Your Board of Directors met on Saturday, August 27 at Dublin Community Church UCC. At that meeting we voted to call The Rev. John M. Gantt as the Ohio Conference Interim Conference minister. John will begin his ministry with us on October 1. The Search Committee, comprised of board members Jeff Roeger, Jay McMillan, Cynthia Tyson, Jim Meyer, Sam Buehrer, and myself, interviewed and unanimously recommended Rev. Gantt to the Board of Directors. The Board unanimously voted to call and hire Rev. Gantt.
Rev. Gantt’s sense of call came through the witness of his mother and the support of his pastor, teachers and friends. John truly believes in covenant and working together for God’s mission. He describes his understanding of God’s vision as “all about shalom, wholeness, wellness, and well-being, which will result in the peaceable realm of God’s intention.” He is passionate about Micah 6:8, which makes him “passionate about the gospel and social justice, compassion for those without privilege, and the command for the church to be in the world.”
Rev. Gantt graduated from Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio, and Eden Theological Seminary. He has been trained in conflict resolution and with techniques of Gordon Effectiveness Training. He has served many interims in local church and conference settings and has served as executive director of social service agencies like Back Bay Mission and Crossroad/Ft. Wayne Children’s Home. His references shared of his leadership and his listening and capable guidance. His listening skills and quiet questions challenge as well as offer hope.
The board also voted to renew the contract with United, Camps, Conferences and Retreats (UCCR) our camp management partner, for another two years. We also discussed the progress made on discussions between associations, conference and national church to envision the wider church in Ohio. On September 9-10, our German church partners will host five people from the Ohio Conference in Villigst, Germany for the 25th anniversary of the partnership, Kirchengemeinschaft. As Moderator, I will be representing Ohio and will share the past, present and future of this partnership. Sandy Lindahl will present a paper for their clergy to discuss. This partnership is a wonderful, faith-filled gift of working together.
I want to also thank the Rev. Dr. Phil Hart for leading us, challenging us, listening to us, and working with us in the Ohio Conference, the wider church in Ohio, West Virginia, and northern Kentucky. His leadership has helped us to ask the hard questions that needed to be asked. Thank you Phil for your leadership as we send you on your way, with blessings and love.