Meet our new co-pastors!
Rev. Veronica Johnson and Sarah Lusche are the co-pastors of Hyde Park Union Church.
Rev. Veronica M. Johnson, MDiv - Email Rev. Veronica Johnson
Rev. Veronica M. Johnson was born in Chicago, IL and in the Baptist Church. Veronica earned a
Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois,
Urbana/Champaign, and worked in the field for 20 years prior to answering her call to ministry,
in 2006. Rev. Johnson joined the pastoral staff of Greater Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church in
2010, earned a Master of Divinity Degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in 2012, and
on December 14, 2013, became the first woman ordained in Greater Bethesda’s 131 year
history, holding an American Baptist USA ordination. (Rev. Johnson has also served in the UCC
and AME churches.) Rev. Veronica M. Johnson currently serves as the Associate Pastor of
Discipleship at Greater Bethesda (where Rev. David W. Watkins, III is pastor) and Vice President
of the American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago. She is also Senior Director of Admissions
and Enrollment at McCormick Theological Seminary. Rev. Johnson is the mother of two
academically and musically gifted children, Curtis Johnson II (age: 20) and Vanessa Johnson
(age:17). Veronica has a passion for education, social justice, and most of all for preaching the
Gospel of Jesus Christ which liberates us, for as John 8:36 states, “for whom the Son sets free, is
Sarah Lusche, Masters Candidate in Divinity and Social Work, University of Chicago - Email Sarah Lusche
Sarah is a minister who is passionate about community engagement, multifaith conversation, and social change. Originally from Auburn, AL, Sarah has found a home in Chicago, where she is currently completing a dual master’s program in Divinity and Social Work at the University of Chicago. Sarah’s ministry work is characterized by innovation and the intersection between religion and the public square. Since arriving in Chicago, Sarah has served as a pastor and in hospital and jail chaplaincy, always with an eye toward justice and equity. Sarah is pursuing ordination in the American Baptist Church, and has a history of ecumenical and multifaith partnerships. At the Social Service Administration, Sarah focuses her clinical work on relational modalities of therapy and change. At the Divinity School, Sarah is working on her senior thesis, which examines the role of the congregation as an essential element of Christian practice, interpersonal development, and social engagement. In her free time, Sarah explores the Chicago theatre scene, practices yoga, and occasionally bakes delicious pies.
Elikem Fiase, Director of Music and Office Administrator ~ Email Elikem Fiase
Elikem Fiase has both a BA in Business and a BM in organ performance from Coe College as well as a certificate in organ performance. Originally from Ghana, Mr. Fiase has settled here in Chicago, and we are blessed to have him here at Hyde Park Union Church.
Alvin Palmer, Building Supervisor