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.

Harold Hancock, a UB Global missionary, passed away August 1, 2022. Both visitation and the funeral will be held on Saturday, August 6, at New Hope UB church in Camden, Mich. Harold and his wife of 53 years, MaryAnn, served eight years as UB Global missionaries in Jamaica, concluding in 2020.

Visitation: 11am – 1pm Saturday, August 6, 2022.
Funeral: 1:00 August 6, 2022.
Location: New Hope United Brethren Church, 5051 W. Montgomery Road, Camden, MI

Harold and MaryAnne Hancock joined the UB Global staff in 2012 and served at Jamaica Bible College in Mandeville, Jamaica (now Regent College of the Caribbean). Harold spent his career working in various trades–welding, electrical work, plumbing, etc. He taught those skills at a vocational high school located on the college campus, while MaryAnn worked in the college library.

Harold and MaryAnn have eight children. They have been longtime members of New Hope UB church. MaryAnn worked many years there as administrative assistant for the church and the former New Hope Christian School.

View Harold’s online obituary here.

Rev. Keith Smith, 89, passed away June 11, 2022. He graduated from Huntington University in 1961 and from its seminary in 1965. He was ordained in 1965. Rev. Smith concluded his ministry serving on staff at First UB (now Element UB) church in Blissfield, Mich. from 2005 to 2018, most recently as Minister of Visitation.

Visitation: 6-8 pm Wednesday, June 15
Funeral: 11:00 am Thursday, June 16, 2022
Visitation and Funeral Location: Element UB church, 220 East Jefferson Street, Blissfield, Mich.

Keith and his wife Dorothy were one week away from celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary.

You can view the online obituary here.

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.

Norma R. Murphy, 97, passed away April 16, 2022, in Fairborn, Ohio. She was both a United Brethren pastor and pastor’s wife for nearly 40 years in Michigan.

After graduating from high school in June 1942, Norma accepted a job constructing World War II amphibious landing craft at the Chris Craft boat plant in Cadillac, Mich. Two years later, she enrolled at Marion College in Marion, Ind. to study to become a teacher and athletic coach. There she met John Murphy, a World War II vet who was studying for the ministry. They were married in 1947.

After John graduated in 1951, they moved to Michigan for John’s first pastoral assignment. She served alongside him in ministry for 30 years as pastor’s wife, Sunday school teacher, youth leader, and young adult counselor. She and John had two sons.

John and Norma served the Pleasant View United Brethren church in rural Blanchard from 1966 until John’s death in November 1981. Norma was then granted a Certificate of Ministry from the Michigan Conference of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, and continued serving the Pleasant View congregation as pastor until she retired in June 1997. In addition to her pastoral duties, Norma worked as a dietician, store clerk, and cashier.

A private family graveside service will be held in Six Lakes, Mich.

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. H. Dean VanderVeen, 93, a retired UB minister in Michigan, passed away in his sleep on Wednesday, December 15, 2021. He was at home, with family at his side.

Both visitation and the funeral will occur on Saturday, December 18, 2021 at Calvary United Brethren church in Saginaw, Mich. (2895 E. Moore Road, Saginaw, MI 48601).

Visitation: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm.
Funeral: 1:00 pm.

Dean’s son, Rev. Gary VanderVeen, and Rev. Ted Doolittle, the current pastor of Calvary UB, will officiate.

Dean was ordained as a United Brethren minister in 1965. He founded Calvary Community Church in Saginaw in 1971 and served as its pastor until 1992.

Dean and Annabelle, who survives, were married in 1951. Her address:

Annabelle VanderVeen
4620 McIntosh Rd
Birch Run, MI 48415-8704

The memorial service for former bishop Paul Hirschy will be held at 11:00 am Monday, December 20, 2021. Location: College Park UB church in Huntington, Ind.

Visitation is 2-7 pm Sunday, December 19, at Myers Funeral Home in Huntington (2901 Guilford St, Huntington, IN 46750). Visitation will also occur one hour before the service on Monday.

The memorial service will be livestreamed on Youtube at this address: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkNtTZVUvYI

Bishop Todd Fetters will give the memorial message. Former bishop Ray Seilhamer will also give some remarks.

Former Bishop Paul E. Hirschy, 75, passed away December 1, 2021. The viewing and funeral will be held December 19-20 in Huntington, Ind.

Viewing: 2-7 pm Sunday, December 19, 2021
Viewing location: Myers Funeral Home, 2901 Guilford St, Huntington, IN 46750
Funeral: 11 am Monday, December 20, 2021
Funeral location: College Park UB church, 1945 College Avenue,
Huntington, IN 46750.

Bishop Todd Fetters will officiate at the funeral service, which will be streamed online on Youtube.

Paul graduated from Huntington University in 1968, and from the HU Seminary in 1972. In 1968 he began ten years of pastoral ministry–initially in Convoy, Ohio, followed by nine years at Park UB church in Bluffton, Ind. He managed the denominational printshop 1978-1981, and then was elected by General Conference to the first of five terms as Director of Church Services at the UB national office.

In 2001, Paul was elected bishop of the US National Conference. He served in that role until 2005. He worked the next seven years as a development officer at Huntington University, and since 2012 has been associate pastor at College Park UB church in Huntington.

On October 1, 2021, Huntington University awarded Paul the Distinguished Alumni Citation, which recognizes exceptional service over an extended period of time. “Service” is, indeed, what Paul is most known for—a man with a true servant’s heart.

Paul is survived by his wife Barbara, to whom he was married in 1969, and their three children: Jason Hirschy (Thornton, Colo.), Heather Gonzales (Washington, D. C.), and Amber Kaushik (Alexandria, Va.).

Condolences can be sent to Barbara Hirschy at:

Barbara Hirschy
5493 N Goshen Road
Huntington, IN 46750-8940

Memorial donations may be made to Huntington University or College Park UB Church, both in care of Myers Funeral Home, 2901 Guilford St., Huntington, IN 46750.

You can read the official obituary on the Myers Funeral Home website.