Our Purpose

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:
We have an invitational spirit. We open our hearts, minds and doors, to all with warmth and sincerity. We seek diversity, respect variety in experience, and promote independence of thought.

There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28

Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. Romans 15:7

We are deeply committed to helping those in need locally, nationally and globally. We serve others in the name of Christ through generous sharing of who we are and what we have.

For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me… Matthew 25:35

We proclaim the presence and power of God through worship, music and programs that inspire, enlighten and transform. Our wealth of resources, talents and skills are given humbly in God’s service.

From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded. Luke 12:48

Honor the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce.
Proverbs 3:9

We have the courage to act on God’s leading. We welcome new challenges which cause us to stretch and grow.

Where there is no vision, there people perish. Proverbs 29:18

Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. I Corinthians 16:14

We provide many avenues for spiritual formation for all ages through practical application of scripture and wisdom for daily living. We invest in our children and youth, as they are an essential part of the church.

Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray.  Proverbs 22:6

Get wisdom; get insight: do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.  Proverbs 4:5

We nurture genuine, caring relationships within our faith community. We respond with love to one another’s needs.

…with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love… Ephesians 4:2

So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.  Galatians 6:10

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

Pastor Zack Dunlap is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and Asbury Theological Seminary. He has pastored churches in Allen Park, Blissfield, and Lambertville. Most recently, Zack served in a one-year residency training program at Christ Church in Fairview Heights, IL, developing his leadership and preaching skills and learning what it means to be one church in multiple locations. Zack and his wife Rachael have four young children: Samuel, Sophia, John, and Jedidiah. They love the great outdoors and are pumped to be a part of the Berkley community!


Katie Kirkpatrick

Katie Kirkpatrick is our Small Group and Special Events Coordinator. After several decades working in automotive marketing and events, she’s delighted to be focused now on helping Berkley First grow into all that God intends it to be. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and grew up at our sister church, Birmingham First. Katie and her husband Don have two teenage children, Julia and Billy. She’s passionate about her family, music, nature and equal rights for all humans.


Rachael Dunlap

Rachael Dunlap is the Children’s Ministry Coordinator at Berkley First. She moved to Michigan in 2004 to pursue a career in camp ministry after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. She has experience in outdoor education and as a preschool teacher. Rachael is currently a full time student at Asbury Theological Seminary and is pursuing her M.Div. Rachael and her husband Zack have four children; Samuel, Sophia, John and Jedidiah, a rabbit named Stu-Ella and the newest member of their family, a beagle named Molly. She loves to camp, cook and craft when she has free time.


Caitlin Dombrowski

Caitlin is the Administrative Assistant at Berkley First. She grew up in Berkley and has moved back with daughter, Khloe after graduating from Grand Valley State University. Caitlin’s experience in Social Work has given her a strong foundation and passion for working with people.  She has a love for nature, music and animals and spends her free time with her family and friends.


Chris Freeman

Chris is the Music and Arts Director at Berkley First.

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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.

Learn more about United Methodist history.

Learn more about United Methodist beliefs.

Link to our sister church, Birmingham First.