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Prior to coming to Ohio, Chris served as pastor of both large and small churches in California, Colorado, Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania. He has a Master of Divinity degree, is a counselor and has authored four ministry related books. All of this translates to an irrevocable call on his life to help people. In addition, God has graced him by allowing him to gain experience from diverse venues and as a result, has afforded him understanding in many areas of human need.

Chris and his wife Shirley have been married 47 years. They have two adult sons, Jeff and Joel.

Favorite Color – Green

Favorite Pastime – Golf

Favorite Vacation – Mountains

Favorite Ethnic Food – Mexican

Favorite Resting Position – Horizontal

Most Hated Task – Painting

Life Verse - Psalm 1

Shirley L. Schimel (

Staff Pastor/Counselor

Shirley is from Western New York where she met Chris in High School. She is an ordained minister and a board certified Christian Counselor. Her smile and laughter are always welcoming.

Favorite Color – Green

Favorite Pastime – Dreaming

Favorite Vacation – Anywhere close to Starbucks and where the sun is shining

Favorite Ethnic Food – Italian/Mexican

Favorite Resting Position – Next to Chris!

Most Hated Task – Getting up early

Life Verse - Philippians 4:13

Josh Avery (

Student Ministries Pastor/Lead Pastor, Canfield

In the years prior to arriving at Freedom Church, Josh graduated with a Bachelors in Student Ministry from Geneva College and worked in the Pittsburgh Conference of the Free Methodist Church. He married Carissa in 2014 and they have embarked on countless adventures together since, believing that whatever makes a story interesting will make a life interesting as well.

Linda Savaet (

Administrative Support/Pantry Leader

Linda, although born in West Virginia, she grew up in our community of New Middletown. Finds enjoyment being employed at Freedom Church for the past 13 years. Married her High School sweetheart of 36 years with 3 children and four grandchildren "so far”. Linda loves using her spiritual gift to encourage a little piece of her world by caring for those around her by giving HOPE.

Favorite Color – Red

Favorite Pastime – Spending time with my family

Favorite Vacation – Ocean Isle, North Carolina

Favorite Ethnic Food – Chinese & Italian

Favorite Resting Position – Lounging out by the Campfire

Most Hated Task – Cooking/Grocery Shopping

Life Verse -- 1 Timothy 1:7

Alex Domenick (

Technology Support/Cafe Leader

Alex is from New Castle, Pennsylvania. He has a bachelor's degree in Management. He works full-time for Giant Eagle besides managing the church cafe and technology. He is caring and very organized. Alex stays busy with volunteer work and spending time with his family. He enjoys cooking, baking and being creative.

Favorite Color –Green

Favorite Pastime – Shopping

Favorite Vacation –Charleston, SC

Favorite Ethnic Food – Italian

Favorite Resting Position – Naptime

Most Hated Task – any outside work

Life Verse -- Matthew 19:26

Carissa Avery (

Sr. Executive Assistant to the Pastors (Both Campuses)

Carissa completed the discipleship training program through Youth with a mission, Pittsburg PA and served overseas as a Ywam missionary to Guatemala. She returned to the United States and met the love of her life, Josh. Carissa enjoys being a wife and a mother to their one year old daughter, Ellie. She and josh have dedicated their lives to full time ministry, serving the local community and impacting lives for Christ.

Favorite Color- Pink

Favorite Pastime- Family Trips

Favorite Vacation- Myrtle Beach

Favorite Ethnic Food- Thai

Favorite Resting Position- Beach Chair

Most Hated Task- Doing Dishes

Life Verse- Acts 20:24

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