WTS Commencement 2013

Winebrenner Theological Seminary to Graduate 19

On Saturday, August 3, Winebrenner Theological Seminary will graduate 19 men and women who have prepared for Christian ministry. Following WTS’ strong history of evangelical theological training for an ecumenical church, graduates represent several of the nearly 40 different denominational bodies at WTS each trimester. Graduates this year are from Churches of God, General Conference; Word of Truth Christian Center; African Methodist Episcopal Church; Church of God—Anderson; a community church; the Christian Church; and Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

The 2013 graduates from Winebrenner Seminary, a Churches of God, General Conference (CGGC) school, include men and women called to serve God as senior pastors, pastors of visitation, a cross-cultural missionary, a pastor of outreach, a men’s director at a city mission, several seminary administrators, an army chaplain, a campground minister, a pastoral counselor, several teaching at undergraduate and seminary levels, those seeking further education and others waiting on God’s leading.

Dr. George Fry, Distinguished Professor of Church History and Biblical Studies Emeritus, will address the commencement congregation. He will speak on “A Hezekiah Moment.” The 10:30 a.m. service will be held in Winebrenner’s TLB Foundation Convocation Center, 950 N. Main St., Findlay. The public is invited to the service and reception that follows.

Graduates will receive recognition for their studies in one of five degree or two non-graduate programs: Doctor of Ministry, Master of Divinity, Master of Arts (Theological Studies), Master of Arts in Family Ministry, Master of Arts in Church Development, and Pastoral Training Institute.

Receiving the Doctor of Ministry degree are Joel W. Cocklin, James Robert Davison and Mark Howard Yarger.

Colonel Joel Cocklin, a civilian pastor for 10 years and a U.S. Army Chaplain for 27 years, is a member of the First Church of God, Westminster, MD, and attends College First Church of God, Findlay, OH. He and his wife Kay have three adult children: Kelly, Kim, and Nathan and seven grandchildren. Joel is vice president of academic advancement and academic dean of Winebrenner Theological Seminary. His doctoral project is “Pastoral Resilience.” His project mentor has been Dr. Don Lichi, Dr. Dave Smartt and Mrs. Jeannine Grimm.

James Davison is a member of Pathway Community Church, Toledo, OH. Jim’s family includes his wife Linda; sons John and Andrew; daughter Amanda; stepsons Brian and Aaron; stepdaughter Jennifer; sons-in-law Joe and Brian; daughters-in-law Melissa, Julianna, and Angelia; four grandsons, two granddaughters; and two more on the way! Jim plans to continue as men's director at the City Mission of Findlay, where he has served the past 19 years. His doctoral project is “The Tension of Counter-Cultural Rescue Ministries Seeking Support from the Current Culture.” His project team has been Dr. George Fry, Mr. Dewey Harris and Mrs. Kathryn Helleman.

Mark Yarger is pastor of Elizabethtown First Church of God, PA; his home church is Brisbin First Church of God, PA. He and his wife Debra have two children: Chelsea Harrington and Micah. His doctoral project is “Leading the Transition from a Traditional Attraction-Based Ministry Model to a Missional Model of Ministry.” His project team is Dr. Steve Dunn, Dr. Louis Stulman and Mrs. Joan Crick.

Master of Divinity graduates are Sheldon Ames, with a concentration in pastoral ministry; Christopher Biggins; David L. Carpenter Jr.; Martin D. Johnson, with a concentration in counseling; Cowgee Bill Mangrum; Hugh D. McClintock; and Rachel Lyn Walter, with a concentration in family ministry.

Sheldon Ames is a member of Caring Community Church of God, Hummelstown, PA. He and his wife Debra have three sons: Marcus, Logan, and Jordan and five grandchildren. His plans following graduation are to return to their home in Harrisburg and pray. “My heart says some type of inner city ministry in Harrisburg, but I’m not sure what that will look like. We want to be patient and remain open to the possibility that God will direct us to something very different than what we thought (He does that sometimes!).”

Christopher Biggins is a member of Word of Truth Christian Center, Bowling Green, OH. His includes his parents: Rufus Jr. and Marlene; brothers: Rufus and Brandon; one sister: Marniece; one niece and three nephews. Christopher will become an army chaplain following graduation.

David Carpenter is a member of Timberlake Community Church, Holland, OH. He and his wife Debbie have four children: David, Axl, Levi and Jessica Ridener. David is outreach pastor of his Churches of God congregation.

