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Meet Our Staff

Introducing T. Michael Rock – Renewal Leave Pastor


While Pastor Leslie is away on Renewal Leave (March 4th through June 4th), the Rev. T. Michael Rock will be shepherding us and supporting our own renewal journey.

Rev. T. Michael Rock has been an ordained minister, a liberation theologian, and an educator in the United Church of Christ since 1996 and until recently served as one of the Co-Pastors and Teachers at Robbinsdale Parkway United Church of Christ in Robbinsdale, Minnesota. He served congregations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island as well. T. Michael is also an activist and experienced trainer in nonviolence, civil disobedience, and sexuality education.

The interview team (Mary Reardon, Marcia Ferris, and Pastor Leslie) are excited about the experience T. Michael brings in many of the areas we will be engaging with in March, April, and May. He has an infectious energy, a compassionate heart, and a deep faith.

You will have an opportunity to meet T. Michael on Sunday March 3, 2024 after the worship service to celebrate the beginning of this exciting time of renewal and connection.

I know you all will make him feel welcome!


Rev. Leslie Moughty, Pastor

The Reverend Leslie Moughty (pronounced Moody) joined First Congregational United Church of Christ in Brainerd as Pastor in February 2015. Leslie came to us from the Seattle area where she was serving as the Director of Children, Youth and Families at a local UCC church. Leslie completed her Master of Divinity at Pacific School of Religion in Berkley, CA in 2013. Leslie is a trained facilitator for all levels of the Our Whole Lives Sexuality and Our Faith curriculum and lobbied in Washington DC for comprehensive sexuality education in schools. (For more information about Our Whole Lives, click here.)

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Leslie strives to create worship experiences that blend traditional hymns land worship styles with music from other traditions, multi-sensory experiences, and a variety styles of worship and prayer. Leslie also works toward creating a worship time that is meaningful and accessible to people of all ages including young children who may otherwise feel that church is something they have to endure rather than an experience they look forward to.

In 2016 Pastor Leslie was selected to participate in the Next Generation Leadership Initiative. A ten-year leadership development program for younger local church pastors in the United Church of Christ.

In her free time, Leslie loves to take her dog Daisy to Gregory Park for lots of running and ball chasing. She also enjoys beading jewelry, dance and just being in nature.

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Terri Chidester

Administrative Assistant/Office Manager

Terri joined us at the end of December 2019. We are thrilled to include her in our church family!

Terri moved to Brainerd from a 5th generation homestead in Aitkin County in 2012. Before joining First Congregation she worked in the health care field for eight years and has now semi-retired.

She lives with her youngest son on his small homestead and loves gardening and spending time with her horse Pixi and the two family dogs Banner and Valor.

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