Akron Church

Rev. Joan Chiaki Ishibashi

Interim Minister

Originally from Los Angeles, California, Joan has been living in London, U.K. and came across the pond to be with Trinity during their interim period. She has worked in the national UCC office, the Hawaii Conference and the Western Reserve Association.

In her peripatetic ministry, she has also been a hospice chaplain, seminary librarian, accounting clerk, community college adjunct faculty and cook for an archeological dig. Most recently she has worked as a licensed massage therapist at the Cleveland Clinic and in London.

Akron Church

Matthew Skitzki

Director Of Music

Matt is from a suburb of Cleveland called Garfield Heights.  Most people have never heard of it, but it has two of the world’s best kept secrets: One is a corner grocery store called Peters’ that offers the best Polish kielbasa ever made.  The other is Garfield Park, a gem in the “emerald necklace” of the Cleveland Metroparks.

Matt studied organ and piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and earned a Bachelor of Music from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Music from Cleveland State University.  His experience as Sub-Dean of the Cleveland Chapter of American Guild of Organists is put to good use at on the magnificent three manual Berghaus pipe organ at Trinity UCC.

Matt says, “I am honored to lead a dedicated choir, participate in bell choir, and serve a loyal, loving congregation.  I enjoy spending time in the gorge and the valley.  There are more trails than I can count!  I also enjoy Luigi’s, Crest Bakery, and the Blue Door.  It seems I have maintained my passion for food and the outdoors. Trinity UCC is a warm, welcoming place.  I am happy to be here and to work with a terrific staff.  I invite members and guests alike to contact me for information about our music program and how you can participate.”

Akron Church

David Brown

Minister of Welcome & Communication

A lifelong member of Trinity, David has been active in as a Church School teacher, council past president, choir member, and led mid-week prayer services. He is certified as a Lay Minister by the Eastern Ohio Association of the UCC and is working toward ordination.

David serves Trinity during the week, greeting visitors to the church, answering phones, and working on the church’s webpage and social media presence. He also serves as the Pastor of East Market Street UCC. He is married to Janice and they have two adult children. David enjoys reading, cooking and writing.

Akron Church

Ed Long


Ed grew up in nearby Cuyahoga Falls. He has served our church and congregation for more than 20 years. He keeps our building looking good and running smoothly, and coordinates the many groups who use our facility during the week.

Ed is a Cleveland Indians fan, and likes classic rock-and-roll and a good joke.