Martin Johnson is senior pastor of Quarry Ridge Community Church, Sylvania, OH. He and his wife Gail have one son, Zachary, 19 years old, a sophomore at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. Marty will continue serving Quarry Ridge Church, an 8-year-old congregation of the Church of God, Anderson, IN. A future goal is to begin teaching on the undergraduate and seminary level.

Cowgee Mangrum is a member of Warren African Methodist Episcopal Church, Toledo, OH. Cowgee is one of three persons from his family who have been part of WTS. His mother Regena is a 2011 graduate and his sister Reyna is a current student. Following seminary, Cowgee will be ordained again as an itinerate elder at the North Ohio Annual Conference in Cleveland. His plans include serving an African Methodist Episcopal church in the third district, which includes Ohio, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Hugh McClintock is pastor of Girton Church of God, Risingsun, OH. His family includes his wife Julie and children Carrie Rausch (Levi), Ryan and Britt; and grandchildren: Hunter, Cuyler and Ainsley Rausch. Hugh will continue serving Girton Church, work in partnership with Ohio Ministries (Anderson, IN) and continue adjunct teaching at WTS.

Rachel Walter is a member of Gateway Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Findlay, OH. Rachel continues to seek God’s plans for her future. She is director of housing at UF and will continue in that capacity.

Master of Arts (Theological Studies) graduate is Brandon Sterling Goodling, with a concentration in history of Christianity. Brandon is a member of Middletown First Church of God, PA. He plans to continue his education through doctoral studies while looking for teaching opportunities and other ways to serve God in the church. 

Master of Arts in Family Ministry graduate is Brittani E. Simon. Brittani and her husband Nathan attend College First Church of God (Worship@Winebrenner), Findlay, OH. Her home church is Pine River Church of God, Vestaburg, MI. She and Nate have no children (just a 2-year-old beagle named Maya!). Brittani says, “My desire is to minister in the Churches of God and/or a parachurch ministry as a pastoral counselor.”

Master of Arts in Practical Theology graduates are Joseph Carl Cranmer, with a concentration in Christian leadership; Timothy Dean Landis, with a concentration in biblical studies; John Boyd Thumma, with a concentration in biblical studies.

Joseph Cranmer is from Franklin, PA. He and his wife Renee have one son, Joseph Phillip.

Timothy Landis is pastor of Bainbridge Church of God, Bainbridge, PA. He and his wife Cheryl have four children: Alishia, Tim Jr., Kaitlin and Jared. Tim plans to continue pastoring Bainbridge COG. He is beginning his 11th year at Bainbridge COG.

John Thumma is a member of Mechanicsburg First Church of God, PA. He and his wife Toni’s family include their son John, his wife Heather and their son Ivan; and their daughter Kathryn, her husband Andrew Griffith, their daughter Nadia and son Rhys. Following graduation, John will continue pastoring Gamerco and Hooghan Nizhoni Churches of God in the four corners of NM.

Master of Arts in Church Development graduate is P. Dennis Koontz, with a concentration in Christian leadership. Dennis is a member of Chambersburg First Church of God, PA. He and his wife Jean have a daughter and son-in-law, Mark and Hannah Richards and grandchildren Luke (6) and Lyla (3). Dennis is director of advancement of WTS and provides pulpit supply as needed in the Eastern Regional Conference of the Churches of God, PA.

Diploma in Pastoral Training graduates are Barbara H. Maurice, William E. Myers and Glen W. Ramsey.

Barbara Maurice is a member of Lisburn Church of God, PA. She is the mother of two married daughters, Cheri Frank and Angela Starner. “I am blessed with two sons-in-laws: Drew Frank and Jessie Starner. God has given me five natural grandchildren: Sydney and Peyton Jumper; Savannah, Spencer and Weston Starner; and two adult step-grandchildren: Heather and Zachary Frank.” Barbara continues to seek the Lord’s will concerning “where he wants me to be. I’m willing to go wherever he calls me.”

William Myers is a member of Shippensburg First Church of God, PA. His family includes his wife Loni and adult daughters Tara and Shaina. Following graduation, he plans to continue “my part-time position as pastor of visitation and senior life ministries at Shippensburg Church. I’m seeking a fulltime pastoral position.”

Glen Ramsey is a member of Parkview Christian Church, Findlay, OH. He and his deceased wife Nancy have two daughters and a son: Shannon Woodward, S. Airon Ramsey and Kelly Crampton. Glen plans to do campground ministry in the southern U.S. in the winter and the northern U.S. in the summer.

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