Rev. Michelle Scott-Huffman, Minister

A middle aged woman with gray, spiky hair wearing a red button up shirt and black bowtie leans against a white brick wall. She is smiling.

Rev. Michelle Scott-Huffman has been serving as First UU’s half-time minister since June of 2020. 

Rev. Michelle was already familiar to many Springfield residents through her position as campus minister at Ekklesia Progressive Campus Ministry. Ekklesia is affiliated with four denominations and is a leader in interfaith conversations at Missouri State University. She started at Ekklesia in January 2018. 

She is ordained by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and has always taken an ecumenical and interfaith approach to ministry and life in general. 

“I did not meet a Unitarian Universalist until I was in the seminary,” she said, referring to Eden Theological Seminary, where she earned her master of divinity. She enjoyed her interaction with UUs and with members of other progressive religious groups.

Rev. Michelle grew up in the small town of New Bloomfield, MO, the youngest of five children. She received a bachelor of science in business administration, with an emphasis in accounting, from Central Missouri State University. She is completing a doctor of ministry degree at Phillips Theological Seminary as well as pursuing plural standing as a UU minister.

Among her goals as minister at First UU are maintaining a community of faith and helping provide resources for people to exercise their beliefs. She wants to be a peacemaker and worker for justice in this community and in the world, connecting the UU community to a wider community in order to make change. She wants to encourage members to be more active in their church and in the community.

She and her wife, Stephanie, have been married for 11 years. She describes Stephanie as “a brilliant documentary and storytelling photographer, a fabulous cook, and a lover and encourager of people.” The family includes daughters Alexis and Morgan.

AJ Fox, Director of Religious Education

AJ Fox has been working as the Director of Religious Education since 2015. AJ brings with them two decades of peer-to-peer learning facilitation and fifteen years of experience working at the intersection of family education, abuse prevention, and sexuality and relational education. AJ passionately believes that parents and educators are the primary educators of their children and that supporting parents and caregivers is the work of being religious and sexuality educators is the work of supporting children and youth.

Besides being a regular contributor to the Sunday Services at First UU, AJ is also the facilitator for Soulful Home, a Soul Matters Small Group co-facilitator, a yoUUth co-facilitator, a SACReD co-facilitator, and a trained OWL instructor for K-1 and 4-6. You can find out more about their work at First UU over at the Faith Formation page.

AJ is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist and is grateful to be currently raising two fourth-generation Unitarian Universalists. They experience the world as a queer (pansexual and nonbinary/gender non-conforming) neurodivergent (ADHD) elder millennial.

John Prescott, Choir Director

A professional photograph of a middle aged man in a maroon turtleneck, tan blazer and black beret smiling at the camera.

John Prescott, choir director, is also a member of the Missouri State University music faculty since 1986. He holds degrees from Florida State University and the University of Kansas where he studied composition with John Pozdro, Edward Mattila, and James Barnes. An award-winning member of ASCAP, Dr. Prescott composes music for band, orchestra, chorus, chamber ensemble, and multimedia venues, and much of his music is published and distributed worldwide.

Eva Riebold, Pianist

photograph of Eva Riebold

Eva Riebold was a private practice clinical psychologist in the Clinton, Sedalia and Warrensburg area for about 20 years. She and her husband, Floyd, were clinical partners, also foster parents and started a Wellness Center.
She became passionate about piano after her retirement and has had the privilege of playing for 1st UU choir and congregation for about 16 years.

Emily Aderhold, Office Administrator

Emily Aderhold has been working for First UU since July 2022, and she’s been a friend and member of the church for about a decade. She has a background in technical writing and several service industries, and uses those skills to guide her administrative work. She enjoys being in a position that allows her to work with so many people, both at First UU and in the community.