Our Purpose

We exist to gather, nurture, and equip disciples of Jesus Christ for ministry and mission in the world.


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

At Berkley First, our core values are grounded in God’s unconditional love. Everything we do represents our Christ-centered response to God’s grace. We strive to:

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.

Our Leaders

In addition to the many volunteer leaders at Berkley First, our staff includes:

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.

Pastor Rachael Dunlap

Rachael serves as the Associate Pastor of Adult Discipleship across both campuses of Birmingham and Berkley First, connecting people into deeper relationships with God and one another. Protective and tender, this ‘Mother Bear’ ensures that people feel safe and loved. She is passionate about encouraging, teaching, and building into people’s lives that they may hear the Gospel more effectively.

Julie White

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.

Chris Freeman

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.


Want to worship with us?

We'd love to send you information to help your first visit be that much more meaningful.

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.

Learn more about United Methodist history.

Learn more about United Methodist beliefs.

Link to our sister church, Birmingham First.

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