Julian DeShazier, Senior Minister
Julian joined University Church as Senior Minister in November 2010. He is a Chicago native, and a graduate of Morehouse College and the University of Chicago Divinity School. Prior to beginning here, Julian served as Teen Pastor at Covenant United Church of Christ, and has also worked extensively with the Coca-Cola Leadership Program and Fund for Theological Education.
Pastor Julian is also an award-winning musician and songwriter, known to many as “J.Kwest.” We are excited about the gifts and passion Julian brings to University Church, and hope you will join us as we work together to be the people God is calling us to be.
Charles Hayes, Music Director
Charles began as Director of Music in September of 2012. He holds music degrees form Cornell College of Iowa and the University of Iowa, and has done additional graduate work at Roosevelt University and The Catholic University of America. Charles is a Chicago native and was on the staff of the Chicago Children’s Choir for more than a decade. In addition to his duties at University Church he is part-time instructor at Roosevelt University’s College of Performing Arts and at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Charles is also chorus master at South Shore Opera Company of Chicago, Music Director for The Greater Chicagoland Opera Guild and on the conducting staff of The Classic Act Choral Ensemble.
Charles is committed to sharing his gift of music as an active part of worship to spread God’s love and to inspire others.
Karen Fields has been University Church’s rock for years. Her memory of the church’s history, voice of reason, wisdom, gentle demeanor, and sense of humor endear her to all. She also manages the church’s archives. If you receive an email from the church, it’s probably from Karen!
Sergio Centeno, Artist in Residence and Director of Communications
Sergio is a senior year student completing a Master of Divinity in McCormick Theological Seminary. He graduated from the University of Puerto Rico majoring in Humanities and Fine Arts. He also studied Drawing and Painting at Parque Lage School of Visual Arts in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sergio is a worship curator and Christian educator. He worked for the World Council of Churches as the 50th Anniversary Creative Director as well several advertising agencies as an Art Director and Designer.
Elijah is a third year student in the M.Div program at the University of Chicago. Originally from Liberia, West Africa, Elijah grew up in Baton Rouge, La. Elijah completed his undergraduate studies at Morehouse College and hopes to work at the intersection of ministry and public policy.
Seth Kristofer Patterson, Ministry Intern
Seth is a second year student in the M.Div program at the University of Chicago. He grew up in Youngstown, OH and received a BA from Saint Olaf College and an MFA from Florida Atlantic University. Before moving to Chicago he had worked for the last decade as a professional theater artist and educator, mostly in Minneapolis, MN. Seth and his wife Nora are expecting their first child in January.
Tangie Gray-Purvis, Ministry Intern
Tangie is a native of Chicago and single mother of two daughters: Makiah and Makayla. She is a McCormick Theological Seminary student (MTS, 2012; Mdiv, 2014). She is an ordained Deacon at Trinity United Church of Christ. She has been working in drama mimes and drug and alcohol recovery ministries and plans to be ordained into ministry by the United Church of Christ.
Joe Brown, Property Manager
Gabi Rangel, Maintenance