Bishop Todd Fetters and Samantha Essig

Sam Essig (right) with her predecessor as administrative assistant to the bishop, Cathy Reich, at the farewell luncheon.

In August 2021, Samantha “Sam” Essig came to the United Brethren National Office as administrative assistant to Bishop Todd Fetters (that’s the two of them in the first photo above). She took the place of Cathy Reich, who had held that position since 2007 and was moving into semi-retirement with a new role as Events Coordinator.

Sam has been a perfect fit for this office–talented, personable, fun, energetic, a self-starter, and brimming with ideas to make us more effective. She’s a Huntington University graduate with deep roots in the United Brethren church. So we’re really, really sad to see her go.

Sam has accepted a job as Care Coordinator with Pathway Community Church in Fort Wayne, Ind., a very large Missionary Church congregation. She starts Monday. Sam and her husband, Jake, live in Fort Wayne and attend Pathway, so it’s a good fit. It’ll certainly be a much shorter commute. We know it’s a good opportunity for Sam, and we’re glad for her. But good help can be hard to find, and Sam has been far better than good. She’s been great.

Last week, the UB National Office staff held a farewell luncheon for Sam, with gifts. It was a good time. Her predecessor, Cathy Reich, came to help say goodbye. Friday, November 4, is Sam’s last day at the UBNO.

We are grateful to Sam for her time with us, and for the many ways she has sharpened us and contributed to the ministry of the United Brethren Church. We wish Sam the best, and know God has good things in store for her.

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.

The Administrative Assistant will report to the US Bishop. He/she will primarily support the Bishop and other staff at the United Brethren National Office in Huntington, Ind.

Seeking an individual who is

  • Highly organized and effective in all communication skills.
  • Highly skilled in various computer software and applications, with database knowledge a plus.
  • Enjoys getting into the details and solving problems.
  • Responds well to regular interruptions.
  • Works effectively in collaboration with others or on his/her own without direction.
  • Exhibits a servant attitude, working with various types of personalities and situations.

Duties

  1. Provides administrative assistance to the bishop, through calendar scheduling, phone call and guest screening, email responding on his/her behalf, and report and/or letter writing.
  2. Assists bishop and directors with travel details, including hotel selection, hotel and airline reservations, car rentals, and insurance. Performs monthly reconciliation of receipts.
  3. Administrates telephone, reception, and mail activities, in coordination with other office staff.
  4. Prepares and mails materials to ministers and/or churches as directed and scheduled by the bishop’s office, or as scheduled in the procedure manual.
  5. Maintains accurate records for ministers and churches, including but not limited to correspondence, annual reports, and licensing documentation.
  6. Serves as recorder for leadership teams as directed by the bishop. Assures the accurate and timely filing of minutes and meeting materials, forwarding originals to Archives as the procedure manual instructs.
  7. Communicates with leadership teams as necessary for the carrying out of their duties in between meetings.
  8. Assists leadership team members with travel details as needed.
  9. Works in cooperation with the Events Coordinator in instances when required.
  10. Coordinates and oversees volunteers to carry out projects that require additional manpower.
  11. Performs all job duties as outlined in the Administrative Assistant Procedures Manual and keeps the manual current with changing processes.

Skills/Qualifications
The individual chosen for this position should be competent in:

  • Microsoft Office and Mac platforms
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Administrative writing and reporting
  • File retrieval systems

If interested, please email your resume to Bishop Todd Fetters as: todd@ub.org.

UB Global is holding a special missions event on Friday evening, October 21. It’s designed for the whole family, and it’s free!

When: 6:30 – 8:00 pm Friday, October 21
Where: Emmanuel UB church, (12222 US Highway 24 W, Fort Wayne, Ind. 46814
Cost: Free!

Some highlights:

  • Designed for the whole family.
  • Sample international appetizers from places like Ethiopia, Pakistan, Myanmar, and other countries.
  • Missions stations for engaging with international cultures, including a challenge food table for extra spicy, weird-tasting foods.
  • A great chance to meet & connect with others interested in missions from our wider region
  • The evening will conclude with a series of short but high-impact stories of what God is doing around the world.
  • Interact with the UB Global staff and other UB leaders.

Learn more on the UB Global website. You’ll also find promotional resources you can download.

Mainstreet Church (Walbridge, Ohio) will host this UB Global Prayer Gathering on Saturday morning, October 15. It will be a time of gathering together to pray over our mission fields and for our missionaries. Prayer is so powerful and we invite you to join us!

Date: Saturday, October 15, 2022
Time: 10 – 11:30 am
Location: Mainstreet UB church, 5465 Moline-Martin Rd, Walbridge, OH 43465

Please register at this link so we can get a number count for lunch.

Mary Souders

Mary Frances Souders, three day shy of her 105th birthday, passed away September 29, 2022. She was the widow of Rev. William Merle Souders, a longtime pastor and conference superintendent in Kansas. They married in 1935 and were married for 71 years.

