Senior Pastor

Harold and Renee Hoffman

After graduating from seminary in 1978 Pastor Hoffman began his ministry journey.  Married in 1980 to Renee, their calling has taken them to 43 states and 15 foreign countries, including a one year missions assignment in Okinawa, Japan.  He has served as Senior Pastor of First Church since the Spring of 1988.  They are the proud parents of Bub and Babe.  Ashley a.k.a. Bub is the pride of First Church.  Brittani a.k.a. Babe is married to Joshua Wester and to date, they have given Pastor and Sis. Hoffman one “exceptional” granddaughter.

Administrative and Family Life Pastor

Michael and Bridgett Neto

Mike Neto left Fall River, MA to attend Indiana Bible College in 1998 where he met Bridgett. They moved to Bridgett’s hometown of Salt Lake City, UT shortly after. They were married in 2000 and spent seven years ministering in a home missions church in the Salt Lake Valley. After the birth of their first child they moved to Michigan to be closer to their families. They joined First Church in 2006 and have since served in many capacities. Having worked with youth for several years, they were excited to launch our young adult ministry, F.U.S.E., in 2010.

Mike and Bridgett love the outdoors and spend the summers fishing, biking, or camping with their young boys Dominic Michael and Jordan Paul. Mike is an avid hunter and sports enthusiast. Although he has been away from Massachusetts for over 15 years, he still roots for his home teams. Bridgett enjoys reading whenever she has the opportunity, and plays games to relax.

Worship Pastor

Draylin and Kelsey Young

Draylin Young is originally from Dallas, Texas and was a part of North Cities United Pentecostal Church.  He was blessed to be under the pastorial ministry of Pastor D.G. Hargrove.  Draylin was raised as an only child by his grandfather and uncle and his testimony is a remarkable account of the faithfulness and miraculous power of God in his life.

Draylin began attending Indiana Bible College in 2011 and was given the incredible opportunity to be a part of IBC Praise during his tenure there.   His experience with IBC Praise allowed him to finely tune the talents that were gifted to him by God.  He graduated from IBC in 2015 with a B.A. in Biblical Studies and a Minor in Worship Arts.  His time at IBC also gave him what he would consider to be his greatest gift; it introduced him to his sweet wife, Kelsey.   Together they serve God and First Church with integrity and dedication.

Check out Draylin Young Music on iTunes and youtube! Draylin continues to share his heart and passion for worship with the world.

Assimiliation Pastor

Jonathan & Telesha Gibbs

Children’s Ministry Director

David & Stacy Mize

David and Stacy have worked in some capacity of Children’s Ministry at First Church for more than 15 years, assuming the leadership role over 10 years ago. They have the privilege to work with a talented and dedicated staff. Stacy earned her Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from The University of Michigan – Dearborn. David and Stacy have been married for 18 years and have 4 wonderful children. They are happiest spending time with family.

Care Network Coordinator

Andrew Hill

Andrew and his family began attending First Church in 1996.  Andrew has been active in several ministries and is currently serving as Care Network Coordinator, Co-Leader of the Knights Club and is on the Board of Trustees for First Church.  Andrew holds a B.A. in Business Administration and works in purchasing.  Andrew and his wife Marlena were married in 1990 and have been blessed with 10 children.

Ladies’ Ministry

Brenda Lichtle

Brenda joined First Church Ladies Ministries in 1981.  She is responsible for coordinating special events, ladies activities and caring for the needs of First Church families.  She has been married to her husband Bob for 38 years, they have two children and four grandchildren.

Brenda was involved with the Ladies Ministries at Apostolic Bible Institute in St. Paul, Minnesota while Bob was attending college.

Previously, Brenda was catering manager at a national hotel chain.  She is gifted toward the details and strives for excellence in all things.  She enjoys a ministry in serving others and it shows in all she puts her hands to.

