Our Staff

Interim Pastor: Rich Collier

I have been a pastor for 38 years.   For 26 years I have been serving exclusively as a full time Intentional Interim Pastor in congregations all over southern Wisconsin.  My last assignment was helping the congregation of Dekorra Lutheran Church in Poynette.  

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I attended college at Edinboro U of  Pennsylvania.  and seminary at Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, IA.  My first Call was with a 3 point parish in eastern North Dakota.  Mayville, WI has been home for 19 years now.  I am a widower.   My daughter lives in Fond Du Lac with her husband and two sons, Finn and Everett.  

Office Manager: Tammy Hedrick

Tammy was born in East Troy, Wisconsin and grew up, not only in Wisconsin, but also North Dakota, Wyoming, and Michigan.  She has been a resident of Fort Atkinson since 1994, where she resides on a hobby farm with her husband, 2 sons, and a small herd of sheep.  Tammy has a professional background in the legal field, education, and retail management. She grew up in the Lutheran church and is a member of Trinity English Lutheran Church in Fort Atkinson.  Tammy feels blessed to serve the First English congregation and share her Christian faith.

Director of Music:  Dr. Sarah Read Gehrenbeck

I am your Music Director and Organist, and glad to be able to worship with you on a weekly basis! I hail from a variety of places; Maine, Chicago, Dallas, and Boston.  I met my husband while rehearsing a Cantata by J.S. Bach (Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 4).  God has blessed us with two boys.

I teach piano and organ lessons privately, in Whitewater, in addition to my duties at FELC.   My area of study includes early American shape-note hymnody, and the organ music it has inspired. My previous degrees include a Bachelor of Music (piano) from Boston University, and my M.M. (organ) from Indiana University, with concentrations in church music and historical performance. I love being able to share all sorts of music with you, here at FELC, and I am thankful for your support as we grow together, in Christ. Soli Deo Gloria- all for the glory of God!

Praise Band Director:  Jay Craggs

Jay has a passion for music.  As a guitarist, composer, and tech consultant Jay has performed across North America. He has worked with others passionate about music including Wynton Marsalis, Chick Corea, Buddy Rich, Kansas, Bob Mintzer, Phil Collen, Rich Little, and Night Ranger.  He’s assisted the tours of Rush, Prince, David Bowie, Lou Reed and others, and his engineering skills were recognized n the 2010 International Emmy Award winning “The World According to Ion B" for HBO Romania.

Jay has a passion for teaching. He has presented many clinics, performances, and lectures throughout the U.S. and has developed curriculum and taught courses for Columbia College Chicago, Madison Media Institute, and UW-Whitewater.  Jay received his undergraduate degree in Music Education from UW-Whitewater, and a Masters Degree in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management from Columbia College Chicago.

In addition to his commitment to education and music, Jay enjoys time with family. He and his wife Jan live walking distance to 1st English where they were married 21 years ago.   Both enjoy time outside together- usually with animals - and work on campus at UW-Whitewater.

Youth & Family Ministry Coordinator:  Karil Bilgen


Facilities Manager:  Corriene Bieneck

I have been gratefully able to serve the church as your Facility Manager with the assistance of my husband, Tim.  I grew up in Milwaukee and have resided in the Whitewater area for the past 20 plus years.  My husband came from Portage, and has been part of the Whitewater community for 6 years.  We both like to go antiquing and traveling.  One of our favorite places we have visited, and hope to return to, is Costa Rica.  

I also work as a private duty RN in the Fort Atkinson area and plan to continue my education in natural health as a natural health coach.  I was active in the mounted search and rescue for the Whitewater area but now just enjoy quite times with my elderly horse.  

Financial Secretary:  Tricia Borchardt