Rev. Doug Collins (he/him)
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.
Justin Carlson (he/him)
Justin (he/him) comes to FCC Tacoma this year from the Disciples Divinity House at the University of Chicago, where he is earning his Master of Divinity. He has deep roots in Minnesota, where he grew up as a fourth-generation member of FCC Minneapolis, earned his BA at Carleton College, then wandered from middle school special education into nonpartisan legal editing for the state legislature before finally giving in to God and heading to seminary. Justin is a dancer and musician and is extremely enthusiastic about how our scientific explorations and deep observations of this universe can illuminate the scriptures we've preserved and shared. Last in the Pacific Northwest over two decades ago on a family road trip, Justin is so excited to return to and experience this wonderful place while learning alongside each of you!
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!”.
Cassandra Tripp (she/her)
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.
Kathryn Mundy (she/her)
Katy was born in western Pennsylvania. When she was 12 her family adopted 2 little girls, which was an exciting change from only having little brothers. With the addition of younger family members her desire to care for children grew, so as soon as she was 13 her mom enrolled her in a course to become a certified babysitter. Shortly after, her entire family moved to the Big Island of Hawaii. Here she started her college life studying computer science at the University of Hawaii's Hilo campus before moving on to graduate with a degree in medical billing and coding. While attending college she worked as a personal assistant, providing 1-on-1 care to a couple of adolescents dealing with developmental disabilities, and helped as an aide in the special education classrooms of an elementary school and later a high school. In 2018 Katy moved to Washington to pursue a relationship with her husband Dustin. Currently, she is working full-time for a hospital-based midwifery clinic helping families set up the care they need as they welcome new little ones into the world. Dustin and Katy look forward to becoming foster parents and adding to their family by adopting children of their own.