Leadership and Staff

Our church leadership consists of the pastor, the church clerk, the financial secretary, the church treasurer, and three church boards.

  • Pastor: Nathaniel (Nat) Erickson
  • Church Clerk: Shirley Young
    • Keeps accurate minutes of church proceedings and correspondence. Is an ex-officio member of the Deacon Board and acts as their secretary.
  • Financial Secretary: Mary Ann Pawley
    • Receives and keeps records of financial contributions to the church. Is an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees.
  • Church Treasurer: David Strasler
    • Pays church bills and maintains a current bank account. Is an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees.

  • Church Boards: Made up of active church members who are nominated, then elected at the annual meeting.
    • Deacons: Assist the pastor in ministry, including membership, ordinances, arranging pulpit supply, and promoting evangelism. The church clerk is an ex-officio member of this board.
    • Trustees: Are responsible for the property of the church, use of church facilities, the church budget and expenditures. The financial secretary and church treasurer are ex-officio members of this board.
    • Christian Education and Missions: Oversee the educational program of the church, including the teaching/education of all ages and the church library. Also oversees the missions support of the church.
  • Church Committees: Made up of members and participants who are nominated and elected at the annual meeting.
    • Nominating Committee: Selects a slate of candidates for open positions.
    • Auditing Committee: Audits financial records of the church at least once per year.
    • Brown Trust Committee: Shall be responsible for overseeing the investments and expenses of the Ethel Brown Estate.
    • Kitchen Committee: Shall be responsible for the organization and maintenance of the kitchen and its functions.
    • Safety Committee: Shall be responsible for maintaining a safe and secure environment for the Church.
  • Staff
    • Secretary: Tracy Block
    • Custodian: Don Tyrrell
    • Pianist: Jill Connin
    • Technology Director: Jeremy Connin

Pastor Nat’s Profile:

“I am excited to be here and to take up the role of teaching and shepherding for the glory of God.”

Pastor Nat

I am a wannabee Yooper married to Maija, a genuine Yooper. We have three kids—one a Yooper by birthright, and two Kentuckians. We met at Michigan Tech, from which we both graduated. After being called to ministry, I went to seminary at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY (much of which was completed online while living in and around the Houghton area). Feeling like I hadn’t learned enough yet, we pulled up stakes and moved back to Kentucky for Ph.D. studies, which I recently completed (if you are ever looking for a riveting conversation, let me talk to you about Greek information structure 😊). On top of studying languages and theology, since our oldest was born I have been part-timing as a stay-at-home dad while Maija serves people as an Occupational Therapist.

Throughout the long years of studying, we have been searching for God’s call on our lives. I did some teaching at home and overseas. Through this whole time, we have been actively involved in the church in various ways. God used Covid to move us back up to the UP from Kentucky and has now led us to First Baptist Church of Manistique. I am excited to be here and to take up the role of teaching and shepherding for the glory of God.

Board Members:

Image of the deacons
2022 Deacons (left to right): Jeremy Connin, Rae Birr (chair), Suzette St. John,
Shirley Young (church clerk), Janet Hickey, Don Tyrrell (nominating committee).
Not pictured: Len Mooi (vice-chair)
Image of the trustees
2022 Trustees (left to right): Parker Birr (nominating committee), Bruce Birr (Trustees secretary), Mary Ann Pawley (church financial secretary), Marv Evink, Dave Strasler (church treasurer),
Dave Robere (chair). Not pictured: Alan Nelson, Nancy Kounelis
2022 Christian Education and Missions Board (left to right):
Christine Partyka, Diane Evink (secretary), Jaime Ziemba (vice chair),
Jill Connin (chair), Tracy Block (nominating committee). Not pictured: Brenda Swanson