Sam has been our senior pastor since January 2013. Sam has deep roots in northwest Ohio. His parents still live in his hometown of Archbold. Sam graduated from Archbold High School. He received his B.S. from Heidelberg and his Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, Minnesota.
Sam was first called to be the pastor of Spencerville UCC in Spencerville, Ohio. After serving there for five years he accepted a call to First UCC in Galion, Ohio, where he served for almost 20 years.
Sam is very active in the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ, serving as Treasurer. He enjoys camping, canoeing, backpacking, reading, and singing. Sam and his wife, Ellen, have two adult sons.
Interim Associate Pastor
Mary Meadows began serving the congregation as an interim associate pastor in February 2017. She hails originally from Oklahoma, but has spent most of her adult life in Ohio. She was born Catholic, had a stint as a Unitarian, and while at Oberlin College discovered a small American Baptist congregation. There she encountered a gospel message focused on the radical nature of Jesus's ministry. Ultimately she ended up at Duke Divinity School and was ordained as an American Baptist pastor. She has served as a Minister with Children and their Families in Raleigh, NC and as a solo pastor for a small congregation in Illinois.
Mary is also an attorney. She represents people who are disabled in claims for Social Security disability and SSI. She is mother of a teenager (almost adult!) and loves to sing.
Interim Minister of Visitation
David has served as Interim Minister of Visitation since 2017. He has led numerous congregations throughout his career, including First Baptist Church of Greater Toledo, The North Shore Baptist Church, and First Presbyterian Church of Maumee.
David was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and is happily married to Sharon with two adult children and two grandchildren. He is a graduate of Northern Baptist Theological Seminary and McCormick Theological Seminary.
Director of Congregational Life
Kristen Leverton joined the church staff in 2016 as the Director of Congregational Life. Kristen's responsibilities include outreach initiatives in the church and building community within the congregation. Leading the church's Open and Affirming work is very important to her.
Kristen is a graduate of Ball State University, having majored in marketing and math. She served a faith-based nonprofit development organization for 18 years prior to her work here. Kristen is the mother to a vibrant daughter who keeps her on her toes.
Director of Children's Ministries
Diane Barnes joined the church staff in 2017 as the Director of Children's Ministries. Following her passion for children and ministry, Diane spent the previous 17 years serving the congregations of Glenwood and Hope Lutheran Churches where she partnered with parents to help their children grow in their love for God and other people. During the Christmas season, Diane led Hope's congregation in "A Night in Bethlehem," an outreach event to the community.
Before working with children, Diane worked as Vice President of Finance for National City Bank. She earned a Bachelor in Business Services and Masters of Science in Accounting degrees from the University of Toledo.
Director of Health Ministries
Kathi has served as Director of Health Ministries since 2017 and is a graduate of Lourdes University. Her nursing experience began at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center on the Neuro-ICU unit. She left that position to open a women's clinic, then opened a second clinic, and eventually transitioned on to teaching LPN's. Kathi served as the Director of Nursing for the Ability Center's @HOME Agency and is currently the Case Manager for HomeCare Network.
After raising her children, her passion has been nursing.
Director of Music / Organist
Sally Mossing began as the church's organist in the summer of 2000. As Director of Music, she coordinates the music programs and yearly budget. When not accompanying the choirs, she rehearses with soloists from the congregation as well as guest musicians. Planning and taking part in the Taize Service is something she looks forward to each month. She enjoys composing and hopes to do more of it in the future. She shares her musical talents with other area churches and organizations.
Sally is an active member of the American Guild of Organists and in 1983 received a Bachelors Degree in Organ Performance from Bowling Green State University.
Chancel Choir Director / Chancel Bell Choir Director / Praise Team Coach
Lori Bitz joined the staff at Sylvania United Church of Christ in August 2015 as Chancel Choir Director. In 2017, she accepted the positions of Chancel Bell Choir Director and Praise Team Coach. Lori has been a church musician for over 25 years, directing adult and children's choirs, handbell choirs, praise teams, and a trumpet choir.
Since the 1990s she has served as the Principal Trumpet for the Adrian Symphony Orchestra and Utility Trumpet for the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. For over 20 years, she has served as Adjunct Music Faculty at the University of Findlay where she teaches Applied Brass Lessons. She is currently on staff at Siena Heights University. Lori earned a Master of Music in Trumpet Performance from Bowling Green State University and a Bachelor of Music Education from Central Michigan University.
Amy has served the church as Administrative Assistant since 1999. When you call the church, stop by the office, or send an email, you'll reach Amy. Amy is happy to help newcomers and long-time members get connected to the many activities our church offers.
Amy attended Owens Tech, Monroe Community College, & Phoenix Career Institute.
Bruce joined the staff in January 2006 as Facilities Manager. He maintains the building and grounds of the church and takes great pride in doing so.
Bruce graduated from Ohio University.
Christy has served as the church's Financial Secretary since 2004, tracking all donations and expenses, sending out quarterly and end-of-year statements, and reporting budgetary information.
Christy has a Bachelor of Science in Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management from North Carolina State University.
Child Care Provider
Aleah joined the church staff as child care provider in 2017. She is a graduate of Sylvania Northview and is currently attending the University Of Toledo, studying recreational therapy with a pre-occupational therapy concentration. You'll find Aleah in the church nursery almost every Sunday morning, providing excellent care to our infants and toddlers.