WTS Commencement 2015

Winebrenner Theological Seminary to Graduate 26

On Saturday, August 1, Winebrenner Theological Seminary will graduate 26 individuals who have prepared for Christian ministry. Following WTS’ strong history of evangelical theological training for an ecumenical church, graduates represent several of the 30 different denominational bodies at WTS. Graduates this year are from Churches of God, General Conference; Church of God (Anderson); Eternal Life Church International; Friends Church; Baptist church; African Methodist Episcopal Church; Revival Center Ministries International; Vineyard Church of God; Alliance Church; Harvest Time Holiness Church; non-denominational churches; and United Church of Christ.

The 2015 graduates from Winebrenner Seminary, a Churches of God, General Conference (CGGC) school, include individuals called to serve God as senior pastors, a coworker in her husband’s ministry, a church planter, several pursuing further academic studies, several seeking chaplaincy certification, a number as ministry volunteers, a number continuing in positions in industry, a missionary minister to the American church, an assistant pastor, a number serving the church through ministry at WTS, several working with youth and their families, several as ministry assistants in local congregations and others seeking God’s leading for direction in ministry.

Dr. David Draper, president of Winebrenner Theological Seminary, will address the commencement congregation. He will speak from Ephesians 3:14-21 on the topic “The Gospel in a Word is Love.” The 10:30 service will be held in Winebrenner’s TLB Foundation Convocation Center, 950 N. Main St., Findlay. The public is invited to the service and picnic that follows.

Graduates will receive recognition for their studies in one of six degree programs or one of 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 Clinical Counseling, Master of Arts in Practical Theology, Diploma in Pastoral Training and Diploma in Biblical Studies.

Doctor of Ministry graduates are Thomas R. Gardner, Kathryn Louise Helleman, Martin D. Johnson and Patricia Jackson Snelling.

Thom Gardner is pastor of Penbrook Church of God, Harrisburg, PA. He and his wife Carol have three daughters and eight grandchildren. He plans to continue as senior pastor of Penbrook Church of God and also as president of Restored Life Ministries, Inc. Thom’s doctoral project was “Integrated Spiritual Formation.” His project team included Dr. John Anderson, Dr. Linda Draper and Ms. Katie Erickson.

Kathryn Helleman is a member of Sylvania United Church of Christ, OH, and an assistant academic dean and director of assessment at WTS. She and her husband Arnold have two children: Evelyn (Tom Mahas) and Jennifer (Chad Stilwell); and three grandchildren: CJ Stilwell, Silas Mahas and Ephrym Mahas. She plans to continue serving WTS in her current capacity. Kathryn’s doctoral project was “A Resource for Seminaries and Instructors Using Online Education Settings in Theological Education.” Her project team included Dr. Brandon Withrow, Dr. Marian Plant and Ms. Katie Erickson.

Martin Johnson is lead pastor of Quarry Ridge Community Church (Church of God Anderson) in Sylvania, OH. He is also WTS’ student services coordinator. He and his wife Gail have one son: Zachary. Martin’s dream is to teach full-time at the undergraduate, graduate and/or seminary level. His doctoral project was “Key Behaviors and Milestones in Adult Discipleship—Fashioning Intentionality, Personalization, Oversight, and Assessment.” His project team included Dr. Stephen Dunn, Ms. Michele Nixon and Dr. James Davison.

Pat Snelling is a member and assistant to the senior pastor of Friendship Baptist Church, Toledo, OH. She has two adult children: Deithra Glaze and Che’ Snelling; and five grandchildren: Nia, Daylen, Tyler, Serenity and Che’. She will continue in her current position until God moves her elsewhere. Her doctoral project was “Developing an Effective Spiritual Maturity Process within a Congregation.” Her project team included Dr. Gwen Ebner, Elder Winona McDaniels and Ms. Margaret Sattler.

Master of Divinity graduates are Dawn R. Bodak, Adam T. Bohland, Reyna Fitzgerald Mangrum (concentration in counseling), David Schuyler Lee Odegard, Ashley Ngozika Onyia, Mary Lee Vergiels and Thomas Eugene Wood.

Dawn Bodak is a member of Grace Community Church, Fremont, OH. She has one son: Alden. Following graduation, Dawn will seek chaplaincy certification.

Adam Bohland is a member of the United Church of Christ in Sylvania, OH. He and his wife Valerie have two sons: Caleb and Isaiah. Adam has been accepted into a CPE residency program at St. Vincent's Hospital, Toledo, OH.

Reyna Mangrum is a member of  Warren African Methodist Episcopal Church, Toledo, OH. She is the third WTS graduate in her family; her mother and a brother are pastors. Reyna, who also has another brother, is engaged to be married Anthony mid-September. Her goals include a desire to work with youth and their families in a church or parachurch organization.

Davie Odegard is senior pastor of Wharton Church of God, OH. He and his wife Kathy have five children: Abigail, Hannah, Luke, Andrew and Matthew; Sarah is to be born in October. Davie plans to continue to serve Wharton Church and attend Talbot Seminary to pursue a Doctor of Ministry the fall of 2016. 

Ashley Onyia is a member of  Revival Center Ministries International, Dayton, OH. Her plans include founding a high-performing middle and high school in the Dayton area and continue spreading the love of Jesus Christ through youth ministry. 

