Home > Who We Are > OUR LEADERSHIP
I have served as the senior pastor of Central for over 18 years. It’s been an amazing and exciting journey watching Central grow and change — yet I believe our best years are still ahead of us. There is no place I’d rather be and no people I’d rather be with than this community called Central. Beyond Central, I am the architect of the West Ohio Intern Program, serve on the Conference Board of Ministry, and serve as a coach and mentor for several pastors throughout the conference. I’m currently working on my doctoral degree in Preaching and Church Leadership at Asbury Theological Seminary.
When not doing the pastor thing, I love hanging out with my wife and daughter, reading, and doing photography. I also love to travel, laugh, and enjoy long walks on the beach at sunset. And world peace. In addition to our daughter, Lydia, we have two other “kids;” McGee, age 6, and Callie, age 2. They have four legs; big, cold, wet noses; and are very furry (they are very embarrassed about this, so we don’t talk about it much). Both are mutts. McGee is “employed” as our home security staff and is currently guarding our front door. Callie is the “emergency back-up dog” and is now off duty, curled up in a ball, clutching her fake bone.
I moved to Athens in the summer of 2017 with my family to serve as the associate pastor here at Central. I grew up in Bryan, Ohio where the rest of my extended family still resides. From there I received my Bachelors in Psychology from Mount Vernon Nazarene University and my Masters from Asbury Theological Seminary in 2014.
My husband is also a pastor, I've been married to Dan since 2015. We welcomed our first son, Gideon, into our family in April of this year and are working hard to make all of these transitions as smooth as possible.
We're excited for the season that God has called us here. In our spare time, we love to watch Netflix, try new restaurants, and spend time with our friends. We're looking forward to takknf advantage of the bike path and biking as a family often.
I came to Athens in 1977 as a transfer student for my last two years of undergraduate study. A year later, through a classmate, I found Central. In 1978 Kate and I were married and we have been living in Athens and attending Central ever since. Central is my family's community. Our four children grew up here, were dedicated, and then baptized here. Paul Risler officiated all of their weddings. I have served as a volunteer in nearly every capacity at Central over the years, from various leadership committees, to leading small groups, to holding babies in the nursery. Over the years I have been a special education teacher, public school administrator and project manager at Ohio University. I retired from OU in 2014. In 2015 the position of Director of Administration came open at Central. I was intrigued at the idea of joining the staff and serving the church with the skill set I have developed in my professional life. My personal interests include bicycling, carpentry and visiting our many grandchildren. I volunteer with developmentally disabled adults and I am on the board of Athens County Children’s Services.
My journey to this position is the result of several leaps of faith and a whole lotta God’s goodness! My husband Kevin and I left behind our “normal” life in Columbus in June 2017 for him to attend graduate school full-time at OU. Just over a month later, we welcomed our first child, Bailey into the world!
Discovering Central through the invitation of a co-worker, the blended-style of worship, casual atmosphere, and friendly faces made it instantly feel like home. We have really grown to love our church family here at Central and the community of Athens.
I was born and raised in Mansfield, OH, and graduated from Youngstown State University with my Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, which people usually think is pretty cool, until they find out that I was a trombone major. I spent the last four years teaching music in the Columbus area, but am very excited for this new adventure that God has called me to in ministry.
I have a pretty eclectic list of interests which include traveling, genealogy, comedy, documentaries, cats, memes, collecting stuffed bananas that look like Bob Marley, Go-Go Burrito, Michigan State athletics, The Cleveland Indians, and barbershop harmony.
A fresh graduate from Ohio University, Chrissy has been in Athens for 4 years, and Central for 2. Her studies in Marine Biology have led her to do work with sea turtle conservation, SCUBA diving, and studying abroad in the Bahamas.
She enjoys all things outside and has a deep sense of adventure, whether it’s in traveling, road trips, or being spontaneous in Athens.
She has helped out many a times with the kids ministry, and even helped to begin the Student Leadership Team through Ohio University to connect Central to the campus life. She also was one of the interns for Central City Church in the summer of 2017, which was planted out of Central.
She hopes to pursue the Lord in wherever He may call her into the next season of life, whether its on the beach, across the country, or staying put in Athens.
