Bridge Pastor, Terry Schmitt
Rev. Dr. Terry Schmitt recently retired from the Connecticut Council for Interreligious Understanding, where he served as Executive Director.
He is an ordained member of the United Church of Christ and was the Senior Minister at Center Congregational Church in Manchester from 1999 to 2010.
Before that, he was a Project Director at the Program for Non-Profit Organizations at Yale University, as well as interim minister as several Connecticut churches.
He is a past member of the West Hartford Board of Education, and the Capitol Region Educational Council. He has also served on the board of MACC Charities in Manchester.
His family and he have lived in West Hartford since 1996.
Director of Christian Education
Leticia Soltero is our new Director of Christian Education at EGCC. Leticia is a Granby resident who has lived in Connecticut for ten years. She is originally from Texas. Her passion is to serve others as a Christian life coach. She specializes in a holistic approach to health and wellness that includes exercise, nutrition, spiritual guidance and goal setting through her business called Faithful Living.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Religion: Christian Counselling from Liberty University Rawlings School of Divinity, a degree in design, along with certifications in personal training, nutrition, and Christian life coaching. Her hobbies include weight training, kickboxing, reading and spending time with family and friends. Her husband Jason is a Senior Director of Technology at Travelers Insurance.
Leticia and Jason have two children, Jason (1990-2014) and daughter Ryann 19, who is currently attending Gordon College. They are host
parents to Steven, a student from China that attends The Master’s School and Sox is their pet dog that’s 100 years old! “
Mary Larew, Music Director
Mary attended Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio where she obtained her undergraduate degree in music composition. She then went on to the University of York, UK where she earned her Ph.D. in Music Performance (directing) and later completed an MA in Arts Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York.
Mary brings many years of musical experience to our Church. She is originally from Iowa and has been living in Connecticut for 8 years. She now lives with her husband Sam Southgate and their 2-year old son, Pascal, in Bristol, CT.
Juli Hall, Organist
Juliana Hall (Juli) has enjoyed a colorful and varied career, first as a pianist growing up in southern Ohio. After college in Cincinnati and Louisville she went to New York City, where she studied piano, sang in a large church choir, and worked as an usher at Carnegie Hall. Later, she earned a Master's degree in Music Composition from the Yale School of Music, completed her formal composition studies in Minneapolis with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Dominick Argento, and received a Guggenheim Fellowship.
As a composer, her works have been performed by over 150 musicians in 25 countries on 6 continents, recorded on CD, and broadcast worldwide on the BBC, NPR, and other radio networks. Juli has played at a wide variety of churches around Connecticut over the past 20 years and more recently she studied organ with Patricia Snyder at the Hartt School of Music. Juli also teaches piano in her home in Simsbury, which she shares with husband David, a cellist, and their sweet cockapoo, Pepper. Whenever they can, Juli and David enjoy spending time with their son, Sam, who is a graduate of RPI, and now resides in Hartford, CT.
Emily De La Cruz,
Emily is a senior at UCONN, majoring in Human Development Family Sciences in the Early Childhood Developmental and Education program. On-campus, Emily participates in “America Reads,” as a site manager, and the U.S. Army ROTC program. She has also participated in “Jumpstart” for the last three years, through which she developed an interest in working with children, and becoming a teacher. Emily has also had the opportunity this past year to participate in an“Urban Development Alternative Break,” in Los Jazmines, Costa Rica, where she assisted in constructing a kindergarten classroom from the ground up, with the help of community partners. Emily is also currently fund-raising to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro through “Choose a Challenge,” in support of Connecticut’s Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Emily’s great passion is to travel abroad, while incorporating her love for service. After graduation in May, she plans to commission as a U.S. Army officer, and she is hoping for a position in aviation.
After serving in the Army, Emily would like to continue her passion for service and teaching, by working in non-profits, and helping to improve communities she grew up in. Emily also plans to continue her education, and eventually obtain a Ph.D. in Special Education.
Sunday School Teacher
Erin Schultheis is our new Sunday School Teacher at EGCC. Erin is a North Granby resident who has lived in Connecticut for her whole life. She is looking to move to Westfield, Massachusetts in the next few months. Her passion is to teach and help guide children into becoming successful people.
Erin graduated in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Westfield State University. She also minored in psychology. Her fiancé Aaron is a paraprofessional educator at Pioneer Valley Performing Arts High School in Hadley, MA.
Erin has been trying to see as many different countries as possible and has been lucky enough to visit Mexico, Poland, and Ireland on vacations with family as well as participate in an exchange program in Spain.
Janet comes to us from our neighboring town of Simsbury. She has two grown
children, a son, and a daughter.
Janet has spent most of her working years in small businesses and not-for-profit companies. She brings a wide variety of skills ranging from administrative, management, sales and event planning.
She is an avid fan of golf and loves to get out on the course and play, and
enjoys entertaining family and friends.
Webmaster and Media Design
Lauren has been an East Granby resident for over 20 years where she has raised three children. She works in the audiovisual industry and has a studio where she produces video, creates graphic pieces and develops websites.
Lauren manages the Church Website, creates a social media presence and produces the Beacon, the EGCC monthly Newsletter.
For fun, Lauren teaches a water fitness class to music, called "Splash Dance" at the Westminster School campus pool in Simsbury, CT.
To contact Lauren at the church office: