Meet the Staff
Rev. Karen Wolcott was appointed to Ridgewood United Methodist Church as Senior Pastor on July 1, 2014.
She came to Ridgewood after serving as the chaplain for Ohio Guidestone (formerly Berea Children’s Home & Family Services) for 16 years.
Rev. Karen is married to Rick, who is the Director of Communications for the East Ohio Conference. They have two children, Brady and Bethany.
Ohio Guidestone, Chaplain, 1998-2014 (Administrator of Chaplaincy Services for a large agency)
Willoughby UMC, Associate Pastor, 1995-1998 North Royalton UMC
Student Pastor, 1993-1995
Listening, Guiding, Pastoral Care, “Planting Seeds of Hope”, Children & Youth Ministries, Leading contemporary worship & spirituality groups
Serves on North Coast District Committee on Ministry
Serves on East Ohio Conference Board of Ministry
Master of Divinity (M. Div.), Methodist Theological School of Ohio, 1995
Bachelor of Arts in Social Work, Cleveland State University, 1990
James Ford Rhodes High School, Cleveland, OH
MTSO: John and Ruth Mount Alumni Award for Specialized Ministry, 2010
United Methodist Association: Chaplain of the Year, 2005
Reading books, singing, spending time by the water, enjoying time with friends and neighbors, taking her weekly day off to rest and relax.
“The role of Clergy, as Spiritual Leader, means that I am to empower laity to serve. It is important to me that whatever I do in worship, that it be grace-centered.”
Our Music Director:
Ira Cooper joined the Ridgewood United Methodist Church staff as Director of Music and Organist in 2007 following 25 years of service as Minister of Music and Organist at Grace Lutheran Church in Elyria, Ohio. Formerly he was interim organist and choir director at Westlake United Methodist Church.
Ira received his Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Findlay University and went on to earn his Master of Church Music from Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois. He recently retired from the Lorain City Schools where he taught choir at General Johnnie Wilson Middle School and acted as Assistant Band Director at Lorain Southview High School.
In addition to serving as music director for the Lorain County Community Chorale’s annual “Messiah” presentations in the past, he has also been music director for Elyria Summer Theater, Lorain Community Music Theater and Bay Village’s Huntington Playhouse to round out his musical theater experience.
Ira has been a member of a variety of professional music associations, including the Ohio Music Educators Association, American Choral Directors Association, Lorain County Chapter American Guild of Organists, Lorain Education Association and Association of Lutheran Musicians, and was active in the Lorain County Arts Council.
Ira has a real passion for service planning and service playing, which sparked his interest in writing countless psalm tones, antiphons, introits, organ improvisations for hymn stanzas, choir descants and hymn concertos for the church services. All of his compositions remain unpublished.
At Ridgewood, he hopes, through music and fellowship, to open the eyes, hearts and minds of the worshipping body in order to gain a closer glimpse of the beauty and warmth of Jesus the Christ. He is a true asset to the music ministry at Ridgewood!
Our Office Staff:
Mrs. Mary Cain
Mrs. Sue Hamric