One of Cleveland’s preeminent preachers, Dr. Mark Giuliano is a speaker, writer and community leader. He has been called “One of the best preachers in the Presbyterian Church (USA) today.” He speaks Sunday mornings at the Old Stone Church and regularly throughout the region.
His early studies in Urban Planning and Humanities, as well as his graduate work in theology and preaching communication (S.T.M., McGill; D.Min., Vanderbilt) make Mark a good fit with the mission of the Old Stone Church and its commitment to the region, and with the dynamic work of the city. Mark is an elected board member of the Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corporation, the Downtown Cleveland Improvement Corporation and serves on a variety of civic committees and task forces, as well as the Mission Council of the Presbytery of the Western Reserve. Mark is the immediate past-President of the Downtown Cleveland Residents Association and continues to serve on the DCRA Advisory Board. He also teaches courses in communication at John Carroll University.
In addition to his work as the writer and host of Power2ools: 2 minute tools for life!, Dr. Giuliano is also a regular guest columnist with Cleveland’s Plain Dealer, and is the author of dozens of articles, commentaries and the book, Speak Easy: The Survival Guide to Speech and Public Speaking. He is also an accomplished singer/songwriter, having garnered a Golden Viking for “Americana Album of the Year” in 2006, and received a letter of thanks from NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and a Presidential Citation from President George W. Bush for his 2001 9-11 tribute song, Shoulder to Shoulder. His most recent single is called, This is the Place, This is the Time.
Mark and his wife, Beth, live in and enjoy contributing to the health and vitality of the city and, particularly, to the vibrant life of downtown Cleveland.
Mark James Eldred is overjoyed to have accepted his first call to the Old Stone Church where he will be leading the Mission and Urban Wellness team and Deacons in seeking further opportunities for Old Stone to be church out in the greater Cleveland area and out in our world through mission service outreach and community relationship building. He is excited to explore new ways to share God’s love and witness in/through worship and mission programming, as well as sharing with ministerial staff in offering pastor care for the Old Stone Community.
Prior to serving at Old Stone Church, Mark James Eldred served as Interim Director of Adult Education & Worship Coordinator for Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago. He served as Pastoral Intern at First Presbyterian Church, Wilmette, IL, during the 2013-14 church year, and completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, in the summer of 2014. He worked for more than eight years in various positions in the departments of Urology and Neurological Surgery at Northwestern Hospital-Chicago. Mark James is a graduate of Chicago’s Northeastern Illinois University, B.A. English, 2012, and McCormick Theological Seminary, M.Div. 2015.
Mark James and his wife Gillian, and their two cats Samson and Salome, live in University Heights, and look forward to exploring and learning more about downtown Cleveland and the greater Cleveland area. Passionate about food, they are very excited to share in the food renaissance in Cleveland, and in exploring ways to feed those in need!
Rev. Kristine Eggert, Associate for Congregational Care and Justice
Rev. Kristine Eggert will share with other ministerial staff in offering pastoral care for the Old Stone community and will preach occasionally. She builds relationships with and works together in Old Stone’s Peace & Justice Ministry and gives support to the Senior Pastor.
Rev. Eggert is the Co-Founder of and an activist in God Before Guns, a multi-faith coalition of individuals and faith communities working to reduce gun violence. She is married to David Eggert, retired administrator for New York State United Teachers and former public high school teacher. They are parents to four adult children and two young grandsons. She is a graduate of Christian Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity and is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She served churches in her hometown of Indianapolis and until retirement served as Senior Pastor at Disciples Christian Church in Cleveland Heights.
Beth Giuliano, Director of Operations
Beth provides guidance and leadership to the non-pastoral staff and the ministry teams of the congregation; acting as a liaison between the active weekday community and the Sunday worshiping community.
Beth also reaches out to the broader community, and is responsible for many innovative outreach programs including the Old Stone Marriage Program, and is the staff liaison to the Discipleship programs. She also partners with many organizations such as the Mayor’s Office (Cleveland), Renee Jones Empowerment Center, Downtown Cleveland Alliance, Public Square Preservation Committee, Historic Warehouse Neighborhood, and in the recent past the Presbytery of the Western Reserve’s Vital Congregations committee and many of the over 70 outside groups who hold meetings, workshops and special services at the Old Stone Church.
Beth has also developed and oversees a thriving arts program at Old Stone which includes special concerts, a docent program, historic artifacts and archives, and rotating shows and openings of local, national and international artists in the Gallery at Old Stone.
Her work with Human Trafficking issues has led her on behalf of the church to partner with groups in Guatemala as well as local groups. She has been a delegate to the United Nations for the past two years as part of the PC(USA) delegation to the Commission on the Status of Women.
Beth has been invited to be the keynote speaker to various groups on issues of Trafficking, Equality and Gender Mainstreaming.
Beth holds a B.F.A. from Concordia University in Montreal, and a B.Ed. from the University of Windsor, Canada and brings over two decades of experience in education and ministry to her work at the Old Stone Church. Beth has completed a graduate program in Executive Leadership at McCormick Seminary in Chicago.
Donald VerKuilen, Director of Music & Musical Arts
Donald VerKuilen is Old Stone’s Director of Music & Musical Arts. Don is a concert organist, church musician and composer. A native of Appleton, Wisconsin, he started his musical studies at the age of three. Fascinated and enamored by the pipe organ since a small child, Don was able to study organ with a generous scholarship from First English Lutheran Church of Appleton, Wisconsin. Don studied with Mr. Frank Rippl, organist and choirmaster of All Saints Episcopal Church in Appleton, Wisconsin. Don started his career as a church musician at the age of 12. Don is an E Power Biggs Fellow to the Organ Historical Society and has been a finalist in many prestigious organ competitions. Don continued his studies at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music under James David Christie and Jonathan Moyer. He has also studied performance and improvisation with Marie-Louise Langlais, the widow of the famous composer, Jean Langlais. Don has performed with different orchestras and ensembles around the country including a performance of Piece en Forme Libre by Jean Langlais with the Oberlin Orchestra, a rarely performed work.
Don has performed as a solo recitalist in over 30 states and in six different countries including venues such as Overture Hall in Madison, Wisconsin; Organ Historical Society Conventions; The International Festival of the Organ in Rome, Italy; St. Paul Cathedral of St. Paul, Minnesota; and many others.