STAFF

Rick McKee

Lead Pastor

I grew up in Cincinnati with Graeter’s Ice Cream, Skyline Chili and a dysfunctional family. God hunted me down at 16 years old through a High School ministry that reached out to this messed-up, hurting kid. During college, I met Shannon on a summer mission project. I graduated in Economics from Denison University in 1992 and we married the next weekend. We then spent 15 years doing college ministry at Ohio State, Bowling Green and Kent State, while I took seminary classes from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Ashland Theological Seminary. I switched over to being a pastor in 2008. Because I love watching Jesus write stories of redemption, I love welcoming and helping humble sinners like myself, and I don’t mind ticking off a few Pharisees along the way. I have two kids (Caleb & Madison) and one pit-lab mutt (Vida). I enjoy kayaking, eating bacon, and riding my Harley.

Austin McCann

Executive Pastor

I was born and raised in Winston-Salem, NC and I’m a die-hard Duke Blue Devils fan. During high school God started to give me a desire and passion for full-time ministry. I attended Piedmont International University where God confirmed in my heart that calling. I continued my education at Liberty University School of Divinity. In 2012, I joined the team as the Student Ministries Director. In 2019, I transitioned into an Associate Pastor. And in 2022, I became Executive Pastor. My desire is to serve within the local church and build systems and programs to help people walk with Jesus. My wife Crystal and I have two children: Briana and Zion.

Jarrod Williams

Associate Pastor

I was born and raised in Pittsburgh. I came over to Ohio to attend Kent State and never left. I wasn’t really raised in the church and I didn’t even know working at a church was an option. When God got ahold of my life in college and I found out that I could spend my days helping people connect with Jesus, I never looked back. On my day off, I love to just be with my family. We are always pretty active and on the move. We love being outside, whether that is the zoo, a park or just a hike. If I get time alone, I am definitely a coffee shop and book kind of guy.

Sean Mabee

Associate Pastor

I grew up in Hudson, Ohio and met my wife, Kelly, there while we were in 3rd Grade. As I grew up, I always thought I would be a doctor and practice medicine, but as I went into middle school and high school, Jesus began to take a hold of my life. I began to find the most joy in talking to my friends about Jesus, the hope we have in Him, and teaching them more about the Bible. More than anything, I love watching people experience the love of Jesus and Him change their lives. This led me to get my undergraduate degree in Bible and Youth Ministry at Moody Bible institute and then my MDiv degree from Moody Theological Seminary. I’ve had the privilege of serving in different pastoral roles in student and adult ministry in both Ohio and Illinois since 2014. My wife and I have four kids (Rowan, Rory, Elias, and Thaddeus) and a miniature Yorkipoo (Bear). In my free time, I love spending time with my family, reading, and watching all things Cleveland sports.

Gary Durbin

Worship Arts Director

I was born in Decatur, Illinois, but grew up all over the country. I’m a second generation worship leader and was led to Christ by my Dad at a very early age. My amazing wife Jenny and I have been married since February of 2022. I have a son named Josh (born in 2004) and a daughter named Jade (born in 2008). In the Summer of 2016, I joined the team as Worship Arts Director. I’ve been in full-time Worship Ministry since 2002, serving in churches in Illinois, Florida, Colorado and now Ohio. My passion is all about helping people truly connect to God. I’m also a songwriter and a die-hard Celtics fan!

Johnny Fielding

Youth Ministry Director

I was raised in Canton, Ohio, but since high school I’ve lived all over Northeast Ohio. I grew up in the church, but God shook me out of my complacent faith when I was 17. Ever since then I’ve seen the value of youth ministry and have pursued helping students to grow in their faith. I am passionate about equipping students to take what they know about Christianity and put it into action. My wife, Brooke, and I have one daughter, Zion, who was born in 2021, and a Labradoodle named Chaco. I have been a lifelong fan of the Browns, love most anything where I can be outdoors, like to be challenged by repairing cars and electronics, and also enjoy playing video games and board games.

