Connie was born in Alma, Michigan. The first four years of her life was spent at Michigan State until her father graduated from that college. Then the family moved to Wisconsin, where Connie attended kindergarten through 6th grades, and where she remembers moving every two years. Eventually, the family moved to Shepherd, where Connie attended junior high and high school. After graduating from high school, she attended Western Michigan University, completing her degree at Central Michigan University, where she also completed her graduate work. Her theological training was taken through a summer program at Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and Methesco in Ohio.
Connie is married to Frank, who works for Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant. He is a graduate from Alma College with a degree in music, and Connie says he has always been a vital part of her ministry and has shared his talents at every church they’ve served.
Frank and Connie have raised three children. Their older son works for LaFontaine Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat in Lansing, and he has a 3-year-old daughter. Their younger son lives in Lafayette, Colorado and is an Edward Jones Financial Planner. He has a 1-year-old son and a newborn daughter born on Thanksgiving. Their daughter is a kindergarten teacher in Curtiss, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. Connie also has four brothers, three living in Michigan and one in Lexington, Kentucky. Her father still resides on the family farm in Shepherd, and he remains very active in church and many civic opportunities.
After completing her theological training, Connie served four United Methodist Churches during her next 23 years of pulpit ministry. The first as at the United Methodist Church in Leaton. The next was at the First United Methodist Church in Mt. Pleasant. Then followed ten years at the Faith United Methodist Church in Edmore. Finally, the last ten years were served at the United Methodist Church in Farwell. Now, the church council of the Clare Congregational United Church of Christ has entered into an agreement with the Rev. Connie Bongard to serve as an Interim Minister starting September 18, 2018.
Connie has been heavily involved in several community activities. For example, she has participated in raising money for the Clare County Baby Pantry in Harrison. Their primary goal is to assist needy families who have children under the age of five. They recently raised $20,000 in a fund-raiser entitled “A Million Nickels for a Million Diapers.” As a member of the Rotary Club, Connie received an “Outstanding Community Services Award.” This is indeed an honor because she has been singled out from a pool of 1.2 million international members who are leaders and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change for the better.
On frequent demand, Connie donates her time as a sales person at the local Amish Quilt Shop. She has even been fortunate enough to be granted a ride in an Amish buggy – an almost unheard of event. Much of Connie’s free time is spent sewing and quilting. The resulting quilts are donated as gifts to those in veterans’ hospitals, children in need, and those in nursing homes or hospitals.
Connie works with Ministerial Association in Clare. This group collects and donates food, wood, diapers, and clothes to those in need. It is open to every pastor in the Clare County
Frank & Pastor Connie