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.


Robert D. Dobson and his wife are active in the United Methodist Church in Negaunee, Michigan. He also spends time researching and writing books on local and church history. All twelve of his publications are available for purchase on


Joe Beavon celebrated the 51st anniversary of his ordination in July 2020. He has retired from the West Ohio UM Conference, and currently lives in Kentucky where he serves as an Americorps mentor at Knox Central High School.

David Mansperger has retired from the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church.

After working for 32 years for Ohio Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation, Gordon McNamee has retired. He is grateful to continue working as a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. His wife for 46 years, Mary, died three years ago.


Roger B. Moore and his wife, Ellen, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in July 2020. They are enjoying retirement in Ashland, Ohio, after 41 years of active ministry in both Ohio and Florida conferences. They continue to be involved at the Christ UMC in Ashland.


Ed Garten retired from the University of Dayton in 2008. Ed continues to teach in the University's Learning in Retirement Institute. Additionally, he continues to publish in several areas of educational leadership. His most recent publication "School Desegregation in Summers County, West Virginia 1954 – 1963," appeared in the summer 2020 issue of West Virginia's state historical journal, Goldenseal.


Sherry Brown has retired.


Carol Mays has retired after forty years of writing and publishing inspirational books and working in the roles of public service and quality assurance. Carol also wished to share her remembrance that while at MTSO, she was one of two female students enrolled.

Brian Straub has been busy serving as a supply pastor since his 2013 retirement. Additionally, he is currently president of the West Ohio Wesleyan Covenant Association.


As of June 2020, Allan Jones is enjoying retirement from his clergy position in the Iowa Annual Conference. He currently resides in Santa Rose, California.

John Landon has


M. (Morris) Lee Ellenberger retired after 41 years pastoral ministry. He and his wife, Debby, settled in State College, Pennsylvania.

Richard Kevin Seckel and Carol Ann Seckel celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year. Since 2014, they have been enjoying their retirement and have recently moved to Oregon.


John Schluep retired from pastoral ministry in 2017 from the UCC First Congregational Church in Tallmadge, Ohio. He founded the specialized ministry, Warriors' Journey Home: Listen - Speak – Heal, to provide healing of the invisible wounds of war and military service. This grass-roots ministry utilizes community as essential to healing the Moral Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There are four locations in Northeast Ohio; one in Hartford, Wisconsin; and an affiliate in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, called Compass.


William Hughes Jr. has retired after 39 years in public school teaching. He is married to Deloris Christine, and they have five children and five grandchildren.

Benita Rollins retired in July 2020 and currently lives in Sheffield Village, Ohio. Benita has recently taken up weight-lifting and is continuing her education by taking courses of interest in astronomy and archeology at Lorain Community College.

Terry Washburn is a retired elder of the West Ohio UM Conference. He currently serves as interim pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Hillsboro, Ohio. He is also adjunct faculty at Southern State Community College, teaching political science and courses on Western civilization. Terry is the chairperson of Highland County Republican Central Committee in Ohio.


Phyllis Cole-Dai has published her 10th book, For the Sake of One We Love and Are Losing: A Meditative Poem and Journal. It can be found exclusively at

Bruce Kent and his wife Dawn are enjoying retirement in Port Clinton. He is also serving a West Ohio Conference congregation.

Theodore Whitely has recently received a Ph.D. in African American Ministry from Newburgh Theological Seminary in Newburgh, Indiana. His dissertation has been published as a book entitled, African American Ministry Topics, and is available for purchase through most major online book-retailors.


Kathleen Sides has retired from 27 years in parish ministry in Iowa.


Ruth Ann Scoby is currently living in Findlay, Ohio, and enjoying retirement from her position as an elder in the West Ohio Conference.


Sherry Parker-Lewis has been appointed as senior director of church relations for the United Methodist Foundation of Michigan in July 2020. She and her husband, Rev. George Lewis, will reside in Mattawan, Michigan.


Mark Butler received the 2019 Champion of Children Award from the Ohio Family and Children First Coordinators Association. The association recognized his advocacy efforts, which resulted in $18 million in funding to prevent forced custody relinquishment of multi-system youth.

