Staff of East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church

Meet Our Staff

Todd Friesen, Lead Pastor

I love being part of a faith community that is deeply committed to following Jesus in daily life and joining what God is doing here in the city of Lancaster, especially in our surrounding neighborhood. If being part of that kind of church appeals to you then come check us out!

A bit about my own story. As a college student and young adult, I had little interest in faith or connecting with the church. That slowly began to change during the seven years that my wife and I spent working in China. I was surprised by God’s call to become a pastor through the beautiful lives of the Chinese Christians we came to know. I graduated from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (Elkhart, IN) in 2000 and then pastored a church in suburban Chicago for 13 years​. East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church called me to be their lead pastor in 2013.

A couple spiritual disciplines are especially dear to me: contemplative prayer helps me to connect with God and walking helps me connect with our city neighbors. Here are links to articles where I reflect on each one: Out of My Mind, Into My Heart and “Pastor Learns About His Community”. I’m also a trained spiritual director (AMBS, 2011) and a commissioned presenter in Centering Prayer (Contemplative Outreach, 2015).

My wife is a massage therapist and our daughter is a college student. I enjoy taking bike rides in County Park, cooking Chinese dishes, birdwatching, following the Chicago Cubs, and watching movies.

Shannon Pipkin, Office Administrator

In my role at ECSMC, I provide administrative support for the congregation, church committees, and pastoral staff.

My past experience includes work in missions and outreach ministries, nonprofit Christian ministry, diversity training for college students, as well as several rewarding years as a full-time stay-at-home parent. Prior to coming to ECSMC, I served for three years as a Parish Resource Manager and Director of Communications for a large Lancaster city church

I am married to my high school sweetheart, Brian. We have three children – a daughter and two sons – and a border collie mix named Teddy. In my spare time, you might find me doing one or more of my favorite things: spending time outside with my family, laughing, reading, and eating good food. (This native Californian can’t get enough of authentic Thai and Mexican food!)