New Retirees Honored, New Leaders Commissioned


By Susan Sneed

Retirees included Diaconal Minister Mary Beth Anderson who noted that “God has forgiven the wrongs and blessed the right. AND no more paperwork!” Deaconesses Shay Blackwell and Gail Davis were noted for the ministries with the poor and with families. Deacon Janice Tucker gave thanks for the ministry she was blessed to do and the people she was able to meet. 
Pastors retiring included David C. Belt, Thad Carter, Arthur Ellsworth ,Peggy Eshelman, Gloria Jones, Greg Mathis, Richard McGehee, Ron McIntier, Loretta Stone, Daniel Musgrave, and Vickie Taggart. Others retiring with special words for the Conference were:
Ron Brooks: It has been an exciting life. I’m moving on to my next destination with no regrets. 
  • Paul Catterton: Every appointment was its own adventure. It’s time for a new adventure, a new career outside the walls of the church.
  • Jack DeWees: When God calls you, better listen. 
  • Remel Gary Gray: We have our issues but we tend to talk and not separate. The passion for truth is a place where I find peace. I am so thankful that I got to here.
  • Harold Gold: It. Goes. On.
  • Bob Howard: If you love them, they will love you back. 
  • Michael Kelpe: As I retire, I feel called into another ministry, wild and free. 
  • Julius Ketsenburg: It has been an amazing journey, where God did an amazing ministry, mainly in me.
  • David Maggi: I did not choose to enter the ministry, I was chosen by a God with a great sense of humor. 
  • Richard Parker: What I learned as a lawyer helped me to be a better pastor, both in administration and in pastoral care. My passion for justice has been better served in the church than the courtroom.
  • Mamie Pero: God sent me as a stranger to you and you welcomed me. 
  • Roger D. Rice: Love is what it is all about. 
  • Paul Zimmerman: I have seen the very best in me and the worst in me...and Christ has been in the midst of it all. 
Of special note was the retirement of Rev. Ann Rathert, district superintendent of the Gateway Regional District. She walked across the stage on the arm of her husband Roger. They will be retiring to their home state of Wisconsin. 
“I have left part of my heart here in Missouri,” she said. “I have learned so much from all of you. I know what it means to be the church…Missouri style.” Bishop Schnase gave special recognition to Rev. Rathert for her service on the Cabinet as the Gateway Regional District Superintendent. 
Passing of the Mantle is a ritual illustrating the continuation of ministry, from the retirees to the provisional clergy. Representing the retirees, Rev. Rathert, and representing the provisional members, Chris Abel.
Rev. Mark Dumas presented the candidates being commissioned as Elder: Chris Abel, Andy Blachsher, Jennifer Moxley, Laura Murphy and Leanna Van Zandt. Those presented as candidates to be commissioned as Deacon: Kasey Beaton, Hank Jenkins, Jennifer Long, and Meghan Riegerix.