Our Staff

Kathy Hartgraves


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.

Don Clausen

Choir Director

Don Clausen is a retired music teacher having spent most of his career split between elementary general music and secondary choir.  He taught in the Ellensburg, Port Angeles, Bellevue and Issaquah School Districts. Don spent 10 years on the executive board of the Washington Music Educators Association serving 4 years as Choral Curriculum Officer, and 6 years as President-Elect, President (2006-2008) and Past-President.  He continues to serve the music community in Washington State as guest conductor, festival judge and mentor of new (and veteran) teachers.  Don now lives in Bellingham, Washington where he and his wife, Jenise are active at Garden Street United Methodist.  They have a six-year-old Yellow Lab that keeps them active exploring the trails around Whatcom County.

Paul Stovall


Melissa Newbry

Director of Youth Ministry and Interim Director of Children's Ministry 

Melissa has a B.A. in Elementary Education (K-8) from the Evergreen State College. She has worked with children and youth of all ages – from preschool to high school – through classroom placements, outdoor education, summer camps, and the Boys and Girls Club. She is passionate about social justice in the field of education, and differentiating curriculum to meet the needs of all students. In recent years Melissa’s faith has been deepened, and she’s found strength and a sense of home at the churches she’s been a part of. She hopes to make the power of Christian community accessible to the children and youth of Garden Street UMC, through giving them opportunities to know God more deeply and connect with one another.

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.

Sharon King

Office Administrator

Sharon is a cradle Methodist originally from Baltimore. She received her Master’s degree from Iliff School of Theology in Denver and subsequently worked for the American Friends Service Committee—a social justice organization for over 8 years. She is passionate about women’s issues, social justice, indigenous people’s rights, and spending time with her family, her dogs, and gardening.

Chris O'Keefe


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. 

Jesse Ludtke


Before moving to Bellingham, I worked for 12 years rigging and sailing historic tall ships.
After so many years travelling the world living out of a duffel bag, my wife Caz and
I decided to move back to the PNW to settle down.

In my free time I enjoy fermenting and preserving food and hobby board games.

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A ministry of the United Methodist Church

A part of the Pacific Northwest Conference

A Reconciling Congregation