Emily Dodson

Kidzone Director

I grew up in mid-Ohio in a small town where everyone knows one another. It was nice to be known, but I had no idea that God knew me and that He wanted me to know Him too. My senior year of High School, I attended a local church youth event and that is where I heard the Gospel and began to understand just how much God loves me; so much that He sent Jesus to die for me. That night, I began my relationship with God and experienced a security in being fully known & unconditionally loved.  After High School, I set off for college at Kent State and God used the ministry of Cru to help me learn what it means to be a Christian and how to live out my faith. I met my husband, Justin in 2002 at Kent State and after graduation, we both served on staff with Cru at KSU for many years. Justin and I are blessed to have two daughters, Stella (2010) & Margot (2012).  Throughout my years in ministry, I have felt so privileged to be used by God to help others know Him, grow in Him and live for Him. I enjoy coffee, good donuts, Little Debbie snacks, quality ink pens & office supplies, and of course cheering for my girls in all their extra curricular activities.

TJ McDonald

Tech Director

I come from the state of New Jersey, just a stone’s throw away from Philadelphia. We moved around to a few different states, but I spent most of my growing years there. I had the awesome privilege of being raised and homeschooled by parents who loved the Lord, and who wanted the same for me. Largely thanks to them, I grew up with a knowledge of God’s love for me from an early age! Fast-forward some amount of years, I transferred to Malone University in 2011, where I graduated with a degree in Music Production in 2013. It was also at Malone that I met my wife, Julia. Since graduating, I have been working full-time in tech/worship ministry – and in 2019 I joined the staff here at Redemption Chapel. I love seeing people find their purpose in giving glory to God. I’m a huge Philly sports fan (go Birds!), and I’m arguably the biggest Chick-Fil-A customer in the state.

Angela Charvat

Director of Operations

I was raised here in Northeast Ohio in a wonderful Christian home. As a pastor’s kid, I came to know Christ as my Savior at a young age.  I met my husband Paul back in 2003, and we have been together ever since.  After graduating from The University of Akron in 2007, we got married. We have 2 energetic boys, PJ (born in 2011) and Paxton (born in 2013).  We live in Tallmadge and first heard about the amazing community of believers at Redemption Chapel through families and friends at our boys’ school, Cornerstone Community School.  We started attending Redemption in the summer of 2018 and absolutely love the ministry of our church. I joined the staff team in 2019 and am so humbled to be a part of what God is doing here. During my spare time I love reading, running, and spending time with my family and friends.

Shaina Tufts

First Impressions and Events Director

I was raised in Cleveland and moved to Kent almost 20 years ago. I grew up in church my whole life but didn’t truly come to Christ until my early twenties. My relationship with Christ is ever growing and still getting stronger. We started attending Redemption in July of 2015 and truly felt like this is home. My husband (Lindsey) and I met in 2014 and married through our church, Redemption in 2016. I have two sons (Aaron and Milan) and two stepdaughters (Ciera and Sonyaunna). I enjoy crafting and making/refurbishing furniture in my spare time along with my husband. I’m so happy and excited to be a part of this church family and to get the chance to serve and spread God’s Word.

Alex Hotz

NEXT Director/Pastoral Assistant

I am from North Royalton, Ohio and very glad to be from the Cleveland Area. I came to Christ through the church that I grew up in. They showed me compassionate love and understanding as they revealed Christ to me. It was near that time that I felt the draw to do student ministry, which is the church ministry I felt most effected by. I graduated in 2019 from Cedarville University with a double major in Youth Ministry and Christian Education. My wife Sydney and I were married in August of 2019. I have experience in leading different ministries in other churches and I am excited to see where Redemption takes me! Some of my favorite things to do are play Ultimate Frisbee and watch movies.

Jake Richardson

High School Director

I grew up in Jackson, Michigan, but have lived all over the mitten state. I was raised to go to church, but it wasn’t until a friend invited me to attend youth group in middle school that I realized my need for Jesus. God has faithfully guided me to be able to use my passion for youth ministry and help students deepen their relationship with Jesus. My fiancé, Paxton, and I are excited to be getting married in April 2024. I love to spend time with people, whether that’s on a golf course or playing a board game.

