Alum News

Enjoy catching up with old friends. To share news of milestones in your life or ministry, or to simply provide updated contact information, please visit our update page. If you are reporting a death, please include a photocopy or link to a published obituary for verification.


Cliff Black continues his prison inmate ministry. He retired as director of the International Justice Center at Texas A&M International University.


Eugene Finnegan and his partner, John Rainey, were married after 35 years together, following the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality in June 2015. Their wedding took place in the chapel of the Parkvue Community retirement home in Sandusky, where they have lived for 17 years.

Richard Morrison is retired in Traverse City, Michigan. “Photography, skiing, fishing, golf, traveling, anything not having to do with work is what I am doing these days.”

Glenn Rohrer is professor emeritus at East Carolina University and professor of social work at the University of West Florida. He is also an Episcopal priest at Holy Cross Episcopal Church, Pensacola, Florida.


Roger Moore and his wife, Ellen, are very actively involved in Ashland’s Team Ministry at Christ and First UMCs.


Brian and Anita Wood are retired and living in Washington State.


Daniel Drew retired after 42 years of appointive ministry in the East Ohio Conference. He is director of travel ministries in the East Ohio Area for Educational Opportunities Tours. “I have been blessed to be called by God, educated at MTSO and serving in God's kingdom.”

Timothy Farabaugh retired in June. His fifth book, A Guide to Christian Administration, was published last June.

David Orendorff retired in July 2014.


David Broyles retired from the ministry in 2015. He retired from the United States Air Force Chaplain Corps in 2007 with the rank of Chaplain, Colonel.


George E. Porter Jr. retired after six years as a district superintendent in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference. He now serves as a full-time interim pastor at the First UMC of Pittsburgh.


Joseph G. Burris retired after 40 years of pastoral ministry. His last Sunday in the pulpit at Centenary UMC in Laurel, Delaware, was June 12. He will continue to be active as a director of travel ministry with Educational Opportunities Tours, helping local pastors and others to host Holy Land, heritage and other faith-based land tours, as well as ocean and European river cruises. He and his wife, Patty, celebrate their 37th wedding anniversary Sept. 23.


Brad Martin has adopted a loving and thriving 2-year-old daughter, Leah Martin.



Dennis Paulson passed away suddenly in July 2015. He retired in 2013 after 43 years in ministry, mostly with the United Methodist Church. He is survived by his wife, Gerrie Pedersen Paulson, three daughters and ten grandchildren.


James Adams is a national speaker on school shootings and is currently doing research with Case Western Reserve University into how communities heal after trauma, and which trauma intervention models produce the best long-term outcomes for survivors.

Elizabeth Wineland retired July 1, 2015, after serving 30 years in local church ministry in the West Ohio Conference of the UMC. She and her husband, Lynn, are first-time homeowners, living in Bowling Green. Their daughter, Katie Kuntz-Wineland, is a student at MTSO working on her M.Div. Katie is married to Beth Kuntz-Wineland, who is on staff at Dunn Dining Hall.


Barbara Grace “Babs” Allison Ripple is retired and living in Kaneohe, Hawaii. “I am thankful for the education I received at MTSO, preparing me to serve God as a United Methodist pastor for all these years! Great memories!”


Dr. Theodore D. Whitely Sr. retired July 1, 2015. He served more than 41 years in active ministry. He was an elder in full connection with the Detroit Annual Conference. He and his wife, Rev. Betty J. Whitely, an MTSO alumna, avail themselves for preaching and teaching when called upon to do so.


Lt. Col. Steven Jerles is deputy garrison chaplain at Fort Hood, Texas, serving more than 400,000 soldiers, families, civilians and military retirees.


Sharon Sauer has retired as a Presbyterian pastor and school teacher. She continues as a part-time spiritual director.


Lea Guiney was appointed July 1, 2015, to First UMC in Union City, Pa., of the Erie-Meadville District in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference after serving the Polk and East UMCs in the Franklin District for nine years.


Kathy Brown has been appointed director of the Office of Ministry in the West Ohio Annual Conference.

Elizabeth Young’s Sanctuary in the Midst of Alzheimer's: A Ministry for Spousal Caregivers and Their Churches was published by AuthorHouse in 2015. Her article "The Power of Positive Thinking and Dementia Caregiving” appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of the UMC Board of Discipleship’s S.A.G.E. publication. Her website is


Candy Thomas has begun ministry in the ambassador program at Miami Beach Community Church, UCC, in Miami Beach. She greets visitors, community members and street people Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, providing welcome, pastoral care and prayer at the church’s busy South Beach location.


