The United Methodist Church of Chagrin Falls traces its roots back to a gathering of Methodists that began to meet together in 1834, one year after the first settlers arrived in our village. We organized as a congregation and erected our first church building in 1844. In 1884 we moved to our present site at 20 South Franklin Street. Additions in 1961 and 1981 have expanded our facility to its present size, giving us a warm and comfortable home for all of our activities, programs, and worship experiences.
We are presently a congregation of approximately 750 members offering two worship services and a wide variety of Christian programming to our community each week. The mission of our church is “ to develop God-centered, Bible-directed, and People-oriented followers of Christ,” while our Vision Statement declares that “we will be an active community of seekers and believers in Christ through passionate involvement in worship, educational programs, service, outreach, and other acts of discipleship.”
Although our church is identified by the phrase “Of Chagrin Falls” in its name, we have an active base of parishioners from Hudson, Aurora, Bainbridge, Novelty, Russell, and other nearby areas. We welcome new members from all communities, all year-round.
Our staff and members would be glad to serve you in any way we can. Please feel free to contact us at 440-247-5848 or at our info e-mail.
We offer this website as a snapshot of the lives we live in Christ together. Please join us if you are looking for a faith home where you can celebrate who you are and grow toward all that you can become.
Rev. D. Lynn Snider
Rev. Snider started his appointment with us on July 1, 2008. He came to us from Akron First United Methodist Church where he served for 14 years. Previous pastoral appointments were at churches in Mt. Vernon, Canton, and Duncan Falls, Ohio. Rev. Snider attended Bethany College in Bethany, West Virginia, and Yale Divinity School of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. He and his wife Jane have two adult children and one grandchild. Lynn’s responsibilities include: preaching and leading worship, pastoral care and visitation, lay leadership, trustees, finances, and staff-parish relations. Contact him via e-mail here.
Youth & Education Director
Bob came to us in November 2002. He has worked in the United Methodist Church (UMC) in youth and children’s ministries for nearly 20 years. His passion and enthusiasm for relational ministry is an asset to our program. His office is the hot spot for the children and youth to hang out between services; although it is probably because of the two candy jars. Bob’s responsibilities include children’s ministries, youth ministries, adult Christian education, communications and publicity, and occasional preaching. Bob grew up in Warren, Ohio. He had served Tod Avenue UMC, Church Hill UMC, and Granger UMC before coming to Chagrin Falls UMC. Contact him via e-mail here.
David Gilson serves as the director of music for the United Methodist Church of Chagrin Falls. He holds degrees in music from Allegheny College and the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) with major studies in the fields of vocal performance, conducting, and Dalcroze eurhythmics. David has been employed at CIM since 1991 serving as faculty in Choral Conducting, and Eurhythmics, as well as holding various administrative posts including the current position as Associate Dean for Student Affairs. He has also served as guest conductor for the Singers Club of Cleveland, an all male ensemble, has conducted the University Circle Chorale and Chamber Choirs, CIM Singers, and was chorus master for CIM opera department productions. David has also been choral director for Park Synagogue, Pathfinder Music Camp, Bethany Covenant Church (Lyndhurst, Ohio), and the Allegheny College Chapel Choir.
As a vocalist, David has appeared numerous times as a recitalist in Northeast Ohio, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania and as soloist with various choral ensembles. He has appeared in musicals and operas including productions with the Chagrin Valley Little Theatre, CIM Opera, and Lyric Opera Cleveland.
Yu “Dean” Zhang
Dean Zhang serves as our primary organist, and also is the accompanist for our Chancel choir. Dean was born and raised in Yibin, Sichuan, China. He is a graduate of the University of Wyoming where he majored in piano performance. At present he is enrolled in the Doctor of Music Art program at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a Piano Performance student. Prior to coming to our congregation in 2011, Dean served for six years as the organist and choir accompanist at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Laramie, WY.
Children’s Choir Director and Associate Organist
Karen Spisak serves as the director of the King’s Singer Children’s Choir, director of The Ringing Bells, and associate organist. A resident of Auburn Township since 1985, Karen was drawn by her love of children and music to begin accompanying the King’s Singers when her children were a part of the choir. She became the director in 1998. Employing our monthly anthems and the spring musical’s drama, dance, and creative expressions, her goal is to provide opportunities for biblical learning, support social skills, and create great lasting memories of belonging to and growing up in the church. Karen is a certified Suzuki piano teacher and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Education.
Membership Care Associate
Deanna Castrillo is a 25+ year member of The United Methodist Church of Chagrin Falls. She grew up in southern Ohio, and graduated from Ohio Northern University, where she received her degree in Elementary Education, and Marshall University where she received her M.S. in Library Science. Deanna previously worked in the Chagrin Falls Schools for 14 years as a teacher and librarian.
Deanna resides in Solon with her husband, Ed, and her two children.
Connie joined our staff in July, 2012. She previously owned a dog boarding kennel. Connie’s past administrative experience includes serving as a church secretary for twelve years. She lives in Parkman with her husband, John, and has two adult children and a grandson. Her hobbies include line dancing and collecting beach glass on the shores of Lake Erie. Contact her via e-mail here.