well as the Reverend Dr. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ.
    Email Me!

    My Cell: (480) 322-5779 - available 24/7.

  • 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 while serving a church in Dayton OH. Tom was a youth minister attending Film School at the time. He and Jacque married in 1994, and they have two children, Joel and Ellen.

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  • david acton

    director of music ministry

    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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  • emily bond

    director of administration and communications

    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 knitting, exploring new cultures and cuisines; kickboxing, and horse-riding.

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  • rachel rumple

    Administrative Assistant

    Rachel Rumple joined the FCC staff at the beginning of August, 2020.

    She grew up in Northwest Indiana, not too far from Chicago, and graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2012 with a BA in Elementary Education. She married her husband Joshua just out of college and they moved to Colorado Springs a month later, seeking the mountains and life outside the Midwest. 

    Upon arriving in the Springs, Rachel started teaching Special Education, spending six years in the classroom. In 2014, she began learning photography as a hobby and creative outlet and it quickly grew into a business by 2015. She mainly photographs families and couples but is continuously exploring and growing her craft. Outside work, Rachel enjoys swimming, hiking, and traveling. She is always looking to learn something new and enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, and taking online courses in fields of interest. 

  • del hokanson

    CO-director of children's and family 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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    Co-Director of Children's AND Family Ministry

    Sarah joined the FCC staff in 2021. She grew up in northern Colorado, and attended college in Springfield, MO at Evangel University. She earned a BS in Elementary Education with a minor in Biblical Studies. Sarah moved back to Colorado after graduation to begin her teaching career as a 3rd grade teacher. She met and married her husband, Rob, in 2006, and went on to pursue an MA in Educational Leadership from UCCS in 2008.


    During her 13 years as a public educator, Sarah has taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades, cultivating a positive and welcoming space in her classroom. She served on the school leadership team and sponsored many after school clubs and activities for children. Sarah also worked previously as a doula to assist parents during childbirth, and she has been a La Leche League leader for over 6 years to assist new parents with breastfeeding. She has also worked as a hike leader with Colorado Mountain Mamas to help parents connect with nature and each other.


    Sarah is a clarinetist and singer who has been very active in community bands and choirs. She also enjoys running, reading, and training her puppy in her free time. She has two children, Iris and Gus, and stays busy supporting their piano studies and after school activities. 

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  • josh Rumple

    Director of Youth Ministry

    Josh Rumple joined the FCC staff in October 2020 as the Director of Youth Ministry. 

    He grew up in a very small town in northwest Ohio, eventually leaving to attend college at Indiana Wesleyan University. It was here that he met his future wife, Rachel, and graduated with a BS in Christian Ministries. Upon graduating in 2012, Josh married Rachel, and they promptly moved to Colorado Springs to build their lives together.

    While in college, Josh began working with youth at a small church in a nearby town, beginning his love for youth ministry. He continued working with youth after moving to Colorado, working at a middle school and volunteering as a youth minister. Over the course of that time, Josh earned an MA in Theological Studies and aimed his life at working for social justice. 

    In his spare time, Josh loves to read and write, as well as completely nerd out on various tabletop games. You can probably find him doing one of those things if he’s not watching Netflix or taking a nap with his cat, Merlin.

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  • Facility and nursery staff

    Robert Scheafer and Doris Fletcher - Custodians

    Sean Drevs and Marisol Whaleswan - Nursery Attendants

    Ani Rose Whaleswan and Curt Daniel - Sunday Sextons