Dr. Paul R. Fetters

Dr. Paul R. Fetters, 88, of Fort Wayne, Ind., passed away early Monday morning October 31, 2022, in Fort Wayne, Ind. Paul lived out Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” in his leadership roles in the Church, ministerial education, and family, which he loved deeply.

Visitation: 4-8pm Friday, November 4, 2022.
Visitation location: Myers Funeral Home Huntington Chapel, 2901 Guilford Street, Huntington, IN 46750.
Funeral: 10:30 am Saturday, November 5, 2022. Viewing one hour beforehand.
Funeral location: College Park United Brethren Church, 1945 College Ave., Huntington, IN 46750.

Dr. Fetters was an ordained minister in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ and served churches in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. In 1972, he founded the Graduate School of Christian Ministries at Huntington University and taught theology and Bible for over 45 years.

He is survived by his wife Barbara, whom he married in August 1956, three sons, eight grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

Dr. Fetters was born in 1933 in Celina, Ohio. He graduated from Huntington University in 1955, and from the HU Theological Seminary in 1959; he was ordained that year as a United Brethren minister. He went on to earn a Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1980.

His pastoral ministry began in 1954 as pastor of Calvary UB church in Rockford, Ohio, followed by a year at Hopewell UB (Auburn, Ind.), and then 1957-1962 at Third Street UB in Fort Wayne, Ind. (now Anchor Community Church). He pastored a United Methodist congregation in Pennsylvania for two years while working on his MDiv at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He then returned to pastoring UB churches for eight years: 1964-1966 at Park UB (Bluffton, Ind.), and 1966-1972 at Kettering UB (Dayton, Ohio).

In 1972, Dr. Fetters moved to Huntington to found the Graduate School of Christian Ministries, a new paradigm for training UB ministers. He served as dean of the GSCM for the next 25 years. He then stepped down as dean, but continued teaching fulltime at Huntington University at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Over the years he served as general editor for several books related to the United Brethren church, including Trials and Triumphs (UB history), Theological Perspectives, and two volumes about UB bishops since 1889. He also wrote various other UB materials for the denomination–curriculum, booklets, pamphlets, and articles.

Paul and Barbara’s three sons are ordained United Brethren ministers and currently live in Huntington. Brooks is a former UB pastor, church planter, and two-term mayor of Huntington. Luke, a former UB church planter and missionary in Macau, is now Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty at Huntington University. Todd, a former UB pastor in Michigan and Pennsylvania, has been bishop of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ USA since 2015.

Interment will be at the Mt. Hope Cemetery in Huntington.

Memorial donations can be made out to Paul Richard Fetters Scholarship at Huntington University in care of Myers Funeral Home, 2901 Guilford Street, Huntington, IN 46750.

Other funeral information can be found on the Myers Funeral Home website.

First United Brethren Church is a smalltown congregation located in Van Wert, Ohio (about 30 minutes southeast of Fort Wayne, Ind.). We are looking for a pastor who will work alongside leadership and create opportunities for discipleship.

Our next pastor will possess a shepherd’s heart and be an effective communicator. The ability to motivate people to develop their spiritual life and use their abilities in ministry is essential. Skill and experience in care-giving ministries will be a benefit. It is also anticipated that this individual will maintain professional ministerial credentials with the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, USA.

First UB, Van Wert is a congregation of approximately 50 people. Though we are small, we are a loving, caring community of people with a facility and location large enough to accommodate much growth.

If this sounds like something for which God has been preparing you, please send a copy of your resume, a cover letter, and a current photo to bishop@ub.org.

L-r: Alan Harbold, Jody Fleming, Rick Tawney, Al Carter, Jim Pryor, John Brainard, Byron Spear.

We need to get caught up on some pastoral assignments.

Senior Pastors

Alan Harbold has been appointed senior pastor of Strinestown UB church (Manchester, Pa.). He has been pastor of Mt. Washington UB church (York, Pa.) since September 2020, and will now pastor both congregations. Jody Fleming, who had pastored Strinestown since September 2019, has retired.

Rick Tawney has been appointed to oversee First UB church (Columbus, Ohio) while continuing as a church planter in Columbus, which he has been doing since 2019. Al Carter, a UB minister since 2002 who had pastored First UB since August 2011, has retired.