Renee (Gonyea-MacDougall) Ford graduated in May 2015 with a Ph.D. in Workforce Education and Development from Penn State University. Her dissertation, “Factors Influencing Clergy Leadership Effectiveness in the UMC,” explored correlations between church vitality indicators and situational and systemic factors leaders face in ministry.

Marcy Taylor has been accepted into the chaplain residency program at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.


Carol Layton retired to her childhood home in western Colorado after 19 years serving in California. In addition to occasional pulpit supply, she is teaching driver safety for senior citizens.

Lynda McClanahan offers a solo exhibition of new work, “Sights & Signs: a new collection of paintings by Lynda McClanahan,” through Sept. 24 at Jung Haus in Columbus. Her painted ostrich egg, "Ladies Choice," is also on view at the Columbus Museum of Art through August in conjunction with the “Art 360: Contemporary Art Hatching Across Ohio” exhibit. Her graphic “River of Karma, River of Life” was featured in the January 2016 issue of Hinduism Today magazine. She was invited to Kerala, India, to organize devotional singing at a January 2016 meditation retreat led by Sri Dandapani. She continues to appear the first Saturday of every month at the Columbus Unitarian Universalist church with the In Spirit Band and serves as a music minister and guest speaker at Unity Church of Delaware and Unity Church of Pickerington.


David MacDonald was recently featured as a chapter author in the book The Prophetic Voice and Making Peace, published by the UMC General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. He presented in 2015 at the United Methodist Campus Ministry Association Summer Institute on “Merge: A Model for Group Spiritual Direction for First Year Students.” Also in 2015, he presented on “Discerning Calling at the Center and the Edge: Vocational Discernment as Spiritual Direction and Discipline” at a GBHEM colloquium.


Karen Cook has been appointed assistant to the district superintendent of Capitol Area North in the West Ohio Annual Conference.


Liatu Kane continues to work as a district superintendent of the Eugene Wesley District of the UMC in Nigeria.


Jerry Krueger has been appointed to Boardman UMC as of July 1. He will also serve as executive pastor for the Greater Youngstown Area Ministry Team, which includes five area UM churches. He is married to Rev. Susan Brown, who serves as senior pastor of Canfield UMC.


Jacqueline DeLaney earned a Doctor of Ministry degree in Formational Counseling from Ashland Theological Seminary in May 2016.

Risë Straight Hanifan and her husband welcomed their first child on May 12, 2015. Callan Ross Hanifan was born in Clarksburg, West Virginia.


Nancy Day-Achauer formed the United Westside Coalition, a community partnership working on community revitalization and addressing the heroin epidemic on Columbus’s west side. She partnered with the Ohio attorney general and Franklin County coroner to develop a heroin prevention and intervention initiative. A town hall meeting featuring guest speaker Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine will be held Sept. 29, 2016.


Robin Dillon recently completed five years of meaningful ministry at Oak Chapel UMC in Wooster and effective July 1 was appointed to LeRoy UMC in Westfield Center. Also effective July 1, she is serving on the East Ohio Board of Ordained Ministry as dean of licensing school. Robin enjoys helping in the formation of new clergy in her role at licensing school, as well as being a field education instructor at MTSO.


Meghan “Meg” (Sweeney) Cook was married to John Michael Cook on May 31, 2014. She is a provisional elder at Epworth Children's Home in the South Carolina Annual Conference.

Willie Smith received a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit in June 2015.


Melissa (Zimmerman) Englehart married Chris Englehart on Nov. 7, 2015.


Seth Evans is online campus pastor for Ginghamsburg UMC and lives in Springfield.

Meredith McDougle and her husband, Jason, welcomed their son Dylan into the world in March 2015. She is executive director of the Greater Hilltop Area Shalom Zone and deacon in residence at New Horizons United Methodist Church.


Ashley Mills is continuing in her work as director of discipleship from birth to young adult at Worthington UMC.

Dawn Peters is doing her first unit of clinical pastoral education at the Cleveland Clinic this summer and three more units at Wexner Medical Center from August 2016 to August 2017.

Rebecca Rogers passed the National Counselor Examination and is awaiting LPC licensure.