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Church Staff

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Rev. Doug Collins (he/him)

Senior Minister

Born and raised in Albany, OR, Doug returns to the Pacific Northwest after a significant length of time in the Midwest where he earned his Bachelor's degree in philosophy and religion at Eureka College, a Master of Divinity at the University of Chicago, and most recently, where he served as Associate Minister at Allisonville Christian Church in Indianapolis. Doug is passionate about the ways in which our intersections of identity and faith intertwine to form the community at the heart of the church we are called to create. An advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights, racial equality, and the environment, Doug is proud to serve in partnership with First Christian Church Tacoma and beyond.

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Ben Smith (he/him)

Minister of Music

Director, Center for Spirituality & the Arts

Ben was born in Seattle and was raised in Bonney Lake. He has spent most of his adult life living/working and playing in Tacoma. He began studies in Classical Piano at the age of 15 at the University of Puget Sound’s Community Music Program. He also began studies with a composer and conductor on Raft Island in his twenties and began to compose, teach, and perform music in Seattle and Tacoma. Ben has worked closely with churches (most recently Grace Seattle Church on Capitol Hill) over the years, composing music for the services, leading worship from the piano, and nurturing artists in congregational music programs. He maintains a classical piano studio of 20 students as well as performs and records original music.  “I am excited and full of gratitude to be involved musically with FCC and the rich musical tradition that is present here!”.

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Cassandra Tripp (she/her)

Communications Assistant

Cassandra was born and raised on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. She attended the University of Hawaii at Hilo where she studied under two professors who are pioneers in the computer science industry; they helped her intern with several government-related programs, including the Infrared Telescope on Mauna Kea and the Maui High Performance Computing Center affiliated with the Department of Defense. During her last years at the university, Cassandra began working for Hilo United Community Church (where Pastor Barbara Blaisdell was serving at the time) as the office administrator and technology consultant. While at the university she met her husband, Donald Tripp. In 2012 both Donald and Cassandra were given the opportunity to work with Holland America Cruise Line. In December of 2013, when the long time Administrator of FCC of Tacoma announced her retirement, Cassandra started working for First Christian Church of Tacoma in 2013.