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 & wine 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 love to go to Cleveland Indians or Cavs games, ignore the Browns, and/or cheer on the University of Akron Zips! I have been married to my wife Emily since 2005 and we welcomed our daughter Jubilee into the world in 2013. In 2016 we adopted 3 boys from foster care - so we are a big family! We have a dog (a golden doodle we adopted in 2009). My wife and I love to travel (in 2012 we made our first overseas trip to Europe).
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 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.
Pastor of Community Development | email | bio
Operations Manager | email | bio
Wally-of-All Trades | email | bio
Youth & Justice | email | bio
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!).
Chair of Trustees
Chuck is always smiling, He lives in Canton with his wife of 32 years, Carolyn. They have 3 daughters; Christine, Colleen & Carleigh. Chuck has been a long time member of Harmony Springs - he might have even been born at the church.
He has previously served as Elder and Congregation Moderator. Chuck is an engineer for Timken Company and enjoys running. In fact, he ran a half marathon in 2 hours and 3 minutes before our last annual congregational meeting.
Carol lives in Uniontown with her husband and youngest child, William. She is a crafter, caterer and all around bubbly person.
Carol loves music and has instilled a love of music in her children. Her son is a student at Lake - he plays in the orchestra. Her daughter Gwen, a graduate of the University of Akron, is a music teacher in Akron City Schools.
Carol sings on Sundays at Harmony Springs, helps lead our craft and hobby group and is our church-kitchen-extraordinaire. She has also served as human resource team leader.
In preparation for a recent leadership meeting she shared that her prayer for harmony springs was, 'for all to keep God first, love and care for our neighbors next and be mindful of our own needs in the background.'
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.