Jim Pryor has been named senior pastor of Richfield Road UB church in Flint, Mich. He previously pastored that congregation 2007-2017. In between Richfield Road was served by John Brainard, who concluded four years as pastor there in December 2021.

Byron Spear has been appointed senior pastor of Banner of Christ UB church (Byron Center, Mich.), effective September 11. Since 2011, he has served primarily in youth ministry at three different churches, including four years at Rising Hope UB (Shippensburg, Pa.) and, since 2018, at Colwood UB (Caro, Mich.). Banner has been served by interim ministers since April 2021.

L-r: Todd Frederick, Bill Blue, Daryl Elliott, Matt Coppess, Ted Doolittle, Robert Rose, Ricky Hull, Amos Rawley.

Todd Frederick has been appointed senior pastor of Shoreline UB church (Oak Harbor, Ohio) effective July 1. He had served the UB church in Jackson, Mich. (originally Pathway Community, now Heart O’ the Lakes-Jackson) since February 2017. Bill Blue, the pastor at Shoreline since 2011, retired in October 2021 after 45 years in United Brethren ministry going back to 1976, mostly as a youth pastor.

Dwight Walker has been appointed senior pastor of Fountain UB church (Keyser, W. Va.). Daryl Elliott, the pastor at Fountain 2002-2021, retired in June 2021 after 32 years of United Brethren ministry.

Matt Coppess has been serving since February 2022 as senior pastor of Calvary UB church (Saginaw, Mich.). Ted Doolittle, who had pastored Calvary for the previous 14 years, retired at the end of December 2021 after 41 years in UB ministry in Ohio and Michigan.

Robert Rose was appointed senior pastor of First Church of the Bronx (Bronx, New York) effective July 1, 2022. He was previously a United Brethren minister in Jamaica Conference.

Mike Heim has been appointed senior pastor of Victory Heights UB church (Franklin, Pa.). Previous pastor Steve Henry passed away in 2021, as did interim pastor Tim Bell, who followed him.

James Martin was appointed senior pastor of Orrstown UB church (Orrstown, Pa.) in February 2022. Ken Williamson, the pastor since 2012, departed in 2021.

Ricky Hull has been appointed senior pastor of Crosswords UB church (Charlotte, Mich.) effective September 11, 2022. He has served in UB ministry since 2012 in Ohio and Michigan, including a previous six-year stint at Crossroads.

Amos Rawley concluded seven years of ministry at New Hope UB (Huntington, Ind.), including senior pastor since July 2016, at the end of May 2022. The church is currently in the stationing process.

L-r: Greg Reed, Steve Fish, Don Baker, Keith Elliott, Mark Ralph, Darrel Bosworth.

Interim Pastors

Craig Holler has been serving as interim pastor of Mt. Hermon UB church (Pomeroy, Ohio) since June 2021.

Greg Reed retired in December 2021 as senior pastor of Morning Star UB church (Kokomo, Ind.), after serving there since 1978. Since then, Steve Fish has been serving as a part-time interim pastor, a role which will conclude in November 2022. Steve began his ministry in 1989 with 12 years on staff at Morning Star, and is currently an associate director of UB Global.

Dave Bowersock has been serving the past year as interim pastor of The Heights, a UB church in East Liverpool, Ohio.

Don Baker was appointed interim pastor of Criders UB church (Chambersburg, Pa.) in June 2022. He has served in ministry since 1980, most recently with 11 years on the staff of King Street UB church (Chambersburg, Pa.). In November 2021, Keith Elliott concluded ten years as pastor at Criders.

Mark Ralph has been serving as interim pastor of First UB church (Van Wert, Ohio) since June 2021. In March 2021 he concluded seven months as interim part of First UB in Findlay, Ohio. He will conclude his assignment at Van Wert at the end of September 2022. Mark officially retired in 2018 after 33 years as a UB minister going back to 1975 (with about 11 years serving elsewhere).

Darrell Bosworth, a UB minister in Michigan since 1999, concluded a year as Revitalization pastor of Crossroads UB (Charlotte, Mich.), and will now begin a 6-12 month interim assignment at Sunfield UB (Sunfield, Mich.).

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.