After 16 years in the field as a social worker, Bethany Johnson has been appointed to Mizpah UMC in Reidsville, North Carolina.

Michael Ludle began a new appointment at First UMC Ravenswood in the West Virginia Conference. He is celebrating his 18th year of appointments and his 11th year of ordination in the United Methodist Church.

Ken Moody-Arndt retired in 2013 after serving in a variety of churches and denominational settings. He currently lives in Cleveland and attends Lakewood UMC, where he leads a Sunday communion service. He continues to enjoy being a singer and songwriter. He can be found playing at open-mic nights in Cleveland and the surrounding communities.


Lee Bassett retired from ministry in 2011 after serving as youth pastor at Murrysville First UMC in Murrysville, Pennsylvania. Lee continued to work as a Crisis Intervention Specialist for six years and became an early intervention case worker for the state of Pennsylvania. Lee retired in February 2019 after a series of health issues requiring surgery, therapy and a lengthy recovery.


Charles Neff has recently been hired as Executive Director of Christian Ministry at Ashland University.


John Kincaid has been ordained as a priest in the Orthodox Anglican Church. He is starting an Orthodox Anglican church plant in Palm Desert, California.

Denise McGuiness, along with Rev. David Tinney, has released a new, expanded edition of Available Light: Awakening Spirituality through Photography.


Maureen Webber has retired from her ministry at Bath Church UCC in Akron, Ohio. She and her husband, Dale, have enjoyed retirement by spending time with their children and


Paula Archdeacon retired in January 2020. She and her husband bought a home and are enjoying their time with family in Newark, Ohio.


Sandra Anderson currently lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she works as a community-based counselor. In July 2020, Sandra passed the NCMHCE exam to become a licensed professional

Nancy Day-Achauer has been appointed to Maynard Avenue UMC in Columbus, Ohio. She is running in the 2020 election for a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives.


Matt Landry was appointed Senior Pastor of First UMC of South Bend, Indiana, in July 2019. He recently received the Lacy Ecumenical Medal and an Honorary Doctor of Letters from St Paul’s Christian University. In August 2019, Matt and his family welcomed their second son, Luke Joseph. Matt was featured in the August 2020 issue of Michiana Life Magazine.


Leslie Taylor has been called to serve as the senior minister of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), in Concord, California.


Sue Tamilio, an ordained United Church of Christ pastor, works full-time with formerly incarcerated individuals who suffer with severe and persistent mental health diagnoses and addiction. Additionally, she began serving a quarter-time appointment at UMC of Brook Park in July.


R. Lorraine Brown was awarded a D.Min of Strategic Leadership in the Black Church from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois.

Jennifer Edwell and her partner welcomed their son Beckham in November 2019. In May 2020, she completed her Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She currently teaches at UC Berkeley. Her dissertation entitled, “Origin Stories: The Rhetorical Ecology of American Birth Medicine,” can be viewed online at

Susan Ranous has been appointed director of stewardship of the Upper New York Conference of the United Methodist


Wendy Hansen-Smith has been appointed to Hopewell UMC in Groveport, Ohio. She also continues to serve at New Life Community Outreach in Columbus.

John Henderson is pursuing a Master of Arts in Educational Studies with Higher Learning Education Administration concentration at the University of Cincinnati.


Matthew Chapman has been appointed to Traverse Bay UMC in Traverse City, Michigan.

Elizabeth (Staten) Gedert and her husband welcomed their son Samuel in December 2019. She continues to serve as pastor of Zion United Church of Christ in Delaware,


Robert Blanchard currently serves in a new appointment at Lansing First United Methodist Church in Michigan.

Kelsey Ryan-Simkins celebrated the arrival of her first child, Asher James, in March 2020.


Megan Buehler has recently been assigned to Church of the Redeemer UMC in Cleveland Heights. “We are a small but mighty reconciling congregation.”

Cassie Oliver is working at Carthage College as the assistant program coordinator for the Center of Faith and Spirituality.