Welcome to First Congregational Church!
Open and Affirming
All are welcome!

Bridge Pastor Emily Joye McGaughy

Rev. EJ McGaughy grew up in Claremont United Church of Christ, spent their youth summers at a UCC camp called Pilgrim Pines in the hills of southern California, attended Catawba College  for their Bachelors of Arts in religion and philosophy, graduated from the Pacific School of Religion with their Master’s of Divinity and was ordained in the UCC on March 27th, 2010. EJ did a year of Clinical Pastoral Education at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Healthcare System.


EJ has served as Pastor at First Congregational Church of Riverside and First Congregational Church of Battle Creek. EJ comes to the work of ministry with 16 years of experience in activism, facilitation and organizing for social justice. They have worked for Allies for Change, The Center for Diversity and Innovation, The Accountability Academy for Mothering Justice, and Catalyst. EJ is also a certified writing facilitator in the Amherst Writers & Artists way.


EJ is married to Kate; together they have 6 kids, some by blood, some by choice. The kids’ names are Abbey, Maddie, Aurora, Isaiah, Caster and Amos. The family enjoys hiking, sports and impromptu dance parties. The family’s precious dog Solei puts up with all the two leggeds in the house but it’s no small task.

Associate Pastor Mike Tupper

Mike Tupper began serving in ministry at First Congregational Church UCC in South Haven in January 2020

Mike has been a pastor for over 40 years. He has served in eight churches including the Casco United Methodist Church (north of South Haven).  Mike and his wife Lori have been married for over forty years. Lori has been a schoolteacher and church administrative assistant and writer. She has published two books. They live in Lawrence, Michigan near Lake Cora. Mike likes to paddle his kayak on this lake (even during the winter).

Mike and Lori have two children. They both attended school at Lincoln Elementary, Central Late Elementary, and Baseline Middle School. Sarah is married to Ali.  They have two children (Saima and Bene). Sarah has been a schoolteacher but is now the Associate Pastor at the North Baltimore Mennonite Church. Scott lives in Boston and works for the MIT Defense Laboratory.

Mike transferred his ministerial credentials from the United Methodist Church to the United Church of Christ.


Music Directors Diane & Lisa Van Deurzen-Otey

Diane and Lisa joined First Congregational Church of South Haven as Co-Music Directors in the fall of 2021.  Their goal is to choose music which supports Pastor Jeffrey and Mike’s themes and messages for Sunday Worship.  They also hope that the music inspires you and makes you feel good.

Lisa is originally from Oregon and Diane is from Wisconsin, but they lived in Tucson, AZ for the last 30 years.  They were Music Directors at St. Francis In the Foothills in Tucson UMC for the last 28 years. Diane and Lisa also worked at The Good Shepherd UCC in Sahuarita, AZ for the last 6 years. They have been fortunate to have traveled the world, performing at Jazz & Blues Festivals and venues in Switzerland, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, The Netherlands, Canada, Mexico, and Australia.

Diane and Lisa now live in St. Joe and are so happy to be part of the First Congregational family in South Haven