Men’s Ministry

Michael Parsons

Serving over 30 years at a neighboring church in various capacities including, Praise and Worship, Music, Children’s Ministry, Prayer Meeting Leader and Home Bible Studies.  Mike and his wife Annamarie chose to make First Church their home in 2011.  Mike and Annamarie are blessed with two wonderful daughters and two outstanding grandchildren.  Mike is employed as a Sales Manager for a large construction material supplier in southeast Michigan. He enjoys motorcycling, music and of course…..his grandchildren!  Eager to serve, Mike was appointed to facilitate the men’s group in 2012.

Church Secretary

Delores Hill

Delores’ connection to First Church began at the age of 13.  Bro. & Sis. Carl Hill (the founders of Firstchurch) showed up at their door and that visit changed the course of their family.

Since May 1962 Delores has served in different capacities such as teacher, Ladies Ministries Director, Youth Leader and Church Secretary now for over 35 years.  She considers it a great privilege to serve a church family like First Church and hopes to always have a place where she can contribute with “joy”.

Delores has been married to her best friend “a very long, and wonderful time”.  They have two adult children who brought wonderful spouses into their family and have blessed the Hill’s with six GRANDchildren (so far…).

Delores says, “People move from house to house and sometimes from church to church to find what they are looking for.  Pastor and Sister Hoffman care for our soul.  The anointed word and great wisdom God has given them is a blessing to us all.   This is a church family made up of ‘every tribe and nation’ and God’s presence is among us when we come together.  So my question is, why look somewhere else?  We can go to heaven from here.”

Detroit Outreach Ministry

Karrie Vandewater

At the age of 32, Karrie gave her heart to The Lord.  After growing under the First Church ministry, the Lord called her to minister to the women at the Macomb County Jail.  Karrie worked there for 13 years and saw many women healed, delivered and restored through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Her contacts at the jail led her to begin ministering at a local youth rehabilitation facility, where many young men received the Gospel and a new lease on life.  Karrie spent 8 years working at the rehab facility with a team from First Church.

Karrie then gathered a ministry team from First Church to take the Gospel into a local nursing home.  Many folks found a place of healing and deliverance as they made their way through the latter part of life.

In 2006, Karrie and her family moved to Germany where she led the women’s ministry at one of the local churches.  Upon returning to the States Karrie resumed working with the elderly at Oakmont Assisted Living.  In addition, she works with a team from First Church to minister to the troubled youth at Capstone Academy in Detroit and is assembling a team to begin ministering at a center for abused teens in Detroit.

Pastor’s Admin

Valerie Woodworth

Valerie and her husband Jeff became members of First Church when they moved to Michigan in 1988.  She has worked in various ministries including teaching classes for the Children’s Ministry and Pastor’s Orientation.

Valerie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational, Technical and Adult Education and an Associate Degree in Automotive Technology.  She worked for Chrysler Corporation for 18 years and has worked in the First Church offices in various capacities since 1999.  When not facilitating, organizing, or coordinating, Valerie enjoys gardening and knitting.

Audio & Video

Karen Blankenship

Karen has been a member of the First Church family since 1990.  She was raised in another denomination but always felt something was missing in her life.  When she started visiting First Church, Pastor Hoffman answered so many of her questions.  She began ministering in the sound room in 1993. During that time she has seen the change from Audio to CD, VHS to DVD.  She enjoys her work and is extremely dedicated.  She has also ministered in nursing homes and various other outreach ministries.

Karen drives for a living and loves to give her testimony to the people she meets, letting them know God can do for them what he did for her.  Her favorite scripture is Psalms 25:1-2 Unto thee, Oh Lord, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in thee: Let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.

Sound and Technical Director

Jeremiah Gibbs

Jeremiah Gibbs began attending First Church with his family in 1993 at the age of 13. Since then he has served in various ministries, including youth leadership, Praise and Worship, Choir, and Music. For the past 20 years, Jeremiah has followed the calling on his life to improve and perfect the sound and technical department of First Church. Jeremiah and his wife Jessica have been blessed with two wonderful children who fully support his ministry. Jeremiah works full time as a flight nurse on an aeromedical helicopter providing treatment and transport for the acutely and chronically ill. He is very passionate about active leadership in his role which is evident by his always adapting nature and drive for excellence.