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Staff Directory

The staff of Port Nelson United Church bring a variety of skills and talents that are a blessing to our church and our community.

M. Brooks

Rev. Dr. Michael Brooks


Lead Minister

Rev. Michael Brooks joined Port Nelson as Lead Minister in 2009. He guides the staff team and oversees the various ministries of the church. Michael leads worship, baptisms and weddings. He also provides staff support to the Worship Ministry, Stewardship Ministry, Trustees and Church Board. Michael loves the variety of work that is ministry, especially marking life stages with people. He also keeps busy on the curling rink in the winter and sailing his boat in the summer.

Rev. Louise Hart


Pastoral Care Minister

Rev. Louise Hart joined Port Nelson in 2023. She is originally from Burlington. She answered her call to ministry when she was a member of the congregation. Louise went to Emmanuel College for her Master of Divinity. She is passionate about Pastoral Care and enjoys working with people to help them navigate life’s challenges in the context of their religious and spiritual experience lives.

K. Eade

Rev. Karen Eade


Volunteer Associate Minister – Children’s Ministry

Rev. Karen Eade joined Port Nelson in 2021. Karen is excited to be a part the Port Nelson ministry team and introduce Godly Play into our children’s programming.

Rev. Candace Harvey

Volunteer Associate Minister

Rev. Candy Harvey began attending Port Nelson in 2011 after she retired from ministry at Lucknow United Church. She loves filling in at worship or covering emergency pastoral care when needed, and fulfilling her role as Chair of the Spiritual Growth Ministry. In her spare time she loves, reading, playing with grandchildren, curling, playing bridge, and leading labyrinth walks.

Christine Chesebrough


Operations Manager

Christine Chesebrough brings skills and experience in office management, and has recently completed an MBA degree from the University of Fredericton. Christine has worked in church settings for many years.

Shazia Montgomery


Adminstrative Assistant

Shazia is a dedicated administrative professional with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Development from the University of Waterloo. With a proven track record of efficiency and precision in administrative roles, she brings a unique blend of academic knowledge and practical expertise to the table. This diverse background has endowed her with invaluable organizational skills, attention to detail, and a knack for multitasking.

Beyond her professional pursuits, she is a proud parent to three wonderful children. In her spare time, you might find her in the kitchen cooking for her family, on a yoga mat or flying in the sky as a licensed pilot.

Dr. Mark W. Ruhnke

Director of Music

Mark W. Ruhnke joined Port Nelson in September 2022.  Mark was born and raised in Scarborough and now resides in Burlington. Just prior to the beginning of Covid-19, Mark successfully defended his dissertation at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. This was a culminating event, celebrating a career shared between various churches in the United Church of Canada and in the music education field.

Jocelyn Birkes


Developer of Children and Youth Ministry

Following stints as GLEE Camp Director and Youth Ministry Assistant, Jocelyn joined Port Nelson in the new role of Developer of Children and Youth Ministry in 2023.  She brings a passion and energy for sharing her faith with children, youth and their families.  Jocelyn oversees all programming for children and youth, as well as our summer GLEE camp program.

Eliza Kurth

Nursery Coordinator

Eliza has been a longtime member of Pinnacle Youth and has worked with children with  Halton Social Services and the Oxford Learning Centre. She is in her final year completing her BA.H in Psychology and Child & Family at the University of Guelph She brings experience and wonderful enthusiasm to our toddler age group, and we are excited to add her to our church school staff!

R. Denver

Riley Denver



Riley Denver joined Port Nelson as the Communications Coordinator in 2018. He crafts content for the weekly e-newsletter, manages the church’s social media channels, produces graphic design marketing products, and liaises with media. Outside of Port Nelson, Riley keeps busy with his young family, as well as running his own communications business.

Roy Campbell


AV Technician

Roy was born and raised in Burlington and is passionate about communications, technology, writing and community development, as well as church ministry work. He has had a lifelong interest in computers and audio-video production. He holds a degree in Communication Studies and English from McMaster University and has several years of experience working with the Anglican Church and other non-profit organizations. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, tinkering with electronics and cycling local trails.

Douglas Fraser


Douglas Fraser joined Port Nelson in August of 2022.  Douglas comes with extensive experience in the local school boards where he supervised and worked doing cleaning, maintenance and setting up many rental requirements.  Douglas, originally from Trinidad, loves to spend his vacations on the island enjoying family, food and fun.

Charles Donaldson