Mary Vergiels is a member of Gateway Church, Findlay, OH. She has one son: Josh. Mary’s plans following graduation are not definite at this time.

Tom Wood is a member of College First Church of God, Findlay, OH. He and his wife Tina have two children: Elizabeth (Jordan Ohler) and Travis; and two grandchildren: Audrey and Jackson. Tom plans to continue serving in various lay leadership roles at College First and working at Cooper Tire & Rubber Company.

Master of Arts (Theological Studies) graduates are Charles R. Hall, Jr. (concentration in biblical studies), Aprille Schutte (concentration in biblical studies) and James M. Wilder II (concentration in theological studies).

Charles Hall is a member of Hopewell Church of God, Tiffin, OH. He and his wife Julie have three daughters: Taylor, Megan and Ashley Shock; and one granddaughter: Cali Shock. He is planting a church in Bettsville, OH, for the Churches of God, General Conference.

Aprille Schutte is a member of Vineyard Church of God, Perrysburg, OH. She and her husband Joel, also a WTS grad, have five children: Carolyn, Aidan, Emmanuel, David and Jonathan. She plans to homeschool her children and offer leadership and teaching as needed in her home church.

Jim Wilder is a member of College First Church of God, Findlay, OH. Jim’s family includes his parents and a brother. Jim’s father is also a WTS grad. Jim, who is ordained with the Great Lakes Conference of the CGGC, plans to continue working as WTS’ coordinator of admissions, marketing and church relations, while at the same time providing support as needed to local churches.

Master of Arts in Family Ministry graduates are LaShaun Lamar Jones, Jemimah S.K. Musyoka and Brent A. Smalley.

LaShaun Jones is a member of Great Light Tabernacle, Toledo, OH. He and his wife India have three children: daughter Asia and sons Israel and Zion. LaShaun’s plans include teaching grades 2-4 at Grace Community Center, as well as serving as a youth/young adult counselor at his church. 

Jemimah Musyoka is a member of Eternal Life Church International, Nairobi, Kenya. She and her husband Justus, also a WTS grad, have seven children and six grandchildren. Her vocational plans are to continue as a missionary to the USA.  

Brent Smalley is a member of StoneBridge Church of God (Anderson), Findlay, OH. He and his wife Kathy have three children: Shayne (Brenna), Tyler and Zach; and one granddaughter: Carly. Brent’s plans include pastoring within the Church of God Anderson denomination.

Master of Arts in Practical Theology graduates are Dennis William Bailey, Jr. (concentration in pastoral ministry), Brandon Sterling Goodling (concentration in pastoral ministry), Rosalea Margaret Kamerick Harvey (concentration in counseling) and Linda K. Rosenberry (concentration in pastoral ministry).

Dennis Bailey Jr. is a member of Kennedy Valley Church of God, Landisburg, PA. He and his wife Tracy have two daughters: Sarah and Ashley. His plans following graduation are to continue working as a corporate controller and pursue part-time ministry as the Lord leads.

Brandon Goodling is a member of Middletown First Church of God, PA. His vocational plans include continuing to seek ministry and teaching opportunities in Pennsylvania.

Rosalea Harvey is involved in supervised ministry at Clearfield Alliance Church, PA. She and her husband Charles have seven children: Chris, Nick, Beth, Ture, Barb, Michelle, and Jonathan. Her vocational plans are to continue working in information systems until a ministry opportunity presents itself.

Linda Rosenberry is a member of Plainfield First Church of God, PA. She and her husband Ed have five children: Dan, Beth (Tim Moyle), Carrie, Chrissie and Emily; and one granddaughter: Penny. Linda’s plans following graduation include continuing to support her husband Ed in whatever ministry the Lord has for them. 

Receiving the Diploma in Pastoral Training are Thomas Clayton Flanagan, Susan O. McMichael and Joseph M. Stopyra.

Tom Flanagan is a member of Real Life Church of God, East Petersburg, PA. He and his wife Melissa have two children: Steven and Diana; and five grandchildren. His vocational plans are to continue serving as pastor at Real Life Church of God, a position he’s held since January 1.

Susan McMichael is a member of West Newton First Church of God, PA. She and her husband Donald have two children: Denise (Lonni Friedman) and Jennifer (John Helinski); and four grandchildren: David Friedman, Mary Helinski, Anna Helinski and Lucy Helinski. Susan will continue volunteering at her home church as a deaconess, head of women's ministries and with the youth, while also volunteering at a local senior center leading Bible studies. She is open to God's direction for the future.

Joseph Stopyra is a member of Chambersburg First Church of God, PA, and pastor of Blue Mountain Church of God, MD. He and his wife Amy have three children: Ivy, Joey and Joy.

Receiving the Diploma in Biblical Studies are Donald Brooks, Jr. and Matthew Allen Sandlin.

Donald Brooks is pastor of  Harvest Time Holiness Church, Toledo, OH. He and his wife Cherri have five children: Doris, Tina, Crystal, Michael Lawler and Deanna David. He plans to continue serving Harvest Time Holiness COGIC and consider other educational/biblical studies.         

Matthew Sandlin is pastor of First Friends Church, Bellefontaine, OH. He and his wife Stacey have a newborn daughter: Saylor.

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