Momentum Staff

Dan Smith

Lead Minister
dan@momentumchurch.com

Smitty was born and raised in the Buckeye State, but he didn't grow up in a religious home. His family literally never went to church – which gives him a pretty unique perspective on faith. He has his Bachelors in Ministry and his Masters in Storytelling. (Yep, it’s a real degree. Seriously.) After working for a great church in the Washington, D.C. area for 8 years, Dan came home to Ohio (like Lebron) and led the amazing team of people who started Momentum.

Dan is an avid NFL, Cavs, and Buckeye fan. He loves weightlifting, photobombing, watching movies that have guns in them, and eating all foods that are Asian. He’s also a pasty-white hip-hop artist. Dan and his wifey, Shannon, have 3 young mini-me’s: Zion, Azlan, and Journey.

Fun facts:
-In 2005 Dan made a comedy video generated 26 million hits in one year.-
In 2007 Dan was chosen as one of Cleveland Magazine's "Most Interesting People."
-In 2002 Smitty won an Ohio Hip-Hop Award and was nominated again in 2013.

Website || Twitter || Facebook || Instagram

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Dan Smith

Dan Smith

Lead Minister

Curtis Teel

Twinsburg/Macedonia Campus Minister
curtis@momentumchurch.com

In south Baltimore, Md is where this kid was raised. On the playground is where he spent most of his days. Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool often would spend time shooting b-ball outside of his school. But, in the 6th grade his friends finally convinced him that he indeed could not be the next fresh prince of Bel Air. His love for baseball took him to Milligan College where he met his wonderful wife and now they work together to raise their adventurous and brave little girl, Hadley. Working with James and Dan over an internship in 2010 helped Curtis realize how much he loved Cleveland and how he could use his story-telling to let others know how relevant Jesus’ teachings are.

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Curtis Teel

Curtis Teel

Twinsburg/Macedonia Campus Minister

James Fruits

Creative Arts Minister
james@momentumchurch.com

Told he was too old to be an American Idol, James Fruits decided to that the only way he was going to make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was to move to Cleveland and pay the admission fee. While working as a wedding singer, James sang his way into the heart of his amazing wife, Christie. His sultry voice and smooth Barry White impersonations led to the birth of their three children. Following in their father’s footsteps, their daughter, Mylee, is a pop star in training while her twin brother, Malachi loves parody songs and anything to do with technology. The youngest Fruits, a Guatemalan stud named Max, has the coolest hair on the planet and is one of the most fun kids you could ever hang out with.

James is passionate about incorporating the arts and artists into the Church. When he isn't leading worship or editing comedy videos, James can be found serving in the public schools in his community. James was awarded with the Ohio PTA State Life Achievement Award for his service in his local school district, as well as, being recognized as the Distinguished Citizen of the Year by the Mayor for his outstanding service to both the community and school district.

Facebook || Instagram || Twitter

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James Fruits

James Fruits

Creative Arts Minister

Nicole Gates

Part-time MoKidz Coach
nicole@momentumchurch.com

Nicole was born in Maryland and had spent parts of her life in the DC Suburbs of Maryland and Virginia before deciding to “take her talents to Cleveland” in the summer of 2006. Since then Nicole has become a huge Cleveland fan and considers this city her home. Eating at the Happy Dog, going to Cavs games (there’s always next year right!), sipping coffee, and reading in Tremont are her favorite Cleveland pastimes. Children and families are something very close to Nicole’s heart and is passionate about making Sunday morning the highlight of your child’s week.

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Nicole Gates

Nicole Gates

Part-time MoKidz Coach

Shannon Smith

Part-time Mo Groups Director
shannon@momentumchurch.com

Shannon Smith was raised all over the place, but will give a shout-out to Crowley, LA because that is where she spent most of high school and because the Cajuns have the best food. After graduating from Kentucky Christian University, Shannon went on to teach high school math in northern, VA – which technically makes her a nerd. Now she resides in Cleveland, OH where she enjoys great Vietnamese food at #1Pho, awesome (and cheap) ice cream at The Big Dipper, and chai tea lattes with her hot husband and three cool kids. Although Shannon wears socks on her arms, has a bandana fetish, and only has high heels in her shoe collection, she’s still allowed to lead the Mo group ministry at Momentum. She’s passionate about creating small environments that move people forward spiritually and truly believes that “Mo group is better than no group.”

*It’s no coincidence that Dan and Shannon Smith have the same last name and seem to flirt a lot. To avoid nepotism, we have arranged for any concerns about Shannon’s leadership (that already have been discussed directly with Shannon; Matthew 18:15) to be directed toward Jason Peterson, a key leader at Momentum.

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Shannon Smith

Shannon Smith

Part-time Mo Groups Director

Cortney Kaser

Administrative Assistant
cortney@momentumchurch.com

Keeping Mo organized and running smoothly is what Cortney does best! Talking with and getting to know people has always been a favorite past time for her and she loves that she can incorporate that into her administrative duties as well. She grew up on a farm in the middle of Amish country, where she really enjoyed riding horses in her spare time. She has since traded in her cowboy boots for hiking shoes to explore the Cleveland Metro Parks. She also cherishes time spent with her husband and two fur babies, Sadie and Sonny. They often take walks, watch movies and play fetch as a family. She enjoys pretending she is an artists, and loves serving as the leader of the backdrop and painting team. Her favorite backdrop to paint so far was for the Gospel According to Suess series.

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Cortney Kaser

Cortney Kaser

Administrative Assistant

Caleb Beck

Mo Intern
caleb@momentumchurch.com

Caleb was raised in the Buckeye city of Columbus.  After years of study and practice, he gave up his dream of becoming a Jedi Master and settled with going to Kentucky Christian University to get his degree in Bible and Ministry, emphasizing in preaching.  It was there he enjoyed playing Ultimate Frisbee, being a soccer star (best bench warmer there was), helping out with the annual Pifer Haunted House on campus, kicking field goals at football games in a gorilla costume, binge watching Netflix with friends, cliff falling (because cliff jumping is illegal in the city of Grayson, KY), and (of course) studying to be a preacher in hopes of one day becoming like one of the most awesome preachers in the world, Dan Smith.

Caleb needed an internship for his degree, so he took a risk and agreed to be the preaching intern at Momentum for the year of 2016.  He speaks mainly to students on Sunday night’s at Unleashed, Momentum’s Garfield Heights student group and has enjoyed getting to know all kinds of people in greater Cleveland.  He’s not only loves destroying the students in a game of laser tag or chair basketball, he also loves spending time with his host family making funny home videos or learning a new board game.

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Caleb Beck

Caleb Beck

Mo Intern

Josh Ludwig

Multiplication Intern
josh@momentumchurch.com

Josh grew up just up the road in Mentor. He grew up on church, but didn't really take it seriously until his senior year of high school, when he decided he wanted to be a pastor. So he moved to the middle of a cornfield in Lincoln, IL to study ministry. After working at churches in Chicago and Phoenix (where he met his wide Mackenzie), Josh decided it was time to come back home to Cleveland.

If you're interested in talking to Josh, here are a list of things he likes and knows about: cooking, coffee (both drinking and making), sports, disc golf, good food (especially chicken wings), Cleveland in general, art (just looking at it, he can't make it himself), nice pens, traveling, music, and comedy. If you don't know anything about any of these things don't worry, he'll still talk to you and probably just make up stuff to contribute to the conversation.

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Josh Ludwig

Josh Ludwig

Multiplication Intern