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Who We Are

Our Staff

Florence has been part of the Oneonta office team since 2010. First as a volunteer then in 2018 joined the paid staff as an Office Assistant. She is a 37 year retired employee for Bank of America where much of her work consisted of creating and conducting training.

She has been the alto section leader of the Oneonta Chancel Choir since May 1989.

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Justin Berkobien

Associate Minister of Programs

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Short Bio:

Justin has served at Oneonta since the Summer of 2013. He lives in South Pasadena with his wife Julie and their two kids, Audrey & Jimmy. A Theology student at Fuller Seminary, Justin became a licensed minister here in December, 2018. He is passionate about teaching and discipleship, enjoys creative arts, and is committed to extending grace to all people in every environment... except for the basketball court. #NoMercy

Random Fact:

His favorite color is yet to be invented by Crayola.

Melodee Fernandez

Choir Section Leader - Soprano

Steve Hill

Director of Music



Steve is a veteran of the local, national and international music and entertainment worlds. He earned his MA degree in Music Conducting under the guidance of such distinguished conductors as Howard Swan, John Alexander, Paul Salamunovich, and Helmuth Rilling. An active member in the National Association of Church Musicians and the American Choral Directors Association, Steve's Music Ministry is informed by 35+ years as professional musician, vocalist and choral director at a diversity of church denominations and synagogues in the Los Angeles area, with broad experience in traditional and contemporary Christian music. Steve is also music professor at La Cañada's esteemed Flintridge Preparatory School having served as Department Chair of Performing Arts since the year 2000, and currently is Director of Choral/Vocal Music and The Flintridge Singers.

Steve's professional stage credits are plentiful and include 13 years of Musical Theatre productions for the Shakespeare League of Pasadena's Annual Benefit at San Gabriel Civic Auditorium; several musical productions for the Glendale Center Theatre; musical productions of "Peace Child" throughout Southern California and the former Soviet Union; Holland America Cruiseline's "Showstoppers"; various trade shows for such notable clients as the U.S. Army, Variety, Movieguide Awards, and Citicorp; vocal director and arranger for several entertainers including Mitzi Gaynor, Connie Stevens, John Tesh, and Les Brown and His Band of Renown's "Voices of Christmas" who appeared with numerous industry legends as Bob Hope, Mel Tormé, Maureen McGovern, George Shearing, and Peggy Lee.

An active voting member in the ACADEMY OF TELEVISION ARTS AND SCIENCES, Steve has been credited as vocal arranger for a number of Emmy-Award winning national television spectaculars including "Christmas in Washington", "Disney's Teacher Awards" and the “52nd Presidential Inaugural of Bill Clinton”.

A professional session singer/recording artist, Steve is an active voting member of the NATIONAL ACADEMY OF RECORDING ARTS AND SCIENCES and has performed with a variety of professional singing groups including the Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Chamber Singers; the world-renowned Roger Wagner Chorale; and St. Cyril's Cathedral Choir at the command performance for Pope Benedict's 80th Birthday in Rome, Italy. As member of SCREEN ACTORS GUILD, Steve has several film soundtrack credits singing with the Hollywood Film Chorale, including "King Kong"; "Charlie Wilson's War"; and "The Simpsons Movie".

Steve's most prized honor is recipient of California's PTA Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in education. Hobbies include world travel, and music and art collecting.

John Keating

Campus Host

John joined our staff in 2020 and helps us keep our campus safe, clean, and inviting!

Matt Lagan

Campus Host - Utility

Matt joined our staff in 2020 and helps us keep our campus safe, clean, and inviting!

Rev. Sara Lawson

Associate Minister of Youth

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Short Bio:

Sara Lawson joined Oneonta's staff as Associate Minister of Youth in 2019. She is a bi-vocational youth pastor, substitute teacher, and editor who has recently been ordained as a minister in the Congregational Church. She holds advanced degrees from Jerusalem University College, Fuller Theological Seminary, and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, but is most proud of her undergraduate degree which included a towel as a reminder to serve the world. When she remembers she has a blog, you can find her writing at

Stephanie Perry


Stephanie joined our staff in 2017 and helps us keep our campus safe, clean, and inviting!

Abram Poliakoff

Choir Section Leader - Tenor

Bill Schmidt


Short Bio:

William R. Schmidt has served as organist at Oneonta Congregational Church since January 1993. He has accompanied choirs in the Los Angeles area for over 30 years, touring to San Francisco, New York, Vancouver, Honolulu and Great Britain. He played organ continuo at Carnegie Hall under the baton of British composer/conductor John Rutter, and accompanied the featured choir at the International Church Music Festival at Coventry Cathedral in England in 1994. William continues to accompany the Glee Clubs and Chamber Singers at Caltech and also the Glee Club at Occidental College, and is the staff accompanist at Flintridge Preparatory School in La Cañada. He also coaches cantorial students at the Academy of Jewish Religion for their liturgy classes and is the organist for the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus. Mr. Schmidt holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Organ performance from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and furthered his studies in Los Angeles under Brooks Smith while working on a Masters of Music degree in Accompanying at the University of Southern California.

Rev. Lincoln Skinner

Senior Minister

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Short Bio:

Lincoln is a Christian pastor, artist, husband, and father of 2 young girls. He is a native of Western New York and pursued careers in graphic design and musical performance before answering a full-time call to ministry in Los Angeles in 2004. Lincoln is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo and Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. He has worked at Oneonta Congregational Church since 2008.

Sarah Vanderpool




Sarah is a talented musician and recording artist, known for her critically acclaimed folk/pop group "The Well Pennies".

Matthew Ian Welch

Choir Section Leader - Bass

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