Laura Wright

Acting Senior Minister

Dr. Wright is the newest addition to the team at First Congregational. She became our Acting Senior Minister in December of 2023 after being our Minister of Faith Formation and Congregational Life for over three years. She came to La Crosse to marry her ever patient husband, Michael. Her professional identities have included college professor, staff and volunteer at multiple archaeological excavations in Israel/Palestine, and campaign manager.

She completed her Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins in Northwest Semitic Languages and Literature. While completing her doctoral research, she served on multiple excavations in Israel and Palestine over 15 years. She later moved to Northeast Iowa to teach in the Religion Department at Luther College. After sensing a call to work for justice in the public square, she ran a political campaign before serving as the Designated Pastor of the UCC church in Decorah, Iowa. Laura and her family recently adopted a devoted (and slightly co-dependent) dog, named Leia, who never leaves their sides.



Nancy Allen

Choir Director and Organist

Nancy Allen is our Choir Director and Organist. She skillfully leads our Sanctuary choir, and it is clear why Viterbo University hired her to be a Professor of Music and the Music Director for theater productions for a decade. When she’s not directing an award-winning collegiate show choir or helping us worship with beauty on Sundays, she’s on the golf course, traveling the globe, or playing cards!



Suellen Retzlaff

Bell Choir Director

Suellen has expertly directed our Bell Choir since 2015. Her expertise was nurtured in continuing education for directors and ringers and participation for years in Anthornis, an event for advanced ringers. She also plays the flute and piano. In addition to directing our Bell Choir, she has been a gift to our church, serving on committees from Service and Worship to Music and Finance. After retiring from teaching in the La Crosse Public Schools, she spends her free time winning awards for her photography, ringing with the Great River Ringers, loving on her grandkids, and playing music in the productions of local community theater.



Kristi Wolf

Office Administrator

Kristi is the church’s Office Administrator. Without exaggeration, we can safely say she keeps our church running. She has served First Congregational since 2000. As a result, her oral history and institutional knowledge are unparalleled within the church. She does her administrative tasks with unfailing kindness and patience. Kristi and her husband, Frank, are the proud parents of Jesse, Kyra, Alex, Evan and a furry friend, Baleau.



Tracye Adams

Financial Secretary

Tracye Adams has been a gift to our staff since she joined the staff at First Congregational in September 2016 as our Financial Secretary.  She feels very fortunate to be working at a church with such a welcome and supportive congregation, and we are fortunate to have her. Tracye and her husband, Todd, are the parents of three children and recent empty nesters.