Rev. Marion E. Burkett, age 100, passed away May 4, 2022. Since becoming a United Brethren minister in the 1940s, he has served as a pastor, church planter, evangelist, and missionary in Sierra Leone. Here are the funeral details:

Visitation: 10:00 – 11:00 am Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
Funeral: 11:00 am Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
Location: Bailey Love Mortuary, 35 W Park Drive, Huntington, IN 46750.

From the online obituary at Bailey-Love:

“Marion spent his whole life in ministry, started at the age of 16 and faithfully continued teaching bible study up until one week before his passing. His life was devoted to his family and ministry as a pastor in congregations in several states and Canada and mission work in Southeast Kentucky and Sierra Leone West Africa for the Church of The United Brethren in Christ, United Methodist and Missionary churches.”

Preferred memorials to The Gideons International, in care of Bailey-Love Mortuary, 35 West Park Drive, Huntington, IN, 46750. Or go online to www.gideons.org/donate.

Go to the Bailey-Love website for complete information.

Rev. Donald Merillat, 80, passed away January 29, 2022, at his home in Morenci, Mich. He cited the Munson UB church in Morenci as his home church, and was converted in 1953.

Don owned his own carpentry business from 1974 to 1982 prior to entering Huntington University to prepare for the ministry. He graduated from HU in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree, and received the Master of Christian Ministry from HU in 1989. He was ordained as a UB minister in 1989. He pastored the Victory Chapel UB church (Liberty Center, Ohio) for many years, and also served as a conference superintendent in Michindoh Conference.

The funeral service was held at 11:00 am on February 1, 2022, in Morenci, Mich.

Donald and Carol were married in 1960 in Hudson, Mich. and have three children. Condolences can be sent to Carol at this address:

Carol Merillat
301 Lincoln St.
Morenci, MI 49256

Rev. Ted and Linda Doolittle

On December 19, the Calvary UB church of Saginaw, Mich., held a retirement celebration for Rev. Ted and Linda Doolittle, who have served the church for the past 14 years, and a total of 41 years in United Brethren ministry.

Ted and Linda both grew up in United Brethren churches–Ted at First UB in Findlay, Ohio, and Linda at Richfield Road in Flint, Mich. They graduated together from Huntington University in 1979 and were married in March 1980. Ted graduated from the HU Graduate School of Christian Ministries in 1981 and was ordained that year.

Ted began his ministry in 1980 with two years on staff at Mainstreet UB church in Walbridge, Ohio. That was followed by four years at the UB church in Steubenville, Ohio; eight years at what is now Shoreline UB church in Oak Harbor, Ohio; five years at Ted’s home church of First UB in Findlay, Ohio; and then eight years as an associate pastor at Mount Zion UB church in Wayne, Ohio. In 2008, they were assigned to Calvary Community Church.

Bishop Todd Fetters (middle) with Denny and Annette Sites.


Bishop Todd Fetters with Mrs Mossie Sites.


The Jerusalem Chapel sanctuary.

On July 25, Bishop Todd Fetters attended Jerusalem Chapel (Churchville, Va.) to honor Rev. Dennis Sites, who was retiring after 40 years in the United Brethren ministry–37 of those years at Jerusalem Chapel.

Denny and Annette, who met at Huntington University, were married in May 1981 and soon headed off to First UB church in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., where Denny spent the next two months completing his internship under the direction of Rev. Marvin Price. Then they were assigned to First UB church in Clarkston, Wash., where they served for the next two-and-a-half years. In March 1984, Denny was appointed senior pastor of Jerusalem Chapel…and there he remained for the next 37 years. The congregation has grown and thrived under his leadership, and many souls have been impacted for Jesus.

Denny is the son of Bishop Emeritus Wilber Sites, Jr. His father passed away in 2010, but his mother, Mossie, is still going strong at age 95. She lives in Chambersburg, Pa., but came to Churchville for this special service.