Anya Burns

Worship Associate

I was born in Southern California but moved all around the country growing up. I graduated from Cedarville University in May 2022 with a B.A. in Worship. My parents were big musical influences in my life and they are the reason I’m stepping into full-time worship ministry. I grew up with my incredible sister who is attending Kent State University to study musical theatre. As you can imagine, there is always music playing in our house. I’m a huge Disney fan so if I ever go missing, you can find me at Disneyland! I’m passionate about watching people see the beauty of Jesus and respond to that in genuine worship. I’m excited to start my professional ministry journey here at Redemption Chapel!

Jake Fitzpatrick

Facilities Manager

I was born In Coatesville, PA. I lived the majority of my life in New Jersey. I found church at a young age and always found a way to get there one way or another, either by finding rides with friends or walking the five miles to get there. It was there that I learned about Gods love and His plan for me. I met my wife Gabrielle at a youth retreat in 2008 and eight years later, we got married. I was homeschooled until high school, and after high school I went to a school of leadership in Columbia, SC. In 2020, I joined the team here at Redemption Chapel. I have been fixing things my entire life, from using a butter knife to tighten screws when I was 8 to working on the Graham building in Philly in my 20’s. I love animals and providing homes for them, something my two dogs, four cats, three snakes, and 200 gallon aquarium will show. I love hiking and camping and exploring the wilderness, and doing what I can to fight entropy by fixing things.

Shannon McKee

Women's Ministry Director

I’m Ohio born and bred and am grateful for those Midwest roots. Growing up, my family changed significantly when my parents both became Christians when I was 10-years-old. It wasn’t long before I followed them and gave my own life to Christ. God sparked my desire for His Word and His kingdom early on and that was fanned into flame when I got involved with CRU at Kent State University in the Fall of 1988. I still can’t get over the fact that (a) God invited me into relationship with Him and (b) that He lets me have a part in His work here on earth. I count it a privilege that my primary callings in life right now are as a wife and a mom. I’m happiest when I’m taking a walk or when I’m reading or writing at my blog… especially if I have a cozy spot and a pot of tea on hand.

Mary Butcher

Kidzone Associate

I was born & raised in Parma, OH as the youngest of 6 and the only girl. My husband Jack and I were married in 1986. We have 4 boys, Jack (born 1994), Jacob (born 1996), Jarod (born 1999), Jordan (born 2001). It wasn’t until after my children were born that I was led to Christ and we started attending and volunteering at church. I joined the staff in 2010 and I love seeing kids get connected with Christ at an early age. I love spending time with my family and I like jazz music…the funkier, the better!

Ashleigh Jekot

Kidzone Associate

I was born and raised in Northeast Ohio. After attending CVCA for high school, I moved to Lakeland, FL (I LOVE the Sun!) to attend Southeastern University. Life brought me back to Ohio in 2007 and I felt a calling to be a missionary at a school in Dakar, Senegal from 2009-2010. In looking back at my life to where I am today, I have learned over the years to always trust in God’s plan, as we are only able to see what’s immediately in front of us. Now, I am excited to be a part of the Kidzone team here at Redemption Chapel. My husband, Kyle, and I got married in 2015 and we have three kids: Brynn, 10, Jackson, 7, and Sawyer, 5. A couple years ago we added Jolene, our German shepherd mix puppy to the family. I love the beach, warm weather, and spending time with my family.

Kristen Tate

Women's Ministry Associate

I grew up in Philly, PA where cheesesteaks, pretzels, and bagels were the main food groups. My upbringing lended itself to a high performance human mentality and shallow view of God’s grace. Until middle school when a friend invited me to a student ministries event where God got a hold of my heart after I heard the Gospel message. It was then, at 12 that I received His gift of salvation and began pursuing a life with Jesus. Fast forward a decade, I met my husband Ryan while at Kent State in 2001. We married in 2005 and now live in Tallmadge with our four energetic kiddos: Ella (2007), Ben (2009), JJ (2011), and Loralei (2014). Before coming on staff with Redemption I was grateful for the opportunity to be a stay at home mom for 13 years.  I am excited to come alongside our already flourishing Women’s ministry and continue to see God’s Kingdom grow as He writes more stories of redemption for messy people like us.

