Staff & Leadership

Reverend Luke Schmalz

I was installed as Pastor of First Congregational Church of Fremont, Michigan on February 6, 2022.   I feel incredibly honored to be a pastor. For me, the greatest calling of my life is to care for people, attend to the care of souls and to preach the gospel message of Jesus Christ.  My goal is to provide a joyful, faithful, gospel-filled church for the Fremont area and surrounding communities.

After I graduated from college I moved to St. Louis to attend seminary, which is where I met my wife Crystal. We both pursued chaplaincy after seminary. I have served as a resident chaplain at the VA, a hospice chaplain, and an interim pastor. Crystal stayed in chaplaincy and became a Clinical Pastoral Educator. My education includes a BA in History from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a Masters of Divinity from Urshan Graduate School of Theology.   Crystal and I have a beautiful daughter named Norah.  I enjoy being outside with my family and our dog Maggie where we enjoy nature hikes, bird watching and gardening.  I love to read and my favorite subjects include theology, history, fiction and poetry.

Pastor Luke and Family 

Lorene Witte, Administrative Assistant

I joined the staff of the First Congregational Church in 1999 as the church secretary/administrative assistant. I am blessed to be a part of the church family here. I also serve as the church organist. My husband, Phil and I have been married since 1975 and are the proud parents of 4 children. We have 8 wonderful grandchildren. I love spending time with family, playing the organ and piano, and the statement “trust and never doubt - He’s never failed me yet.” My favorite Bible verse is Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”


Each year the congregation elects members into the following positions:
   • Moderator 
   • Vice Moderator
   • Clerk                    
   • Treasurer
   • Financial Secretary


Board members are elected by the Congregation and have the following responsibilities for the Church:

  • Board of Deacons is responsible for the spiritual life.
  • Board of Trustees is responsible for financial, legal and contractual operations.
  • Board of Christian Education supervises and directs educational programs.
  • Board of Charitable Giving oversees all aspects of charitable donations. 
  • Board of Women’s Fellowship develops activities and events which offer opportunities for friendship, discipleship, and outreach.
  • Board of Men’s Fellowship offers opportunities for fellowship, discipleship and service.
  • Technology Board is responsible for researching and managing appropriate technology.

Executive Council (EC)

The Pastor, the Officers and a Chair from each of the Boards serve on the EC, which is chaired by the Moderator. The EC is responsible for the coordination and administration of the church programs and business on behalf of the Congregation.