Pastor Ron Brooks - Ron was born on May 8, 1960 at Foote Hospital, Jackson, Michigan. He was given his father's middle name, Kenneth. At the time of his birth, his grandmother cut out the birth announcement and used it as a bookmark in the Bible that she read daily. Ron attributes his grandmother's example as formative for his faith growing up. He was given her Bible when his grandmother passed. It is one of his treasured items in his office alongside pictures of the family.
I was born in 1967 at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. I grew up and went to school in Lansing and graduated high school at Lansing Eastern in 1985. Then I attended MSU on a swimming scholarship but that only lasted a year for me. While I was a great athlete I struggled in the classroom and just felt I needed to do something else. So I started to work and go to school part time at L.C.C. I eventually became a medical assistant and then worked for a hospital and medical offices. I ended up being able to travel a bit before I started a family.
I have been a single mom for over 10 years now and I have raised two beautiful young ladies who shine inside and out. Being a mom was and has been the best job of my life. I have had to work while raising them and that has its challenges but I feel they have turned out very well. My mom and I bought a house in Grand Ledge together after my father passed away in 2015 and she also left us to join him 3 years this August. My ex-husband and I remain close and continue to have a great relationship especially in taking care of our duties as parents. I reside very close to the church which makes it very convenient. My girls and I live together with 3 dogs and a bunny rabbit. Our love of animals is undeniable. My oldest daughter just recently finished and graduated from Douglas J academy in their cosmetology program. My youngest just graduated from Grand Ledge with honors and plans to attend LCC this fall on line.
I have coached high school and middle school swim at Grand Ledge high school for many years and it has been a joy. Now that my daughter has graduated I believe that chapter in my life has closed but the girls swim team remains dear to my heart. I have enjoyed being a part of the Grand Ledge First United Methodist Church and though I was looking for the extra income it is way more than just a job. I have met some wonderfully kind people and look forward to my future there as the secretary. I do work an evening job at home as and IT Epic support analyst. So while my life is very busy I have time to enjoy what I do and what I love and that is being close to my girls and many wonderful people in the community and hope to make a difference.
Jack Bertrand is a candidate for a masters in choral conducting at Michigan State University. He spent seven years teaching in public schools in Michigan and California ranging from elementary band to high school choir. He also loves to perform as a vocalist and instrumentalist. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time with close friends and family.
Minggu Yao, a talented young pianist and an enthusiastic classical music advocate. Mr. Yao was born in China and he started to study the piano at 4 years old. Three years later he won his first competition prize in Xinhai Cup National Youth Piano Competition. He was the prize winner of many national and international competitions, including The Toyama Asian Youth Music Competition, The Beijing International Frederick Chopin Competition for Young Pianist and The Kawai National Piano Competition. He has performed in many venues around the world, including Salle Gaveau in Paris, Paul Recital Hall of Lincoln Center in New York, Shanghai Concert Hall, Harris Concert Hall in Aspen and so forth. Mr. Yao was the four-time alumni of the prestigious Aspen Music Festival & School, Kulturinitiative Goslar in Germany, The Morningside Music Bridge and The International Keyboard Institute & Festival in New York. He has studied with many world-renowned musicians, including Fou Ts'ong, Arie Vardi, Yoheved Kaplinsky and Hung-Kuan Chen among others.
Mr. Yao holds his B.M. at The Juilliard School and his M.M. at Mannes School of Music. He was also a graduate of the Pre-college of Shanghai Conservatory. His teachers include Jerome Lowenthal, Simone Dinnerstein, Jianzhong Wang and Chen Jiang. He is now perusing his Doctor of Musical Art at Michigan State University under the guidance of Deborah Moriarty and Zhi-hua Tang.