Like every human being on the face of the earth, you were created for community. You are destined to be a part of something greater than yourself - God's family, the Church.
We are better together. We each bring different perspectives and experiences to the table. Each of us has different God-given gifts and talents to be used for the benefit of all.
God is good. God lovingly pursues us and desires to be in relationship with us. God's love is most clearly shown in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Our Core Values
Children and youth are not merely the church of tomorrow; they’re a vital part of the church today. Excellence in children’s programming is one of the essential pieces of DNA we are carrying over from our sister church, Birmingham First.
Pastor Zack Dunlap
A true wordsmith, Zack seeks to bring Scripture to life and ensure that every person is valued as God’s beloved. When he’s not preaching and leading in the church, you might find him connecting with the community, networking through Cub Scouts and the Pattengill Elementary Dads Club, antiquing, hunting, or fishing. Zack is married to Rachael and they have four kids and a rescue dog named Molly.
Driven, yet friendly and warm, LaSonya does much more than keep the coffee bar stocked. She puts together bulletins and helps maintain our database, but more than that, she oversees hospitality, makes sure that volunteers are recognized, and brings insight to her devotions and Scripture readings. LaSonya is a caring mother to her two children and many others.
Rachael Dunlap is the go-to calendar person. Protective and tender, this ‘Mother Bear’ of Berkley First ensures that people feel safe and loved. She is passionate about connecting people together who have a common heart for helping people utilize their unique gifts, talents and abilities to serve the community, country and the world.
Julie White is our Children’s Ministry Coordinator at Berkley First. She grew up in Royal Oak and moved to Berkley when she and her husband started a family. An active mom of five, Julie is always ready for an adventure. Her organizational skills, creativity and an eye for safety help her lead ministry for infants through elementary aged children.
A man of many talents and one of the world’s best networkers, Chris still has the mind of a middle school boy. We wouldn’t have it any other way! Chris oversees music and worship tech with a kind and supportive leadership style. He is deeply thoughtful and enjoys drawing from monastic traditions as we do old things in new ways. Chris began his time at Berkley First, but now additionally oversees non-traditional worship at our Birmingham campus. He also plays the sitar.
Don is the man – he always goes above and beyond in making sure that the Berkley First facility is at its best and folks are free to worship without being distracted by spills and smells. Though he’s rarely in the building during regular office hours, Don is very much a part of what makes Berkley First what it is – a great and growing church campus.
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History and Beliefs
Berkley First is old and new. We’re just getting started as a brand new church campus, but we are a sister church of Birmingham First and part of the United Methodist Church. We seek to draw from the deep well of Christian tradition as we apply the timeless truths of Scripture to the everyday realities of life in the 21st century.