Pastors & Music Directors

Fred Gramann

Music Director

Fred"I highly value providing leadership for the music ministry at ACP which strives to reinforce the spoken word by providing a complementary spiritual avenue in our quest to experience God."

Fred is a native of Washington state where he began organ studies with Dr. Edward Hansen of Seattle. He earned organ performance degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Michigan, moving to Paris in 1972 for organ study with Marie-Claire Alain and Maurice Duruflé. Since 1976, he has been Director of Music at the American Church in Paris where he is organist and conducts the Adult Choir, the ACP Bronze Ringers, and the Celebration Ringers. Fred also organizes the weekly Sunday evening classical concert series. He has numerous choral and handbell works published in the United States and is the Honorary Associate Director of the Raleigh Ringers of North Carolina as well as the Embellish Handbell Ensemble of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Fred is the newly appointed director for the Bay View Week of Handbells, Bay View, Michigan, and continues to be the permanent director for Bronzefest and UK Bronze.

Sara Barton

Director of Children’s and Youth Music Ministries

Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Sara was raised in Miami, Florida. Her first experience in music was playing the xylophone for a school play at age 5, and piano lessons soon followed. She studied both piano and later the organ, and became organist at a local church at age 15. Sara earned a BA from St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge where she studied English Literature and served as Organ Scholar. She then returned to Miami and served as organist and handbell director first at Christ the King Lutheran Church (1999-2006), and later at Coral Gables Congregational Church (2006-2008). While in Miami she obtained a Master of Music from Florida International University, whilst also serving as an adjunct professor. Sara has been a music teacher for many years, and currently teaches at École Jeannine Manuel for students at collège level. Sara has lived in France since 2008, and resides in Villejuif with her family.

Natalie Raynal

Contemporary Music Director

NLM"Leading worship brings together everything I love and value most; it's an opportunity to testify to who God is and what he has done, in fellowship with other musicians, through music that I love. 'Because your love is better than life, my lips will praise you…with singing lips my mouth will praise you.'"

Natalie is a native of Richmond, Virginia who came to Paris after 7 years in Milan, Italy. After graduating from the Peabody Conservatory of Music with a Bachelors of Music in voice performance under Phylis Bryn-Julson, she continued her vocal studies with Renato Cazzaniga of La Scala. In Milan she performed in classical and jazz concerts and lead worship at the Milan Bible Church. Natalie has lead the Contemporary Service since it began in 2008, and joined the ACP staff as Contemporary Music Director in 2009. "I love the diversity of what we can do as a worship team at the ACP.  The extraordinary diversity of our backgrounds and blend of classically and self-trained musicians allows each of us add our own unique style and faith experience to the blend."

The Rev. Allison Wheeler

Director of Children's Ministry

Allison Wheeler, Director of Children's Ministry Allison attended Ohio Wesleyan University, graduating with degrees in Religion and Theatre in 2008. After graduation Allison remained in her hometown of Columbus, Ohio, teaching theater classes for children and teens at various institutions and working as a Volunteer Management Intern for the Available Light Theatre Co. During this time she was also heavily involved in the youth program at Northwest Christian Church.

Allison and her husband, Jonathan, came to Paris in January of 2011 after he accepted a post-doctorate research position in physics here. Since that time she has been involved in both the youth and Children’s Worship ministries at ACP. She also began work towards her Masters of Divinity at Phillips Theological Seminary in the fall of 2011.

Allison and Jonathan are the proud parents of Josephine and Benjamin.

In her free time Allison enjoys exploring Paris’ beautiful museums, parks, and churches, as well as cooking, reading, and singing (although these days it’s mostly rounds of “Old MacDonald” to keep the baby entertained). She also enjoys spending time with her family travelling and seeking new adventures.

You can contact Allison here.

The Rev. Jodi Fondell and The Rev. Doug Fondell

Interim Associate Pastors for Congregational Ministries

Jodi and Doug Fondell, Interim Associate Pastors for Congregational Ministries

Jodi and Doug have been active in International Church ministry since 1998. Their first call abroad was to Immanuel International in Stockholm, Sweden where a 3 year call yielded 17 years of fruitful and meaningful ministry. Since then they served at the American Church in London, at the ACP, and at All Nations Church Luxembourg.

Prior to moving to Europe, Doug served as associate pastor in the Chicago area where his responsibilities included ministry to youth and young adults along with preaching, leading worship, working with the Christian Education board, teaching Sunday School and directing Vacation Bible School programs. Jodi served as Chaplain of North Park University, a Christian liberal arts college in Chicago where she was engaged with college-age students through pastoral care, leading and planning chapel services, and building campus ministry teams. Both Jodi and Doug have extensive experience in leading mission trips both in the US and abroad.

 

Introducing our Visiting Pastor — Rev, Don Lee

The American Church in Paris welcomes Rev. Don Lee and Rev. Tana McDonald.

Don Lee

Born and raised in California, Rev. Don Lee graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Arts and began his career as a professional musician, piano technician, and music retailer. He served as Music Director at First United Methodist Church in Redding, California for 25 years before being called to ordained ministry. Rev. Lee graduated from the Pacific School of Religion and served Sierra Pines UMC for 11 years and Sacramento First UMC for six years, before retiring in 2016. Rev. Lee’s ministry involvements include serving on boards of the Human Rights Council in Redding, Hospitality House ministry to the homeless, Habitat for Humanity, and Family Promise. In addition, he and his wife, Rev. Tana McDonald, have led many mission trips to Palestine and Mexico, as well disaster relief teams in the US.

While visiting Paris two years ago, he served briefly on our Contemporary Worship Team, playing piano and guitar (thanks to Natalie’s unceasing patience, he says!).

During the pandemic lockdown, he helped create a co-op grocery market in the neighborhood. He also picked up his tenor sax again (after several decades), and enjoyed playing on the street corner for free. Don and Tana have three sons and are looking forward to becoming a part of the ACP congregation.

ACP Welcomes Rev. Dr. Paul Rock as its New Senior Pastor


The Rev. Dr. Paul Thomas Rock grew up in Concord, Massachusetts, Springfield, Virginia, and Stillwater, Minnesota. Paul has been engaged in mission and pastoral work for 25 years, beginning with a three-year stint as a tent-maker missionary in Budapest, Hungary. He served as an associate pastor in Santa Clarita, CA (Los Angeles area) and at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian in New York City before coming to Second Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, Missouri. He received his Doctor of Ministry in 2011 from Drew University. He earned his Master of Divinity with honors from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1998. Paul has two books published by Westminster John Knox Press.

Paul is a disciple of Jesus Christ for many reasons. He has always been spiritually inclined and curious and was raised in a loving family where Christian faith and practice shaped routines and formed character. Through three years of mission work and three years of seminary, God’s Spirit lovingly helped Paul reconstruct his young adult faith and he fell in love with the Jesus of his Reformed heritage.  He is tremendously thankful that, throughout his life-long faith journey, he has never felt separated from God’s immense and encompassing love for him. Therefore, he is, and continues to be, a thankful and committed follower of Jesus Christ. In Paul’s own words, “Jesus’s love claims me and gives my life hope, sustaining strength and purpose. In response, I try to know, love, serve and follow Christ each day.”

Paul’s understanding of the Church is that it is a diverse community composed of imperfect people, filled with the Spirit, through whom God continues Christ’s work of reconciliation and healing in the world. As a part of this community, we are all invited to embrace our priestly calling and grow in knowledge, faith and skill so that each of us can be actively engaged in the furtherance of God’s Kingdom. As a pastor, Paul understands he is not the shepherd, Christ is.