First Unitarian phone: (515) 244-8603


Rev. Jennifer Brooks
Interim Senior Minister

Ext. 102  •  >> Rev. Brooks joined the staff in August 2017 as the Interim Senior Minister and will be serving First Unitarian Church of Des Moines for a 2-year transition period before we call our next senior minister. Committed to transition ministry, she is an Accredited Interim Minister (AIM); a member of the interfaith Interim Ministry Network; and she serves on the three-member Steering Committee of the UUA’s Interim Ministry Guild, which is the professional organization for UU ministers committed to intentional, focused, attentive transitional ministry.

Rev. Erin Gingrich
Associate Minister of Social Justice

Ext. 105  •  >> Rev. Gingrich began serving full-time in this ministry position in August of 2014. She organizes, nurtures, and focuses our ministries of justice within and outside of the church, including the Social Justice Council and related church initiatives, and AMOS (interfaith community organizing). She also assists with Soul Matters and religious services. Erin is a graduate of Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago.

Religious Education

Tracy Beck
Director of Religious Education

Ext. 104  •  >> Tracy Beck has served as the full-time Director of Religious Education since 2009 and oversees children and family ministries as well as religious education programming for preschool to adults at First Unitarian Church of Des Moines. This includes a Coming of Age program for middle school youth, Our Whole Lives for upper elementary and middle school youth, high school youth group and adult religious education programming, including Wellspring and Soul Matters.

Devon McClurken
RE Assistant & Youth Coordinator

Ext. 109 • or >> Devon joined the staff in April 2018 as both the RE Assistant and High School Youth Coordinator. RE Assistant duties (20 hours/week) include maintaining records, creating the Wednesday Programming emails, scheduling and communicating with RE volunteers, assembling lessons, maintaining classrooms and supplies, and other tasks that support the Director or Religious Education and the Faith Formation program. As the High School Youth Coordinator (8 hours/week), Devon assists and mentors the high school youth group, which meets Sunday evenings (Sept-May).


Laura Berardi
Membership Coordinator

Ext. 103  •  >> As Membership Coordinator for 20 hours/week, Laura oversees the welcoming of visitors and guests, connecting them to areas of church life that match their interests. Laura is also responsible for new member classes and membership ceremonies as well as gathering feedback from new members and others. She is also the staff liaison for affinity groups.

Amanda DuBose
Child Care Coordinator >> As a 9 hours/week Child Care Coordinator, Amanda facilitates requests for child care needs at our church and coordinates our child care staff to fill those needs. Amanda joined the staff in June 2017.


Karen Kraemer
Choir Director

Karen has a long history of music leadership in this congregation (including as director of the Bell Ave. Chimes, the Channing Chimes, and the Flames Youth Choir). Karen served as our Interim Choir Director from February – September 2016, when the position was made permanent. Karen leads the UU Adult Choir and Bell Ave. Chimes.

Bruce Martin

A member of the church since 1969, Bruce began as the church pianist, playing for services, in 2000.

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Barb Martin
Special Music Coordinator  >> Barb joined the staff in June 2017 as the Special Music Coordinator to plan and coordinate special music for church services. The Special Music Coordinator position is approximately 2 hours/week.

Administrative Staff

Charles Lewis
Director of Finance and Administration

Ext. 101  •  >> Charles joined the staff in February of 2018.  He previously served Eliot Unitarian Chapel in Kirkwood, Missouri for over nine years.  He is a member of, and former board member of, the Association of Unitarian Universalist Administrators.  As the DFA, he is responsible for all aspects of the Church’s administration, and supervises the administrative staff.

Jane White
Office Assistant

Ext. 107  •  >> Jane joined the First Unitarian staff in November of 2010 in this 16 hours/week position. Jane is responsible for space/calendar reservations, the Order of Service, entering information in the data base and preparing mailings.

Matt Butler
Communications Coordinator

Ext. 108  •  >> Matt joined the staff in October of 2018. He is responsible for the Intercom Weekly email, web site updates, posting the service video and audio podcasts, social media posts, creating the Annual Report and bi-annual Programming brochures, as well as various other print communication pieces for the church. The Communication Coordinator position is 14 hours/week.