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Our Ministers

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The Rev. Bob Holum
Rector Emeritus

The Rev. Bob Holum served as Rector from 2007 to 2020, and he continues to serve as Rector Emeritus.  Bob has served as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America since 1973, and he brings a lifetime’s worth of experience to our little log church.  Bob served as head pastor of churches in Philadelphia and Washington D.C., and he served as a Mission Director and assistant to the Bishop for ten years in Baltimore. He met the love of his life, Binnie Holum (1950-2014), in Philadelphia during his seminary years, and Binnie brought him to the shores of Upper Saranac Lake for the first time in 1972.  He lives in Mount Airy, Pennsylvania next door to his daughter Suli, her husband Trey, and his granddaughter Coralie.

The Rev. Tyler Montgomery

The Rev. Tyler Montgomery was appointed Rector of the Church of the Ascension in August 2020. Tyler was baptized with lake water in 1987 on the hill, and he has spent a portion of every summer of his life but three on Upper Saranac Lake. Tyler and his wife Mary live in Houston, Texas where Tyler serves as Associate Head of School at Episcopal High School and Mary serves as full-time Momma to their young daughters: Grace and Hallie. The Church of the Ascension is holy ground for the Montgomery family, and the cool waters of the lake are a welcome respite from the Texas heat during their summer months. Tyler previously served at Woodberry Forest School, Bruton Parish, and the College of William & Mary.

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Ms. Karen Baker

Karen Baker is a Rochester native, but she moved to Saranac Lake in 1972 to make a home with her husband and two children.  Music is what she loves most.  She plays with two bands and performs solo with the piano.  She has been playing organ at the Church of the Ascension since 2001.  Other than making beautiful music, Karen enjoys the outdoors, spending time with family and friends, and several pastimes that include knitting, yoga, photography, and writing. She rarely misses an opportunity to visit her daughters in California!

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Mr. Charlie Sheerin
President of the Board

Charlie Sheerin serves as the President of the  Board of Trustees.  Charlie spent his childhood summers in the lakeside rectory when his father served as lead minister to the Church of the Ascension from 1966 to 2001.  Charlie and his two sisters, Anne and Edie, have been great stewards of the Church of the Ascension over the decades, and each of them spends a portion of the summer at their family camp adjacent to the old Saranac Inn property.  Charlie is a Washington D.C. resident where he serves as senior director of strategic philanthropy at the World Wildlife Fund.


Ms. Patty Koch


Patty and her husband Larry purchased their property in Back Bay - directly across from the church driveway - in 2006, after vacationing at the St. Lawrence University Camp on the north shore for twenty years.  Patty and Larry have been faithful summer residents and leaders in the community.  Patty spends the year in Savannah, Georgia. She and Larry have two adult children, Peter and Maddie, a granddaughter named Aurora and a distinguished white Terrier named Hopscotch who is often patrolling Back Bay Road.  Patty is a frequent contributor to the USLA mailboat newsletter!

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Ms. Ashley Nalle


Ashley Nalle has spent much of her life visiting Spring Pond Camp in the summer from outside Austin, Texas where she grew up; although, Ashley recently relocated to Colorado with her husband Owen and their family (which includes their two beloved German short haired pointers). Their first daughter, Ella, and their twins, MacKenna and Parker, are the fourth generation of the Nalle family to come to the church. Owen and Ashely were high school sweethearts. Ashley is a CPA with a degree from Texas A&M and worked as an accountant at Ernst & Young in Austin before she transitioned to full-time mom.

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Ms. Koko Bickford
Governance Committee

Dr. Alison Packard
Chair of Governance Committee

Alison Packard has been visiting Upper Saranac Lake for decades to Grouse Cove in Little Square Bay with her husband Zander and their three children Caleb (pictured above with Alison), Avery, and Rowan.  Alison works as an OBGYN at Mass General Hospital, and she often makes the weekend commute from Boston to spend the weekends in the mountains throughout the year.  An avid outdoors-woman, Alison can often be found on the trails with their black labs Tupper and Quinn (short for Algonquin)!

Koko Bickford has spent summers on Upper Saranac Lake since 1968 at her husband Ed’s family’s camp on Markham Point. Ed and Koko bought and renovated Sunset Lodge, a part of the old Saranac Inn in 2017. They have four grown children (Ted, Bill, David, and Annie) and ten grandchildren. Koko has taught preschool, worked in development at Noble & Greenough School, and was head of guide services at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Koko and Ed split their time between Dedham, MA and Upper Saranac Lake. 

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Ms. Katy Briggs
Chair of the Memorial Glade Committee

Ms. Wendy Lincoln


Wendy Lincoln and her husband Mike own Moss Ledge Camp in Gilpin Bay on the southern end of Upper Saranac Lake. Wendy discovered the Adirondacks by visiting Lake Placid for their son’s lacrosse tournaments.  After touring some camps, she decided that this was a place where her family would establish a multigenerational family gathering point. Wendy and Mike met in their 7th grade homeroom class, and they have four children together: Wes, Sarah, Will, and Jay. They live in McLean, Virginia during the year where Wendy is a youth group leader at Vienna Presbyterian Church, involved with the Community Coalition for Haiti and Five Talents service organizations, and an avid tennis player.

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Katy has been coming to the Church for as long as she can remember, being born into the extended Harder-Short-Briggs clan from Red Pine Point on the tip of the old Saranac Inn peninsula.  Katy married her husband, Jack Pranikoff, at the Church of the Ascension in August 2020 in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic. They live in Boston during the year, where Katy works as an elementary school teacher. They recently welcomed her first son, Guiseppe, into our world and community. Katy has been a faithful congregant, acknowledging that the Church of the Ascension is the only place that she would call her "church home." Katy chairs the Memorial Glade Committee that looks after the great cloud of witnesses who have preceded us at our church on the hill.


Ms. Cathy Wooters


Cathy Joyce Wooters first came to Upper Saranac Lake to the Mills/Slaughter/Wooters camp on Back Bay in 1974 with her then-boyfriend-now-husband of 43 years, Larry Wooters. When the family camp sold, Cathy and Larry purchased and renovated Camp That’s Why in 2017. Now the 6th generation of their family continues to enjoy the waters of Upper Saranac Lake. Cathy is a co-founder of San Miguel Academy of Newburgh, NY, where she co-created the Graduate Support Program and was the Advancement Director until 2018. Cathy lives in New Canaan CT, where she and Larry raised their three children: Mark, Catherine and Julie. Their spouses and seven grandchildren visit often. Cathy's greatest passions are her family, networking to provide options for under-served children, and kayaking on Upper Saranac Lake.


Mr. John Brennan

John’s parents, Jack and Mary, bought the Pinewood Camp on the former Saranac Inn property in the 1960s, and the family has been regular members of the Church of the Ascension for three generations. John and his wife, Jean, were married in the church in 1988, and their daughter Kathleen married Jimmy Fisher in the church in 2021.  John and Jean have four children who all love the Adirondacks: John, Peter, Mary Ann, and Kathleen.  They live in Alameda, California during the year, and they make the pilgrimage to the Adirondacks annually and always visit the church.  John is a graduate of Cornell University and is the principal of his own HR consulting firm.  He has served as a chair of several boards in California, including a youth development organization called Bay Area, Goodwill, and the Meyer Friedman Institute.

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