Getting to know the Leadership Team
Rev. Mark Erbes, Pastor
Pastor Mark is a Lansing-area native who graduated from Okemos High School in 1979. He then received a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and Trumpet Performance from Western Michigan University in 1983 and a Master of Music degree in Trumpet Performance from the University of Minnesota in 1985. Following eight years of teaching instrumental music in Minnesota and Michigan, he answered God’s call to ordained ministry and attended United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio where he received a Master of Divinity degree in 1997. He was appointed to the Holt UMC on July 1, 2014 after serving Faith Community UMC in Xenia, OH, First UMC in Mt. Pleasant, the Constantine UMC, and Lake Harbor UMC in Norton Shores. He also currently serves as a member of the West Michigan Conference Board of Ordained Ministry and the Board of Trustees of Clark Retirement Community.
Mark’s passions in ministry include teaching, leading worship, and helping others grow in their individual faith journeys. In his spare time, he enjoys running, bicycling, and rooting for MSU and the Chicago Cubs. He is also an avid reader, with a special affinity for British mysteries.
Mark’s wife Annette also graduated from Okemos High School in 1979 and WMU in 1983. She has enjoyed working in a number of churches as Director of Christian Education as well as in public and Christian schools as an elementary and Title I teacher. She has been very active as a layperson on District and Conference committees, and also currently serves on the Board of Ordained Ministry.
Mark and Annette have two children: their daughter Megan is a 2011 graduate of Ohio Northern University (B.S. in Sport Management) and she received a M.S. in Sport Administration from Belmont University in 2013. She resides in Massachusetts and serves as the Sports Information Director at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. Their son Matthew is a 2014 graduate of Valparaiso University (B.S. in geography) and the University of Missouri (M.S. in geography) and is currently employed by the Esri Geographic Information Company in St. Louis, MO. His wife Nikki is also a Valpo grad (2016), and is a doctoral student in the Physical Therapy program at Washington University-St. Louis.
Carolin Spragg, Pastoral Assistant
Carolin grew up in the Robbins community, northeast of Eaton Rapids, graduating from Eaton Rapids High School. She attended Adrian College for three years, then completed a BSW and MS in Sociology from Utah State University. The years that followed included marriage and family years, agri-business consulting, financial management work and many volunteer hours as Christian Education director at Robbins UMC
Having felt called to full time Christian service in High School, Carolin answered the call to pastoral ministry in 1989 and attended Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. Ordained an elder in 1994 she served the Parma/North Parma charge from 1992-1999, Paw Paw UMC from 1999-2007, and the Fremont UMC from 2007 -2013. She enjoyed preaching, teaching Disciple Bible Study, doing pastoral care, and working for congregational revitalization.
Carolin retired in 2013 to care for her parents, walking the journey with them for the last two years of their lives. What a holy privilege to spend that time together. Since retirement Carolin has been involved in the Vital Church Initiative program serving as coach and consultant. She also teaches an adult study group and directs the choir at the Robbins UMC.
Carolin enjoys woodworking, reading and gardening when time allows. She has participated in a number of United Methodist VIM team experiences to such places as Henderson Settlement, Haiti, and Mujila Falls, Zambia. What a thrill to meet and serve God’s people around the world.
Carolin, has two children. Her son, Greg Salisbury and wife, Joyce, and her grandson, Andrew, live in Portage, MI. Greg works for Stryker Corporation as a Director of Quality. Joyce works for GM in marketing. Andrew starts 8th grade in the fall and enjoys soccer. Her daughter, Kris and husband Paul live in Albuquerque, NM. Kris is Director of Cottonwood Gulch, an outdoor experiential education program offering life stretching treks for children and youth. Paul is a school social worker. They have a son, Ben, who is working in the computer world. They are currently doing foster care with thepossibility of adoption.
Annette Erbes, Christian Education Director
Annette Erbes joined the staff at Holt United Methodist Church as Director of Christian Education in August of 2014. Annette holds a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Western Michigan University with minors in mathematics and sociology.
Annette has spent her career involved in many aspects of education, having served as a classroom teacher, Title I instructor, and as a staff person in Christian education in a variety of United Methodist churches. Her zeal for individualized instruction was realized as a Title I instructor teaching mathematics and language arts to elementary and middle school students. Involvement and commitment to the United Methodist Church was lived out by serving as a staff person in Christian education, most recently at First UMC in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Married to Mark for over thirty years, Annette cherishes time with her family, as their children Megan (Sports Information Director at the University of Massachusetts—Dartmouth) and Matthew (recently married to Nikki and relocated in St. Louis, MO) both live out of state. The entire family enjoys watching sports together as they root for their MSU Spartans. Other hobbies of Annette’s include reading, walking, shopping and interior decorating.
