Rev. Dr. Tony Minear jpg.jpg

Rev. Tony Minear, Ph.D. 

Lead Minister

Tony has known from the age of seven that he wanted to be a preacher. He studied theology first at Southern University of Seventh Day Adventists where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Theology in 1987. Four years later he obtained a Masters of Divinity from Andrews university of Seventh Day Adventists. In 2008, Tony earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biblical Studies at the University of Toronto, Canada.

He served as youth pastor, full-time pastor, and professor of religion in churches and a college associated with Seventh Day Adventists from 1987 to 2005. Over time, however, Tony questioned the validity of his religious community. This study showed him that his beliefs made a better fit with those of the United Church of Christ.


He "was surprised and pleased to learn and experience the freedom the UCC permits for pastors and those in the pews. The motto, 'God is still speaking,' resonates strongly with me. To be free to explore where my mind and the Spirit leads and actually have that valued by a community is refreshing. Yet I also recognize the importance of allowing others the same freedom. Therefore, I operate from the premise expose but not impose."

Tony served as associate pastor at First Plymouth Church, UCC Lincoln, Nebraska in 2005-2006. Since then he served as senior pastor at First Congregational Church, Mansfield, Ohio (2006-2010) and at St. John Evangelical UCC in Collinsville, Illinois (2010-2016).

Tony and his wife Karen have two adult daughters; one lives in San Diego and the other in Lincoln, Nebraska.


Stephen Schermitzler

Music Director

Stephen has served as a musician in the church in various capacities at Chaparral Christian Church (2000-2007) and the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration (2007-2011). He graduated from ASU in 2010 with a degree in music composition with piano emphasis. An accomplished singer, collaborative pianist, and handbell ringer, Stephen is also an active musical theatre director in the Valley. He is committed to creatively growing the fellowship and outreach of the music ministry program at Beatitudes.


Deni Nordmeyer

Family Ministry Coordinator

Deni Nordmeyer has dedicated her life to families and children. Most of her employment has been to teach children with disabilities the skills they need to function more independently. While parenting her own children, Deni participated in numerous child and family focused activities. Of all the projects she has done, theater events are her favorite. She hopes that she will have many opportunities to use her theater skills at Beatitudes Church.

Pat Ezerski

Church Administrator

Pat moved from Tucson to Phoenix to become administrator at Church of the Beatitudes.  Prior to assuming the administrator position, she worked as a business manager, vice president of operations and sales, and as a consultant. Her background is in finance, marketing and public relations. She was chair of stewardship and endowment at her church in Tucson for 8 years and served on session, the buildings and grounds committee, and the pastor nominating committee.

Janelle Tapphorn

Communications Special & Pastoral Assistant

Janelle lives in Peoria with her husband and high school sweetheart, Dave, and two children, Ryan and Joy.  She earned her Master of Arts in Journalism degree from Regent University in 2018, and most recently completed an internship with the Communications department at Duet: Partners in Health & Aging. With over 20 years experience in communications, correspondence, and freelance writing/editing, she now brings her content management skill set to Beatitudes Church. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, writing, coffee, chocolate, and has an affinity for butterflies!


Beatitudes Church, a progressive Christian church, affirms that every person has worth as a unique creation made in the image of God. We recognize, celebrate and give thanks for the many diverse gifts of God among us. We declare ourselves to be an Open and Affirming congregation, welcoming into the full life and ministry of the Church persons of every race, culture, age, gender, sexual orientation, ability and economic status.




555 W. Glendale Avenue
Phoenix AZ 85021

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© 2017 by Beatitudes Church