Below is a list of our church leadership and staff, including the elders who establish church policy and govern the church, and the deacons who minister to the congregation. Feel free to contact any of the people below for more information on Northern Lakes Community Church.

Our Pastor

Our pastor is the Rev. Dr. Lois Aroian, who went to college at age 16 planning to become a Presbyterian minister. But as a student at the American University of Beirut, she said, “I concluded the Lord had other plans for me.” She became a student and teacher of Middle Eastern affairs, entered the Foreign Service as a political officer and served from 1984 to 2007, in addition to tours in the bureaus of International Organization Affairs, African Affairs and Intelligence and Research. As Principal Officer of the U.S. Consulate-General in Quebec City, Canada, Aroian occasionally preached and led worship at two English-speaking churches, and transitioned from working for the Foreign Service into the ministry. She was ordained in 2010, began serving at the United Presbyterian Church of Willow Lake, South Dakota, and moved to East Jordan, Michigan as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church there in November 2015. This August, she accepted a call to become Interim Pastor at Northern Lakes Community Church.

Our Elders

  • Barb Cain – Mission – (231) 499-4980 –
  • Joe Schmidt – Finance – (231) 645-1150 –
  • Ron Messner – Hospital visitation – (231) 276-6488 –
  • Tom Tatar – Adult Ministries – (231) 409-0979 –
  • Bob Thompson – Personnel and help with finance – (231) 645-1767 –
  • Pat Thompson – Youth and Family, Communication, Property, Worship – (231) 642-1767 –

Our Deacons

  • Melynn Jenner – Shepherding, Two Minutes for Mission, College care packages – (231) 499-9452 –
  • Dawn Bondy – Community outreach, Two Minutes for Mission – (231) 409-2215 –
  • Kathy Gauthier – College care packages, Prayer Chain, Special thank you, Special care – (231) 276-9673 –
  • Doug Gauthier – Easter brunch – (231) 276-9673 –

Our Committees

  • Bev Adams and Sue Rice – Worship Committee Chairs – and
  • Gene Adams – Property Committee Chair –
  • Steve Kellman – Webmaster – (231) 499-3532 –

Music Leadership Team

  • Jill Justin – (231) 590-1332 –
  • Sanjay Woolcott – (231) 649-5007 –

Volunteer Administrative Assistants

935-4556 –

  • Pat and Lori Thompson
  • Penny Schmidt

Children in Worship Storytellers


  • Jeff Burton
  • Julie Burton
  • Amy Devanney
  • Mike Devanney
  • Melynn Jenner
  • Ron Messner
  • Sue Messner
  • Bob Thompson
  • Lori Thompson


  • Barb Cain
  • Jean Scott

Sunday School Teachers

CURRICULUM: “Bible-in-Life”  series by David C. Cook

  • Julie Burton
    Julie Burton teaches the 3rd to 6th grade children at NLCC.
  • Barb Cain
    Barb Cain has spent a lifetime in youth ministries. She grew up in a strong Presbyterian youth program in Kalamazoo which continued to nurture her into adulthood and was the spark that started her passion for serving youth. Barb obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Michigan, and she currently counsels troubled youth in her private practice. In addition to her current work as a youth group leader and Sunday school teacher, Barb has worked for and volunteered in many youth organizations, including Outward Bound, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, a juvenile diversion program, Girl Scouts, and Girls on the Run. About her experience in youth ministries at Northern Lakes, she states, “It’s very easy to spend time with this group of kids and to grow with them as we explore through Bible study and activities, what it means to be and live as a Christian today. I am consistently amazed by this group of young people who are so fun, smart, motivated and committed to sharing themselves as Christians.”