Rikkz Premnath was appointed senior pastor of First UB church (Findlay, Ohio), effective March 1, 2021. He is a 2011 graduate of Winebrenner Theological Seminary in Findlay.

Ricky Hull was appointed senior pastor of Sunfield UB church (Sunfield, Mich.), effective July 1, 2021. He previously served as senior pastor of Mt. Hermon UB church (Pomeroy, Ohio) 2012-2015, and as senior pastor of Crossroads UB (Charlotte, Mich.) since 2015. He was ordained in 2015. Hull is a 2014 graduate of Winebrenner Theological Seminary (Findlay, Ohio).

Mark Tinsley was appointed senior pastor of Jerusalem Chapel (Churchville, Va.), effective July 26, 2021. He follows Dennis Sites, who retired after serving 37 years as pastor of Jerusalem Chapel. Tinsley is a graduate of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served as a chaplain in the US Army Reserves, and most recently pastored a church in Madison Heights, Va. He and his wife, Beth, have five children ranging in age from 6-16.

Christopher Moore was appointed senior pastor of Salem UB church (Chambersburg, Pa.) effective October 1, 2021. He had previously served in ministry at Emmanuel UB church (Fort Wayne, Ind.), Good Shepherd UB (Huntington, Ind.), and Mt. Zion (Decatur, Ind.). He and his wife, Brenda, have most recently been endorsed UB missionaries, serving with Here’s Hope Ministries, an organization with ministry in Belize.

Pastor Mark Ralph (right) has been appointed Interim Senior Pastor at Findlay First UB church (Findlay, Ohio). He will assists the congregation in preparing for their next senior pastor, who will be appointed within the coming six months.

Rev. Tom Datema (left) has been assigned as senior pastor of Gaines UB church (Caledonia, Mich.). He and his wife, Kim, moved to Caledonia on June 21. Tom had been senior pastor since 1998 of Zanesville UB church (Zanesville, Ind.), and was ordained in 1999.

Dr. Ray Seilhamer (right) has been named senior pastor of Zanesville UB church (Zanesville, Ind.) effective July 1, 2020. He has been a United Brethren minister since 1961, and served as bishop 1993-2001. His most recent pastorate was at Mt. Pleasant UB church in Chambersburg, Pa.

We have some catching up to do regarding the appointment of senior pastor. The following new appointments have occurred since October 2019.

  • Ryan Koch was appointed senior pastor of Hopewell UB church (Auburn, Ind.) effective October 21, 2019.
  • Ken Meyer was appointed senior pastor of New Horizons UB church (Rockford, Ohio) effective October 27, 2019.
  • Stan McCammon was appointed senior pastor of Mt. Olivet UB church (Chambersburg, Pa.) effective December 1, 2019.
  • Dan Young was appointed senior pastor of Findlay First UB church (Findlay, Ohio) effective January 1, 2020.
  • Larry Reinertsen was appointed interim pastor of Mount Washington UB church (York, Pa.) effective January 5, 2020.
  • Brian Black was appointed senior pastor of Macedonia UB church (Greencastle, Pa.) effective January 20, 2020.
  • Art Page was appointed senior pastor of Lurgan UB church (Lurgan, Pa.) effective April 1, 2020.

Jason and Melanie Carter and children.

Jason Carter has been appointed senior pastor of College Park UB church (Huntington, Ind.) effective March 1, 2020. He and his wife, Melanie, have three children: Isaiah (12), Sophia (9), and Jonah (6).

Jason graduated from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro in 1999 with a degree in Philosophy, and in 2010 received a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Ill. Melanie holds undergradaute and graduate degrees in Vocal Performance.

From 1998-2004, Jason served in youth ministry at two different churches, one in North Carolina and the other in Champaign, Ill. From 2004-2007, he was Worship & Outreach Pastor at Deer Grove Covenant Church in Palatine, Ill. For the past 12 years, 2007-2019, he has been associate pastor of Village Church of Gurnee in Gurnee, Ill.