Annette is a lay member on the West Michigan Conference Board of Ordained Ministry and has also served as Grand Rapids District Lay Leader, on the Grand Rapids and Albion District Superintendency Committees, Michigan Area Committee on the Episcopacy, Conference Committee on Nominations, as a lay member to annual conference, and on other numerous district and conference boards and agencies.
Chris Commet, Administrative Assistant
Administrative assistant? Secretary? Office manager? Go-to person? However you define the job, it’s a fact that Chris is quite often the first person you see when you come in during the week. She is the voice on the phone, the face behind the counter, the person responsible for printing – bulletins, newsletters, promotional materials – pretty much anything generated from the office has Chris’s fingerprints on it. In her “other” office, Chris makes sure the bills are paid and the expenses stay under budget.
Most Recent Project: Mosaic Scarf
Favorite Past-times: Spending time with family, watching movies, trying out new recipes, reading, sewing, knitting and exercising a la Henry David Thoreau: "'Tis a great art to saunter."
Current Reads: "Gray Mountain" by John Grisham; "The Last Mile" by David Baldacci
History: Following a career in printing and publishing, Chris worked part-time as a church secretary in her hometown of Jackson before joining the Holt UMC staff in 2006
Best Part of the Job: Interacting with members of Holt UMC and the community
Offspring: Sara, working in advertising in NYC; Ben, a senior at GVSU; Justin, a certified master auto tech working in Jackson who recently married his high school sweetheart, Rachel; Amber, a high school junior at Lumen Christi Catholic School.
Claire Bellamy, Chancel Choir Director
Claire is delighted to join the HUMC staff as the Chancel Choir director. She is high school and middle school choir director at Okemos Public Schools. Before moving to Michigan in 2013, she and her husband lived in Medina, OH. Claire taught middle school and high school choir in Brunswick, OH.
Claire is very active in her school community and is the music director for the musicals St Okemos High School and Chippewa Middle School.
She graduated from The College of Wooster in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in Music Education. While attending The College of Wooster, she was the Soprano Choral Scholar at The First Presbyterian Church Of Wooster, OH, and served as the Children's Choir Director for 2 years.
Claire is the daughter of two Presbyterian ministers and has been a lifelong participant in church music. She is an ordained elder and loves being a member of a church family. She grew up in Western Springs, IL, a suburb of Chicago with her parents and younger Brother, Duncan.
In her free time, Claire loves spending time with her husband, Ben, and their dog, George going on hikes at the Brighton Recreation Center and exploring the beautiful state of Michigan.
Genadi Zagor, Choir Accompanist & Organist
A native of Krasnodar, Russia, Genadi Zagor began his music studies at the age of four with his father, a foremost guitarist and composer. He continued his piano studies at the Moscow Central Music School for gifted children with Tatiana Manuilskaya. Later on, he studied with one of the most prominent teachers of the Caucasus, Nelly Mezhlumova. After graduating from Krasnodar's Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music with distinction, he went on to study at the Moscow State Conservatory with Mikhail Mezhlumov, one of Russia's leading teachers. In 1991, Genadi immigrated to Israel and became an assistant to Professor Alexander Tamir at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance.
Mr. Zagor holds prizes from the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition in Salt Lake City; the Eighth Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition, Israel; the Leeds International Pianoforte competition, United Kingdom; the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition, Japan; and the Francois Shapira Music Competition, Israel. In 1995 he became a recipient of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarship for outstanding artists. In 1997, as a cultural mission leader for the Jerusalem municipality, he performed in Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, and the Czech Republic. After winning the most prestigious National Piano Competition in Tel-Aviv, Genadi appeared in a special recital at the Presidential Palace for the seventh President of Israel, Ezer Weizman. Mr. Zagor frequently appears on the Israeli National Television and Radio.
Since his debut at age 10, Mr. Zagor has performed to critical acclaim in recital and orchestral appearances around the world. He has appeared with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Gotham City Orchestra, Northbrook Symphony Orchestra, South Bend Symphony Orchestra, Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, Post-Classical Ensemble and Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, among others. Throughout his career, Mr. Zagor has performed on concert stages in Russia, Israel, Japan, England, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and the United States.