Visitation: 11am Thursday, October 6, 2022.
Funeral: 1:00 am Thursday, October 6, 2022.
Location: Resthaven Mortuary, 11800 West Highway 54, Wichita, Kansas

Rev. Souders pastored the former Grayston Avenue UB church in Huntington, Ind. In the 1950s, he and Frances moved to Kansas to start a new UB church, and spent the rest of their lives there.

Read the online obituary here.

“A Morning with Mark: the Backstory of the Bible” is the topic of the next Idea to Action Symposium. It will be held Monday, October 22, from 10am to 12:30 pm. The cost is free, but you need to register. The symposium will be held in-person at Huntington University, and also online.

The three sessions will be led by Dr. Mark Fairchild (right), professor of Thought and Practice at Huntington University. He has done original archaeological research on the early Christian church in Turkey, and has written extensively about the Apostle Paul. He is currently a Fullbrght Senior Research Scholar studying the underwater basilica at Nicea, thought to have hosted the Council of Nicea which issued the Nicean Creed.

Register at this link.

Staff Opening: Associate Pastor of Youth and Worship (Wilshire, Ohio)

Praise Point UB church in Wilshire, Ohio, is looking to hire a fulltime Associate Pastor of Youth and Worship.

Ministry Purpose: To lead and oversee middle and high school ministries by developing a balance of winning young people to Christ, teaching them the Scriptures, and training them in Christlikeness and foster the Transformation that Holy Spirit produces. Secondly, to shepherd the people of Praise Point by developing inspiring worship services that encourage corporate engagement.

Expectations

  • To live a life of holiness that pursues Christ and Christlikeness (Ephesians 5:1, 1 Corinthians 11:1)
  • To be committed to a life of discipleship and discipling (1 John 2:3-6, Matthew 28:19-20)
  • To honor the duties of the elder (Titus 1:5-9)
  • To acknowledge scripture as the divinely inspired word of God, inerrant in its original languages (2 Timothy 3:16)

Responsibilities

Youth

  • Provide vision and direction for the youth ministry
  • Facilitate and encourage young people to embrace Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord
  • Build & equip students for life & ministry by helping identify gifts and talents
  • Facilitate student engagement with the church by using the above identified gifts/talents
  • Develop a positive & ongoing relationship with the youth and their families both in and out of the ministry context
  • Recruit, oversee, and train volunteers for youth ministries
  • Facilitate small group and 1 on 1 discipleship opportunities

Worship

  • Plan and lead creative corporate worship gatherings utilizing piano or guitar (guitar preferred)
  • Arrange and coordinate song selection to facilitate corporate engagement and teach biblical truth
  • Utilize the worship rubric alongside the developed standards in choosing the songs and elements of the worship gathering.
  • Lead and manage a team of 20+ volunteers while coordinating rotations and scheduling
  • Schedule and coordinate rehearsals for Sunday gatherings as well as special services
  • Facilitate the usage and upkeep of the audio, video, and lighting technology deployed by the church
  • Oversee copyright compliance
  • Facilitate the continued growth of skills and talents within the worship and tech teams
  • Develop relationships with worship team volunteers both within the ministry context and outside of it.

Leadership

  • In consultation with the pastors and church leadership, capture a vision for and philosophy of youth ministry
  • Articulate and implement that vision and philosophy of ministry with and through other staff and volunteers who participate in leading said students
  • Develop a vision for what the artistic worship looks like within Praise Point.
  • Develop 3-5 year strategic plans for the youth, worship, and tech areas of ministry
  • Establish standards for worship gatherings and the elements that make them up.

Accountable to

Directly accountable to and under the supervision of the Lead Pastor
Secondary accountability to Elders

Education & Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in youth ministry, worship leadership, biblical studies, or other comparable studies (preferred but not necessary)
  • 3 years of experience in worship and youth leadership
  • Must be able to pass a background check

Salary & Benefits

  • Full Time Salary Package (Starting): $45K-$55K
  • Paid Vacation

Contact Information

℅ Brad Kittle
Praise Point Church
555 Decatur Rd.
Willshire, OH 45898

Office phone: 419-495-2074

Pastor Brad’s email: brad@praisepoint.net

Rachel Graham

Rachel Graham, 92, wife of longtime UB minister Rev. Ken Graham, passed away September 24, 2022. They were married in 1951 and remain members of Mainstreet UB church (Walbridge, Ohio), the church they pastored for many years.

Viewing: 4-7 pm Thursday, September 29, 2022
Viewing location: Witzler-Shank-Walker Funeral Home, 701 N. Main St. Walbridge, Ohio 43465
Funeral: 11 am Friday, September 30, 2022.
Funeral location: Mainstreet UB church, 5465 Moline-Martin Rd, Walbridge, OH, 43465

More information on the Walker Funeral Homes site.

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.