Members of Ohio Conference congregations who volunteer their time play a vital role in Conference life. Without the help of numerous volunteers, many of the programs and functions of the Ohio Conference could not take place.

Much of the work of Ohio Conference is done by the Leadership Team, the Ministry Development Team, the Credentialing Ministry, the Stewardship Ministry and the Gifts Discernment Ministry. Delegates at Annual Conference Assembly affirmed the following individuals for service:

Credentialing Ministry — Chair
Name: Vickie Yoder
Home congregation: Sharon Mennonite Church in Plain City
Occupation: Pastor (inactive), board certified chaplain, masters-clinical pastoral counseling
Previous service: Interim associate pastor at Sharon Mennonite Church (completed January 2020), chair of Credentialing Ministry
Family information: Spouse, Bob Yoder (retired pastor); two adult daughters, Mary/Jason Sims, Bobbi/Jason Watkins; seven grandchildren
Goals: My goals for this coming year are to educate myself and others to work as a team to fulfill our agenda and work to serve God and His servants to the best of our ability with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Hobbies/special interests: Certified life coach; certified bereavement counselor through the American Association of Christian Counselors; therapy dog handler supporting students in need of tutorials, grief support, and celebrations of joy; member of NOVA – National Organizations of Victims Assistance; Jonathan Alder Community Coalition member; chaplain for the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

Credentialing Ministry
LaVerne Yousey
Home congregation: Summit Mennonite Church, Barberton
Occupation: Professor of respiratory care emeritus, department head of Allied Health Department at University of Akron
Previous service: Member of Credentialing Ministry


Ministry Development Team
Deanna (Dee) Custar
Occupation: Pastor/CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) coordinator
Previous service: Pastoral team member at Salem Mennonite in Waldron, Michigan, for 16 years; served on Credentialing Ministry for Ohio Conference; current sexual misconduct response person for western Ohio
Family information: Husband, Dan; two married sons; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren
Hobbies/special interests: Adventure travel, throwing pottery, acting and hosting parties!  (I play a mean nose flute.)

Ministry Development Team — Faith Focus
Kenneth S. Sims, but please just call me Ken
Home congregation: Sharon Mennonite Church, Plain City
Occupation: Office manager/client services representative with Everence Financial in Plain City
Previous service: Served several years as an elder at Lee Heights Community Church in Cleveland and Sharon Mennonite Church in Plain City; adult Sunday school teacher; and I have served two terms as the faith leader on the Ohio Conference Ministry Development Team
Family information: Married to Grace Sims (50 years on April 3, 2020); father to three adult children (Shannon, Jason and Bradley); grandfather (aka Paka) to seven, including four girls, ages 22, 19, 14, 11, and three boys, ages 9, 9, and 8. They all help to keep me young.
Goals: 1. To help pastors and congregations expand the role of speaking faith into action in our planning, worship, our daily speech and our daily activities; 2. To learn how to speak our faith in all that we do.
Hobbies/special interests: Reading (history and autobiographies), motorsports (endurance sports car racing)

Ministry Development Team — Worship Focus
Steve Schmid
Home congregation: Wooster Mennonite Church
Occupation: Retired president of Smith Foods
Previous service: Member of Ministry Development Team



Stewardship Ministry — Endowment Focus
Chelsea Waidelich
Home congregation: West Clinton Mennonite Church, Wauseon
Occupation: Accountant
Previous service: Previously served with Stewardship Ministry team for one term
Family information: Married to Greg
Goals: My goals for this term are to continue to learn the history and purpose of the various funds the Conference holds and work with the other members to discern the best use of Conference resources.
Hobbies/special interests: Enjoy reading, playing volleyball, and traveling

Stewardship Ministry — Endowment Focus
Marion Beyeler
Home congregation: Orrville Mennonite Church
Occupation: Retired volunteer
Previous service: Member of Stewardship Ministry, Conference moderator

Stewardship Ministry — Finance Focus
Christine Yoder
Home congregation: Oak Grove Mennonite Church, West Liberty
Occupation: Staff accountant
Previous service: Member of Stewardship Ministry

Gifts Discernment Ministry — Chair
Alvis Pettker
Home congregation: Friendship Mennonite Church, Bedford Heights
Occupation: Pastor
Family information: Spouse, Ruth Pettker
Hobbies/special interests: I like to run, and am training to run the Cleveland Marathon in 2020.


Gifts Discernment Ministry
Eldina Nussbaum
Home congregation: Crown Hill Mennonite Church, Rittman
Occupation: Retired elementary teacher
Previous service: Member of Gifts Discernment Ministry, board member at Camp Luz, Conference delegate
Family information: Husband, David Nussbaum
Goals: To find persons to serve in Ohio Conference positions
Hobbies/special interests: Gardening, volunteering at World Crafts in Kidron, Ohio

Gifts Discernment Ministry
Larry Short
Home congregation: Zion Mennonite Church, Archbold
Occupation: Semi-retired farmer
Previous service: Member of Gifts Discernment Ministry



Gifts Discernment Ministry
Robert E. Esh
Home congregation: Valley View Mennonite Church, Spartansburg, Pennsylvania
Occupation: Pastor (soon to be retired!)
Previous service: I served on Gifts Discernment many years ago and more recently on the Conference Minister Search Committee.
Family information: Married to Janet; five adult children; six grandchildren; and caring for a disabled sister
Goals: I hope to see Ohio Conference continue as a dynamic expression of our shared mission and fellowship.
Hobbies/special interests: Beekeeping, reading, and playing guitar and singing folk music at open mics and jam sessions

Gifts Discernment Ministry
Wendell Slagell
Home congregation: Huber Mennonite Church, New Carlisle
Occupation: I’m currently in building material distribution and a part-time pastor at Huber.
Previous service: I have been at Huber for 18 years, serving as youth leader for 10, and pastor for the past five years.
Family information: Married for nearly 22 years with five children, ages 18 down to 6.
Hobbies/special interests: In my free time I enjoy working outside.

Gifts Discernment Ministry
Lois Bontrager
Home congregation: Maple Grove Mennonite Church, Hartville
Occupation: Retired stewardship representative, Everence