Our Staff

Kathy Hartgraves

Pastor

Kathy has served as pastor of Garden Street United Methodist Church since July of 2016.  Kathy was ordained as Elder in the United Methodist Church in 2008.  She has served churches in the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference as well as in Dakota’s Annual Conference.  Kathy and her husband Greg are thrilled to be living back in the Pacific Northwest and are enjoying Bellingham.

She has studied at Central College in Pella, Iowa (B.A. in Sociology and Psychology 1983), and at Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry (Master of Divinity 2008).

Prior to serving in ordained ministry Kathy served on the staff of large churches as Coordinator of Congregational Care.  Her heart for people and helping people find their God given purpose in life is key to her ministry. 

Kathy is continually inspired by Garden Street United Methodist’s commitment to serve outside the walls of the church in feeding, clothing, and loving those others might find it hard to serve and love.  To do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God is lived out in big ways at Garden Street UMC.  With Social Justice and Spiritual Formation being two of Kathy’s passions, Garden Street UMC is a good fit and provides challenge and inspiration for her spiritual journey.

Kathy and her husband Greg have two grown children, three beautiful grandchildren, and a loving companion in their chocolate lab Rubie.  Kathy loves being outdoors hiking and sailing in the beautiful waters of the San Juan Islands.  Cooking, reading, spending time with the grandkids and being with dear friends are just a few of the things that feed Kathy’s soul.

Alia Kerr

Accompanist

Alia graduated from Western Washington University with a music education degree in the fall of 2020.

She now works as a substitute for the Bellingham school district. She also teaches both piano and viola privately and coaches students in the Bellingham Youth Chamber Players group. She enjoys cooking, painting, and spending time with her cat. 

Greg Hartgraves

Director of College Ministry

Greg is the Director of College Ministries at Garden Street UMC.  He has been a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church. 

After a career in chemical R&D, he is now excited to engage with college students exploring their spirituality. Providing an open and safe space where students can inquire and discuss issues is important to Greg. He also serves in ministry with the Interfaith Coalition and Family Promise. 

Greg enjoys spending time outdoors sailing, hiking, biking and being with family and friends.

Chris O'Keefe

Treasurer

Christine O’Keefe (formerly Lustick) joined GSUMC in September 2016. Originally from the beautiful Skagit Valley area, she graduated from Western WA University with a BA in Accounting. Christine has worked as a CPA (license currently inactive) in Washington, Nebraska, and Florida before moving back home and settling in Bellingham. When her 17-year-old daughter was born, Christine took time off from the rigorous pace of a tax accountant to stay at home and enjoy motherhood.  When her daughter started school, she worked part-time in a local law firm as the accountant and office manager. 

In October of 2017, Christine married her sweetheart, John O’Keefe. He commutes to Boeing every day, and they enjoy watching hockey and working on house projects together. Christine is an avid knitter, and all around crafty person who enjoys hiking on local trails with her husband, daughter and two very energetic dogs, Tucker and Cooper. 

Lauren Fontanilla

Communications Administrator

Hello! Originally from Olympia, WA, Lauren is a recent graduate of Western Washington University where she studied English (with an emphasis on writing and film). 

Lauren is a methodist church camp kid (Ocean Park is superior to Indianola) who enjoys reading too many books and way over-analyzing Disney films. 

She has no pets, but her parents' chihuahuas have scarred her for life.

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A ministry of the United Methodist Church

A part of the Pacific Northwest Conference

A Reconciling Congregation