Carla Kirtley

Administrative Assistant

I grew up in Fairlawn, Ohio and in middle school I began a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. For most of my professional career, I have worked in higher education as a career coach helping students. In 2016, I married my husband Chris and we bought a small farm house on a few acres in his hometown of Kent, Ohio. In 2016, we were thrilled to find Redemption Chapel and I joined the staff in 2017. My happiest places are found traveling, creating culinary masterpieces, gardening, flower arranging, scouring farmer and flea markets, designing jewelry, and being around animals/nature.

Wendy Hartenburg

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan and graduated from Grand Valley State University. I grew up knowing God, but made my faith my own while in college.  I met my husband, Peter, while working at an Intervarsity Camp in the UP of Michigan and we were married in 2003.  After living in Columbus, Ohio for a couple years we moved up to Stow.  We have four children, Hannah (2004), Nathan (2007), Seth (2008) and Lily (2010). We’ve called Redemption Chapel our church home since 2011 and have loved being a part of this place! When I have a spare minute I love to run, spend time with my family or curl up with a good book.

Rose Hansing

ministry assistant

I was born and raised in Arizona for the majority of my childhood before moving to Ohio in my late teens. I did not grow up in a Christian home, but by the Lord’s grace during my senior year of high school my close friend invited me to go to youth group with her. I was met with forgiveness and a love I could never imagine. After dedicating my life to Jesus that year, I changed my schooling plans and found myself at Kent State University where the Lord led me to Redemption Chapel through recommendations from close friends and the church’s young adult group: NEXT. I love the mission and ministries of our church and am passionate about serving and watching lives be completely transformed. Currently, I attend Wilmington University Online and am pursuing a degree in Human Resource Management. Whenever I can, I love trying different coffee shops and boba tea places in the area. I also love reading, crocheting, playing board games, connecting with new people, and spending time with my friends and family.

Keith Fischer

Custodian

I was born in Ravenna, and eventually moved to Kent when I started working at Kent State. I accepted Christ as my Savior as a middle school student dealing with health issues. A strong youth program and wonderful summer camps helped me through some tough times. I have been married for 30 years and we have a great son. I joined the team here at Redemption in October 2020. I enjoy restoration, volunteering, and giving tours at a historic site in Mansfield.

Ed Lees

Custodian

I grew up in Tallmage in a Christian home and attended Mogadore Methodist Church with my family through my high school years. After attending Tri-C, I entered the United States Marine Corps. I continued going to church services while I was stationed in many parts of the world. When my enlistment ended in 1985 I worked part time as a police officer and part time as a postal employee until I became a full time mail carrier. In 1994 I felt I was still missing something in my life. I didn’t have a close connection with God and knew I needed to be baptized. So on May 24, 1994 I gave my life to Jesus. I married Linda in 2000. I have two daughters and a son, she has two sons and we are grandparents of five. I enjoy the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing. I also love to spend time with my wife and family.

Manny Stegall

Intern

I was born in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin. I was adopted on January 6th, 2009, and my family and I then moved to Stow, Ohio. We have always gone to church, but we were looking for the right one. My family first went to Redemption Chapel in 2012. I’ve been attending youth events as a student and volunteer. Through being in youth and going to Gather, I grew a lot in my faith. On May 30th, 2021 I got baptized. I am now attending Grace College In Akron and I’m excited to be an intern here at Redemption. Whenever I have free time I enjoy cooking, fishing, playing video games, and sports. I’m excited to pursue ministry and I’m excited to see what God has planned for my future.

ELDERS

(pictured with their wives)

RON BENSINGER

Pete Cook

Kurt Dreger

Jim Gray

Andrew Hudson

Matt Knabe

Rick McKee

Joe Murphy

Cory Potoczek

Don Potoczek

Ryan Shary