Chair of the Elders
Vice Chair of Elders
Chair of Trustees
Joel Engman, Lead Pastor
The truth is I squirm a little when people ask me what I do? When I say Pastor you probably already have some formed ideas about who I am:
did I mention judgmental?
I tend to surprise people though.
I relate to people who say they are 'spiritual but not religious.' I might be one of the least 'religious' Pastors you might ever meet. Awhile back I was having a drink (yes I drink and even consider myself a bit of a beer aficionado) with a friend who looked at me and said 'You know Joel...I would go to your church!' That tends to be the response I get from people I know. I don't pretend to have all the answers. I ask just as many questions as I give answers and love to have meaningful conversations about life, spirituality, love, human nature, and faith with whomever I find across the table from me (hopefully enjoying something tasty)!
I'm a born and raised Northeast Ohio Cleveland sports fan, and/ enjoy cheering on the University of Akron Zips! I have been married to my wife Emily since 2005 and together we are doing our best to parent 3 boys and 1 girl - so we are a big family! We have a golden doodle named Bella who loves to go on rides. Our family loves to go camping with our pop-up and we love to travel.
Emily and I are also licensed foster parents. In 2011 we began by caring for a sibling group of 6 kids (yeah we like to dive into things)! In 2016 we adopted 3 siblings who had lived with us in foster-care for two years - making us a BIG family of six. Now I drive a 12 passenger van - yes like the Amish haulers but less Amishy and more 'my other car is a hybrid' kinda situation.
I started working with Harmony Springs in December of 2012. I was immediately impressed with Harmony Springs refusal to give up. The church had tread through rough waters and came through stronger. I love serving a church that finds its mission in serving those around us, welcoming and appreciating all, and living out its mission creatively, nimbly and effectively. I like to say we are what people wish a church would be - we just decided to go ahead and do it.
Chair of the Elders
Debbie lives in West Akron with her husband John. When they are out-about-the-town people 'know' them. Debbie was a physical education teacher at Lady of the Elms in Akron and John was the head of the University of Akron Music department for many years. Debbie has three children who live in NYC, New Mexico and Chicago.
Debbie loves to travel with her husband John. They have hiked the National Parks and Chilean mountains and enjoyed lobster in New England.
Debbie sings on Sunday mornings, loves to advocate for missions in other countries and leads our bell choir. Debbie led our church transformation during our transition from High Street Christian to Harmony Springs. She advocates for green and sustainable ministry whenever and wherever we can.
Debbie volunteers with the reading buddy program at Green Intermediate School and helps pack food for the Green Backpack of Blessings program - a partner of Harmony Springs.
Vice Chair of Elders
You know when Shannon enters the room! She's bubbly and outgoing! Shannon lives in Stow and is married to Dennis. She has two sons: Garret and Justin.
Shannon is a nurse in the Cuyahoga Falls School system, employed by Akron Cjhildren's Hospital.
Shannon has spent years leading Harmony Springs youth program. After a short hiatus she is back at it - helping our youth and justice intern, Kevin Poe.
On the weekend you'll find her riding local bike paths with her husband, going to an indians game, checking out a new local brewery (her favorite is anything mango), or just tooling around in her bright orange 'browns' car.
Jacqui has grown up in church and attended most of her life, but in the past few years her view of Christ and Christianity has radically evolved. She writes, ‘that is why I am so fortunate to have found Harmony Springs, as the heart of this congregation is so powerfully motivated by love and action.’
Jacqui and her husband Bradd became members in 2017 and stay busy chasing their 1 year old son Daniel around.
Jacqui shares, ‘ I love and appreciate many genres of music. I enjoy playing the ukulele and singing in a band with Bradd who plays guitar and sings as well. I’m a movie buff, enjoy reading and I’m a massive Harry Potter fan in addition to Star Wars, Marvel and other geeky fandoms. I consider myself a foodie and enjoy a variety of cuisines (but seriously, who doesn’t love good food?!).'
