Our Staff

Rev. Kim Newport

Rev. Kim Newport holds a Bachelors of Science in Religion and Psychology and a Masters of Divinity from Ecumenical Theological Seminary.  She is co-pastor of Rise United Church of Christ and the Moderator of the Coordinating Committee of the Eastern Association of the Michigan Conference of the United Church of Christ.  Kim was also the pastor of First Congregational, UCC in Romeo for six years.


She is known for her activism throughout Macomb County with Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, and Macomb Pride.  Kim has spent almost ten years studying various disciplines of liberation theology and has spoken at numerous churches educating congregations on how to affirm LGBTQ+ individuals.  In her spare time, she can be found almost anywhere in nature.  She identifies as a non-binary lesbian and uses the pronouns she/her/hers.

Rev. Traci K. Bartell

Pastor Traci K. Bartell graduated with honors in May of 2021 with a Master of Divinity degree from Central Baptist Theological Seminary. Her ordination took place in August of 2022. Having grown up in the United Church of Christ, Traci now recognizes that she has been on a path of discernment for many years if not her entire life. She looks back on her 25-year career in music education as simply time spent embodying another expression of ministry. She remains passionate about music and about the well-being of all children. She has served as director of music, worship organist and pianist, and adult choir director in area UCC churches for over 20 years. Curating worship that is vibrant and relevant for today’s people of God is also another passion. 


Traci is a bi-vocational pastor. When she is not working for Rise UCC, she is the Enrollment Coordinator for Romeo Community Schools. And, in the few moments and hours in a week that she does not work, she enjoys reading, cooking, folding peace cranes, spending time with her dear one and her family, and tending a bit of the land that once was her family’s farm in Columbus Township, MI. This soil has provided roots to generations of her family for over 100 years. 


Traci sees and feels so much potential in all that Rise UCC is and has yet to become. God is definitely still speaking, singing, shouting, humming, clapping, and dancing throughout Creation! She is grateful to be riding with the Holy Spirit as guide and leader to create, grow, and tend new ministries and new community.