Staff Bios


Rev. Mary Ellen Hoffman was called to pastor at The First Congregational Church of Claridon in the autumn of 2012. She previously served as interim pastor here from 2003 – 2005. The congregation was delighted when the opportunity arose to have her return as the settled pastor.
Mary Ellen earned her undergraduate degree from Buffalo State University College in Art Education and her Masters of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School. She was ordained into the United Church of Christ.
Pastor Mary Ellen loves to guide young people in faith through confirmation, and to see them grow in love for the Lord. She enjoys participating in the Christian Education program, especially with Kid’s Adventure Camp, our Vacation Bible School.
Pastor Mary Ellen has a passion for enhancing the spiritual development of people of all ages. She often prepares and delivers sermons in a series in order to promote personal Bible study during the week and to present more in depth teaching of a specific topic or book of the Bible. She has a gentle demeanor and presents the messages in manner that reveals the truth of God’s Word without condemnation.
Her favorite scripture verse comes from Romans 8:38-39 – I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor ruling spirits, nothing now, nothing in the future, no powers, nothing above us, nothing below us, nor anything else in the whole world will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Her bright smile and infectious laugh reflect the confidence and sincerity she has in faith, and add humor and warmth to each worship and social event.
She and her husband Dave live in Bainbridge and have four children, Brian, Christy, Katherine and Jennifer. She keeps busy but still makes time to do an occasional pencil or pen and ink drawing, along with sewing, quilting, knitting (especially socks!) and gardening.

Director of Christian Education

Robin Stanley is the director of Christian Education at 1st Congregational Church of Claridon.  Robin lives in Montville, Ohio and is employed as an attorney for the law firm of Petersen & Ibold.  She is the cheerleading coach at Ledgemont High School.  Robin also directs Circle of Friends Camp at Pilgrim Hills Camp where she loves teaching about Jesus and God’s love.  She directs our Kids Adventure Camp, Adventure Hour and other activities at the church.  She looks forward to seeing everyone at church!

Church Secretary

When the church decided to hire a temporary secretary in 1983 Mary Lou Morgan took the position.  Thirty one years later she still holds that “temporary” role.  She knows everything or at least knows who knows if she doesn’t know!  She is the clerk for the cabinet and trustees and has kept excellent records of all meetings.  Mary Lou publishes the bulletin for each service.  She is the person to talk to if you are interested in renting the social hall or need to plan a wedding or memorial service.  There is no way to incorporate all that Mary Lou does in a brief statement. Her contribution to the operations and stability of the church are immeasurable.