Our Church Staff

Rev. Michael Ford

Pastor

Mike completed his undergraduate studies at Johnson State College in Vermont, receiving a dual degree in Anthropology/Sociology in 1991. He received a Masters of Divinity degree from Bangor Theological Seminary in May of 1996. In February 1996, Mike married Kelly R. Christopher. Over the next three years, Mike adopted Kelly’s daughter, Kendall. Mike and Kelly also have two sons, Sawyer and Cameron. Mike was ordained in the United Church of Christ in March of 1998.. He has served three different churches in Vermont, most recently as Senior Minister of First Congregational Church of Hyde Park and the United Church of Johnson until December 31, 2015.  On November 8, 2015 the Congregational United Church of Christ in Punta Gorda voted to call Mike as its new Pastor. Mike began ministry among us on January 1, 2016.

Isaac James

Music Director

Isaac James has served as the Music Director since January 2019, having relocated from Upstate New York.  He is a nationally acclaimed and accomplished classical pianist, who has performed throughout the United States, yet he has always had a church home where he has used music to worship and glorify God.  We are blessed to have him as our Music Director.

 

Having started playing the piano by ear at the age of six, he did not begin receiving formal piano lessons until the age of 12.  Only four years later, at the age of 16, he entered into his first international piano competition.  Isaac has studied with Catherine Mowers, Janine Johnson, Israel Steinberg, Robert Goldman, Tubkya Ropaustokovich, and has taken master studies from some of the world’s greatest pianists including Andre Watts,  Emmanuel Ax,  and the late Van Cliburn. He held his Carnegie Hall debut in late 2012. He has appeared as a solo recitalist and with chamber orchestras.  As an accompanist, Isaac has collaborated with vocalists as well as many other performing artists.  He has performed on tour with violinist Dmitri Gastonovichkoff as well as other vocalists and instrumentalists. Isaac is also a vocal coach and has been a resident accompanist with a few opera companies and choral groups. 

 

Isaac is also a piano technician, an avid private pilot, and he loves to sail. 

Mary Tulip

Administrative Assistant - Finance Clerk

Mary was born and grew up in New Hampshire where she loves to return whenever possible--as long as there is no snow!  She and her husband, Dick, who is a retired ordained minister, moved to Punta Gorda in November 2015 after serving churches in Maine and New York.  Mary retired from Utica College after twelve years where she was Senior Secretary to the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.  Mary and Dick have three grown children living in New Hampshire, Florida and California, and seven grandchildren.  Mary enjoys reading, baking and spending time with the grandchildren whenever possible.

Sandy James-Nogaj

Church Librarian

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The Congregational United Church of Christ

1201 Aqui Esta Drive

Punta Gorda, Florida  33950

Telehone: 941-637-8443