First Congregational UCC welcomed Tanya Sadagopan to serve as pastor in September 2015.
Tanya grew up in Ohio and Florida. She graduated from Texas Christian Univ with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and earned a master in sociology from The Ohio State Univ. She completed her Master of Divinity degree from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. She has experience as an assistant pastor, senior minister and minister of Christian Education and Family Life. Pastor Tanya and her husband Sriram, have 2 teenage children; son Nishanth and daughter Nandini.
Ashley joined us in July of 2019 in our newly created Digital Communications Coordinator position. She studied communication, public relations, and advertising at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. With a love of art, Ashley developed hobbies including photography and painting. These, in turn, inspired her to capture the authentic moments of life. Ashley’s newfound hobbies and her desire to engage socially encouraged her to work with nonprofits and with the youth during a Service Break Experience in Los Angeles, California. Along with a love of art, Ashley has a love of animals including her fur-child Laz.
Becky grew up in Whitewater, WI, attended UW-Whitewater, and worked there for 36 years. She has lived in Janesville since 2003. She is married to Gregg, a landscape designer, and they have 2 adult married children and a grandson and granddaughter. Becky is a quilter, she also loves reading, word search puzzles, playing dominoes, bridge, and cribbage. She invites you to visit our beautiful, old, historical church and enjoy the music from our fantastic pipe organ, her favorite part of our church.
Jamie has been working with the children of our church family since 2006. She is passionate about sharing God’s love, peace, and justice with children and youth, and she continually draws her inspiration from their passion, excitement, and creativity. Originally from Cape Cod, MA, Jamie came to Wisconsin to study English and Education at Ripon College. She and her husband Tony (also a Ripon graduate) live in Orfordville and have been blessed with two sons and a daughter. Jamie loves music, theater, film, vacations to Disney, and she’ll never turn down a trivia game or a hand of contract bridge.
Denise grew up in Janesville but after marrying her husband, they moved away. They returned to Janesville in 2014 and are enjoying being back in this great city and state. Denise and her husband, Doug, have been married 38 years. Denise is an avid tennis fan and enjoys playing cards with family and friends plus taking her dog, Hazel, on walks.
Dr. Brian Knutson began as our Director of Music in 2004. He directs our Chancel Choir and Handbell Choir. He is currently employed in the Janesville School District, but has also taught extensively at the college level. Brian is a bass-baritone and brings a smile to the face of church members when he sings in church. Brian is married to Jan Knutson, conductor of the choir at First Lutheran ELCA Church in Janesville. They have three adult children. Brian also enjoys teaching tennis and has been a part of many musical productions here in Janesville.
David is originally from Rochester, NY. He studied music in New York and London, after which he performed and taught in Chicago for many years. Moving to Wisconsin in 2008, David maintains a private teaching studio and also teaches at Beloit College. Married to Sue, he enjoys classic cinema, travelling and learning how to cook.
Andrew joined First Congregational Church in the spring of 2017. He is a graduate from UW-Whitewater with a major in geography and a minor in history. He is also employed with the Janesville School District as a custodian for Roosevelt Elementary School. He loves to hike and loves both cats and dogs. He has two cats of his own, both named Avery and Honey. He invites you to visit this friendly and welcoming church that has beautiful architecture and plays a vital role in Janesville’s historic downtown.
Katie was born and raised near Chippewa Falls, WI and attended school in LaCrosse. Katie and her husband Alan moved to Janesville approximately 4 years ago. Katie is blessed to share in raising her 7 year old niece, Sky. As a family they enjoy rescuing four legged furry friends, playing board/card games, arts and crafts, puzzles, going to bingo and traveling.