I came to Athens to work at Ohio University, and have been a part of Central for the past 34 years. In 2012, I joined the staff, and have learned so much about how the church runs and all the details that go into Sunday morning. For fun, I love spending time with my grandchildren, and enjoy taking care of our 4 businesses, mentoring athletes, and leading weekly Bible studies with the OU Women’s Basketball team.
Back in the spring of 2008, my daughter (Shannon) and I were looking for a new church home. We were invited to Central by Shannon's Younglife leader, and I've been attending here since that first visit! I love teaching the wee folks (3-6 year olds) in Children's Church on Sunday mornings.
I enjoy being outside - gardening, yard work, walking, etc. When the weather is adverse, I read. I also enjoy spending time investing in little children. They love to hear the Gospel and are so quick to grasp and accept it's truths.
I came to Athens in 1995 to attend Ohio University. I married Sarah after we graduated in 1999, and I've been in love with the area ever since. I've been going to Central for 20 years, and I've been on the board since 2013. I feel a strong connection to the children's ministries here at Central and have a keen sensitivity for how important it is for children to have loving, honest, reliable adults in their lives (in addition to parents). I really love singing and playing in the worship band--my sense of corporate worship is strongest when I do so. Serving on the board has deepened my appreciation for the vision and mission of the leadership of central, board and staff included. Being on the board reminds me that Central is a diverse-thinking group from a variety of backgrounds, yet we all desperately and intentionally strive together toward the goal of loving God and loving our neighbors in more personal and effective ways.
I came to Ohio University as an undergrad, where I met my wife Jessica. After years of working in various industries, I came back for graduate work, started my own company, and ended up getting a job here as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering. I started coming to Central in 2008 at the invitation of Maria Smith. I started serving on the board in 2010, becoming the Trustees Chair in 2015. I love to serve. Becoming more involved transformed church from something I did on Sunday morning to making it an integral part of my daily life. Central is my family.
I moved to Athens about 35 years ago, with my husband, Paul. Together, we ran Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center for 28 years. I recieved my Masters in Speech Pathology from the Universiy of Kansas Medical Center. I joined Central and currently serve on the Leadership Board, a member of the Prayer-at the Cross team, and participate in a weekly small group. I have enjoyed serving on the Leadership Board as it has helped me to make use of my gifting, and I have profited from watching how a healthy church functions, makes decisions, and sets a vision for the future. In May of this year, I retired from Vinton Local School District after serving 70+ special needs students a year, and am just now learning to slow down and live a little more simply and selectively.
I have lived in Athens my entire life. In fact, I grew up on Walker Street, just a few streets over from Central Avenue. After earning my degree from Ohio University, I married Ben (the most handsome man in the world) and we settled down in our country home here in Athens County. Ben and I have two sons, Ash and Eli. I have served in the Circulation Department of Ohio University's Alden Library for over 20 years.
When our family first began attending Central in November of 2012, we were looking for a new church which aligned with our beliefs, focused on Christ, and was open to loving people no matter where they were in their journey. Central felt like home, and I knew God had moved us where we were meant to be. We pursued membership the following spring. I have been serving Central in various ways ever since, and am honored to be serving on the Leadership Board.
When I'm not at work, I enjoy reading Fiction/Fantasy, walking, running lights for local theater performances, playing cards (especially Euchre), and spending time with family.
I am retired form the National Park Service. I have been attending Central regularly since 2011, when my wife, Julie, began teaching at Hocking College. When we first arrived in Athens, we took a short walk up the street from where we were living at the time to check Central out. We quickly fell in love with this church, and have been committed to serving here ever since!
I love serving with Central's Youth Group, as well as serving with the Connections team on Sunday mornings. I am committed to Central's ministry with Friends & Neighbors food pantry, and have been making regular trips and building relationships with the clients and volunteers there.
I have been attending Central for almost seven years. My family moved to Athens when my husband, Ryan, accepted a faculty position at Ohio University. Ryan and I met at Creighton University, and we love cheering on our Bluejays! When I'm not working, we're having random dance parties with our girls, Anna & Abigail, I'm reading, or enjoying the outdoors.
As a community member, wife, mother, and young(er) professional, I have a wide array of passions, experiences, and abilities. If I can serve the church body in any way to better spread the love and mission of Christ, through Central, I will do my best. I joined the Leadership Board to better represent others while still being more behind-the-scenes.