Jacqui works at Stark County Child Support, and serves as the recording secretary of the local Union. Jacqui is a fierce advocate for the LGBTQ community, equal human & civil rights.
Jacqui has lived in Uniontown a lot of her life and has decided to raise a family here (right up the street from her parents!).
Jenifer and her husband of 23 years reside in Massillon, OH. Jen has two adult children, Alexandria and Michael
Jen recently retired from work as a Social Worker but fills her time with her children and grandchildren! She is excited to have more time to serve as a leader of Harmony Springs.
Jen has a sweet, caring spirit and smile that shows it. Jen has been part of the church through its many transitions over the years and is excited about Harmony Springs' next season of ministry.
If you’ve been part of Harmony Springs for even a little while you’ve experienced Sue’s caring heart. Sue loves crocheting. She has made numerous hats and scarves to donate to Good Neighbors. She also crochets prayer shawls for Harmony Springs and is the leader of the Prayer Shawl Ministry.
Sue has been married to Wally Franz for 24 years. She is retired from the Walsh Jesuit Community at Walsh Jesuit High School. She has 5 grown children. Sue is also active in Annie Minck Circle and a member of the Prayer Ministry Team.
Chair of Trustees
Dennis and his wife Shannon have been faithful mainstays at Harmony Springs throughout the years. Dennis and Shannon recently celebrated 35 years of marital bliss. Together they have two adult sons, Justin and Garrett.
Dennis is a proud alum of Hiram College. On the weekends you’ll find Dennis biking with Shannon, visiting a new brewery, or sitting around a fire pit with friends.
Dennis has a wicked sense of humor and always does the crossword.
Walter has quickly become a vital part of Harmony Springs since joining the church a few years ago. Walt is intellectual and contemplative at heart. He’d spend all his time at the Abbey of Gethsemani, made famous by Thomas Merton, if he could.
Walt and his wife Karen call North Canton home and are proud of their three children Kathryn, Kevin and Grace. Walt leads Harmony Springs weekly book study and is passionate about living in the way of Jesus by caring for the houseless in our community and advocating for justice whenever he can.
Walt is an IT Project Manager who is often on calls with co-workers abroad.
If you need a supportive friend John is the one to call. He has a kind and compassionate heart full of understanding and empathy.
John came to Harmony Springs with his then girlfriend, Tannya. Soon after he became a member and marryed Tannya. They share a home in Barberton and together have 3 adult children.
John participates in a weekday morning book study and serves wherever he can. He is a model train enthusiast and loves to bring Pastor Joel doughnuts from his favorite bakery 'Hiss Bakery in Barberton.
Connetta Shringarpurey has lived in the Sping Hill Development in Green with her husband Nikhil and their two children, Rohun (13) and Neela (9), for over 9 years. When not at work Rohun and Neela keep her busy and she can often be found volunteering for events at their school or one of their many after-school activities.
Connetta has worked at PNC (formerly National City) for the last 24 years. Currently, she manages a 50+ person IT Quality Assurance Team, but prior to that spent 12+ years as part of PNC’s Cyber Security leadership team where she focused on Vendor, Application, and System compliance.
In her free time, she enjoys baking, exercise, window shopping, and spending time with her friends and family!
Connetta shares, ‘I truly value the mission and values of Harmony Spring and look forward to leading such a mission-focused church family.’
Greg is our go-to analytical mind at Harmony Springs. Greg lives in Uniontown and works as Director of Merchandising Information Operations at JOANN Stores, based in Hudson.
Prior to JOANN, working for Camelot Music led the Blanchards to Ohio from Kansas. His varied interests in music and movies reflect that career path
Greg produces two podcasts: Walk the Earth and Inappropriate Conversations. Walk the Earth details his search for an inclusive and progressive church – that led them to Harmony Springs. On the weekends Greg enjoys watching European football – soccer – and cheering on his alma mater, Oklahoma State University, in several sports.
Greg is married to Sheryl and has two children, Alison and Joshua, both of whom are married and live in the area. Greg loves to travel with his wife and is on par to have visited all 50 states!