MEET OUR STAFF
Reverend Jennifer Castle
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Rev. Jennifer Castle received her undergraduate degree and Master’s degree in social work from the University of California at Berkeley. She specialized in gerontology, specifically working with those with dementia and their families. She and her husband Don relocated to the Seattle area in 1994 and Jennifer continued her social work career until their children were born.
After staying home with their children for a few years, Jennifer went to work part-time coordinating volunteers at Plymouth Church, UCC in Seattle. While there, Jennifer felt a growing call to ministry, and became especially excited about helping people of all ages connect their faith to their daily lives. Jennifer eventually became the Director of Faith Formation and then an Associate Pastor.
Jennifer received her Master of Divinity degree from Christian Theological Seminary and was subsequently ordained into the United Church of Christ. Jennifer is passionate about the power and potential of the local church to make a difference to the surrounding community and beyond.
Music & Choir Director
Artistic Director, Conductor, and Choreographer Deeji Killian comes from a diverse musical and performing background which began in childhood. From a young age Deeji performed regularly at church along with her five siblings, giving her an early love and appreciation for singing in four-part harmony. She went on to sing in multiple choirs throughout her schooling, and began studying voice, acting, and dance, and performing in plays and musicals in both school and community productions. After high school she moved from Eugene, Oregon to Seattle, Washington, where she continued to study dance and musical theatre, performing in singing groups and as the vocalist for a jazz band on a cruise ship.
In her early twenties Deeji began her studies in classical voice, where she was encouraged to pursue a career in opera. She studied vocal performance and conducting at both Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she was awarded a full tuition merit scholarship, and Cornish College of the Arts, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Before college graduation, Deeji was invited to audition for the Seattle Opera, where she went on to perform roles in many main stage productions with such notables as Renée Fleming, Ben Heppner, Susan Graham, Jane Eaglen, and Carol Vaness.
Deeji was a Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Regional Finalist. She has performed as a soloist with the Seattle Symphony by invitation of Gerard Schwarz, On the Boards, The Esoterics, and 16 Visions, where she debuted lead roles in Garrett Fisher’s new operas. She has also performed as a guest recital artist and as a featured soloist on Classical KING FM 98.1, KUOW, and National Public Radio.
Throughout her singing career Deeji has also taught private voice lessons and directed musical theatre workshops. In 2008 while working as a volunteer for Tent City at a local church, she had the idea of putting together a children's choir who's performances would raise money for those in need. The church generously donated the space for the rehearsals and the performances, which raised over $25,000 for charities both local and abroad. During this time she was asked to form a community choir at the church and subsequently worked as their music director for eight years. She then went on to form the Northwest Firelight Chorale, a vibrant mixed voice ensemble where she has served as Artistic Director and Conductor for the past eleven years.
Deeji is very happy to have come full circle, once again immersed in the joy of choir and singing in harmony.
“I am incredibly fortunate to have found a career that I feel to be my true calling. What a blessing and honor it is to lead this open, diverse, and talented group, and to have a life filled with creativity, music, and community!”