In 2000, Genadi moved to the United States and joined Maestro Alexander Toradze's thriving piano program at Indiana University (South Bend). After completing his Artist Diploma, Genadi served as an Adjunct Lecturer in Piano at the same university. He also holds a Master of Music degree in piano performance from Michigan State University and is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts at Michigan State University in the studio of Prof. Moriarty. Since his arrival in the United States, Mr. Zagor won top prizes from the World Piano Competition in Cincinnati, San Antonio International Piano competition in Texas, and the Grand Prize at the D’Angelo Young Artists Competition in Erie, Pennsylvania. Recent solo performances were at the most prestigious Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival in Kalamazoo (Michigan) as a part of the "World Rising Stars" series, and the Toradze Piano Studio Rachmaninoff Marathon. Both events were broadcast live on the National Public Radio. Genadi actively participates in Marathon projects organized by the famous music writer Joseph Horowitz together with Maestro Toradze and his assistants. Mr. Zagor has traveled extensively across Europe and America performing with Maestro Toradze and the Studio, most notably at the prestigious Ruhr Klavier Festival (Germany), the Salzburg Festival (Austria), the Stresa Festival (Italy), the Bologna Piano Festival (Italy), the Palermo Music Festival (Italy), the Florence Piano Festival (Italy), the Uzano Music Festival (Italy), and the Strasbourg Piano Festival (France). Most recent performances include “The Stravinsky Project”and Symposium: “Reactions to the Record” in Stanford University, California; Stravinsky “Les Noces” and Piano Marathon in Strathmore Hall, Washington, DC; “Russian Gershwin” with the Post Classical Ensemble in Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Baltimore, and “Celebration of Gershwin” with Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra in Saint-Petersburg (Russia). Upcoming engagements include concerts in California, Washington DC, Russia, Germany, France, and Italy.
For the past six years, Mr. Zagor served on the faculty of the University of Northern Iowa’s School of Music. As a Visiting Artist and Piano Instructor at the University of Northern Iowa, Mr. Zagor performed at several events, including the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center Annual Crème de la Crème, the School of Music Annual Scholarship Benefit Concerts, faculty and student recitals, and faculty chamber concert series. As adjudicator, Genadi served on the panel of the Iowa Music Teachers Association and Music Teachers National Association conferences performing and presenting new works by Iowa composers. He also appeared as a guest pianist with the Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, Annual Cedar Valley Chamber Music Festival, College Hill Arts Festival, and as a guest on the KUNI/KHKE, WFMT and SATELLITE SIRIUS XM public radio stations.
Since 2012 Mr. Zagor actively participates in solo and chamber recitals at Michigan State University where he holds the position of Graduate Assistant and collaborates with renown Prof. Bagratuni and Prof. Gandelsman. Reaction to Mr. Zagor’s performances is typically expressed with phrases such as “sensational,” “nimble-fingered,” “lively and imaginative player,” ”triumph,”,and, “electrifying performance”.
Additionally, Mr. Zagor has vast experience in accompanying church services. He played organ and piano for the services in Ekaterina Church, Saint Michael Church and Uspenskaya Church in Krasnodar, Russia (1985-1990). Following his arrival to United States he was serving as a church musician at Coalbush United Methodist Church in South Bend, Indiana (2000-2003) and organist-pianist at the St. Katherine Episcopal Church in Williamston, Michigan (2009-2010).
Ministers - Every Member of the Congregation
Deborah Kiesey - Michigan Area Bishop
Kennetha Bigham-Tsai - Lansing District Superintendent
Rev. Mark Erbes - Pastor
Carolin Spragg - Pastoral Assistant
Annette Erbes - Director of Christian Education
Chris Commet - Administrative Assistant
Brad Adams - Building/Grounds Manager
Beth Gimm Bergh - Director, Praise Team & Handbell Choir
Adrienne Monahan - Youth Director
Genadi Zagor - Choir Accompanist & Organist
Dan Romanek, JoAnne Romanek, Dani Gimm Bergh, Don Stouffer, Eric Le, Taryn Clapsaddle, Josh Trudgeon - Media Team
Paul Webster - Missionary
Mary Edinger - Fellowship Committee Chair
Patrick Schmidt - Newcomer Ministry
Michelle Stroup, SarahAnn Robiadek, Taryn Clapsaddle - Nursery Attendants
Amy Larner - Child Enrichment Center Director
Art Nott - Lay Leader
Randy Coller, Gordon Galloway, Rebecca Kegler, Guy Sweet - Lay Servants
Eileen Hamilton - Leadership Team Chair
Rich Allen - Property Team Chair
Bob Mellor - Personnel Ministry Team Chair
Lynn Harper - Christian Education Chair
Lynne Bemrose - Missions Chair
Rebecca Kegler - Finance Chair
JoAnne Romanek & Chris Commet - Website Construction & Maintenance
Chris Commet, Dan Romanek, JoAnne Romanek - Social Media
Maynard Hamilton - Intentional Faith Development
Bea Parker - Memorials
Skip Beehler - Wills & Estates
Bob Mellor, Mike Russell - Financial Secretaries