Reverend Dr. Chris Breedlove, Senior Minister, joined Foothills Church in April 2018 after serving in congregations in Texas, Indiana, and California. Chris earned a Bachelors of Arts (double majors) in Religion and Behavioral Science from East Texas Baptist University, a Masters in Religion at Wayland Baptist University, and his Doctorate in Ministry at Eden Seminary, St. Louis MO.
Chris is a pastor at heart, a theo-poet in thought, and a fellow struggler on a spiritually transformative journey of faith and life. Pastor Breedlove’s ministry has included faithful care for the membership of congregations he has served, as well as lived out commitments to various concerns for the marginalized, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+, and interfaith friends and neighbors in communities that he has called home.
When Chris is not at Foothills Congregational Church, he’s probably out on a nearby trail underneath the cool marine layer covered tree canopy observing and identifying fungi, and centering his thoughts on the presence of God in nature. Chris and his spouse Amy have four children spanning the ages from 12 to 20. The Breedloves enjoy family road trips together and the few quiet and restful stretches of life at home in Mountain View.
Reverend Melanie Weiner, our Associate Minister primarily responsible for faith development for all ages, joined the staff of Foothills Church in February 2015. She believes faith formation and youth ministry are grounded in sharing and exploring our sacred stories and discovering together how they are related to our lives today. Melanie is an engineering graduate of the University of Houston and received her Master of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion. She is the mother of four young adult children with a range of special gifts as well as special needs.
When Pastor Melanie is not setting up giant domino runs with children, leading meaningful discussions with adults, crawling on the floor with babies, or talking theology at midnight with youth, she can be found hiking with her dog, creating eclectic stuff out of yarn or fabric, or reading with her face in the sun and her toes in the sand. She loves to tell people that she gets paid to play well with others. Shhhhh….don’t tell her congregation she has such a sweet deal!
Susana Leung is our Administrative Assistant and has been at Foothills since 2000. Originally from Hong Kong, Susana and her family have lived in Los Altos for many years. As the face of Foothills, she is often the first person you meet when you come to the church. Everyone appreciates her open and welcoming personality. Her little dog Bean will welcome you as well. Since Susana became a church member in 2005, she has thrown herself into the life of the church. You will find her at Women’s Fellowship and knitting with the Prayer Shawl Ministry among other activities.
Fred Cummins has been Foothills’ choir director since 2001 and organist since 1983, He served as children’s music director from 1972 until 1981. He accompanies the Golden Gate Men’s Chorus and has sung in the San Francisco Choral Artists and San Francisco Bach Choir. Fred holds a Masters in music education and a Bachelors in music from Stanford, where he sang in the Early Music Singers, Memorial Church Choir and Mendicants (which he directed for 2 years). He has also studied voice with Marie Gibson and organ with University Organist Robert Nanney. Fred was the first professional director of the Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View.
Kristin Burns is our Children’s Music Director. Kristin grew up within the Foothills church community. She began leading singing in the Children’s Program in 1982, and has directed the Elementary Choir since it was established in 2007. Kristin is a classically-trained pianist who regularly accompanies our adult choir and substitutes for our organist when he is away. Her high-school-aged children are active participants at Foothills as are their grandparents.
Gretchen Rauch joined Foothills as its Handbell Choir director in early 2019. She has a long and impressive history of ringing with several handbell ensembles in California. A mallet percussionist since 4th grade, Gretchen began her path to professional handbell performing in 1990 and since has served on the Board of Directors for Area 12 of the Handbell Musicians of America and as a past president of Handbell Ventures. She has performed with Bronzewood Paedeia in a Northern California concert tour, toured in Italy with Handbell Ventures, and rung all over the U.S. and Japan with Sonos. A Palo Alto resident with her husband and Airedale, she works at and volunteers with Grace Lutheran Church, the latter especially with its summer Christian Music Theatre.
Teresa Garcia is our treasured sexton. In her four years with us she has shown herself to take great pride in keeping our facilities clean, sparkling and welcoming to all who use them, church members as well as outside groups. We so appreciate her happy attitude, high standards and from-the-heart diligence and commitment. A mother of three children, she is even helping a few of us learn Spanish as we share some English with her.