Les grew up in southern Indiana where he first felt the call to ministry as a teenager. But, like so many, Les had a different plan in mind and pursued a career in business where he quickly rose up the corporate ladder and learned valuable lessons in leadership and management. After more than a decade of running from that calling, Les finally surrendered to God’s will, and at the age of 26, decided to make ministry his focus.
After completing his education from IWU, he served as senior pastor of two different churches in Ohio. In both cases, first in Mt. Orab and then in Newark, he was able to draw from his time in corporate leadership to lead them through amazing times of growth, renewal and refocus. In 2012, he was elected as the District Superintendent of the Greater Ohio District. During his tenure as D.S., Les has spent his time creating a new leadership culture in Ohio with an emphasis on excellence, leadership development and accountability. His passion for church health has been the driving force behind the vision and mission of the District.
Outside of the office, Les is a proud husband, father and grandpa! Les and his wife Chris have two children, Cheryl and Kyle, and four grandkids that are their pride and joy. When he’s not busy spending time with his family, Les likes to put his athleticism to use on the golf course where he can still feed his competitive spirit.
DISTRICT MULTIPLICATION LEADER
Dr. Chris came to faith in Christ when he was 17 years of age. He experienced a call to ministry when he was 18 and somehow became a pastor at the age of 19. In 1986 he became a minister in the Wesleyan Church in which he planted a new church, helped plant several other churches, and has been the pastor of 2 others. One of those churches produced 2 church planters and gave birth to 2 new congregations.
Along with serving as the Church Multiplication Leader for the Greater Ohio District, Dr. Chris is a certified leadership and church planting coach and serves as the trainer for our denomination’s multiplication coaches. Currently he teaches for 2 universities, Indiana Wesleyan, and Ohio Christian. He earned his undergraduate degree from Ohio Christian University, a master’s degree from Indiana Wesleyan University, and completed his doctorate through Portland Seminary at George Fox University.
Dr. Chris is married to his wife, Renee. Their family consists of 4 children (one deceased) and 3 grandchildren. Music is a huge part of his life. He also enjoys fishing and hiking. He and Renee enjoy watching movies or TV. They also like to walk, ride bikes, and travel.
DIRECTOR OF LEADER DEVELOPMENT
Richard sensed God’s call into the ministry in the sixth grade. He preached his first sermon in the eighth grade at a downtown mission in Portland, Oregon, using Acts 10:34-35 as his text. Following his graduation from High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served honorably.
Richard has 40 years of ministry experience, having served as a pastor of local churches, a District Superintendent, and a denominational leader in The Wesleyan Church. For a season, he was also a member of a national leadership team working with multiple denominations in church revitalization. He is currently the Director of Leader Development for the Greater Ohio District, where he facilitates and coaches Level UP Leadership and leads the G3:28 Project. He and his wife, Crystal, have three children – each with families of their own, who have given them eight grandchildren.
Abby has lived in the Bellville area most of her life. When she was seven years old she started attending Butler Wesleyan Church. Fifty years later she is still attending that same church, however, now the church is known as Impact Worship Center, in Mansfield, Ohio. Raised in a godly home, but knew she needed a personal relationship with Christ, she got saved at church camp at an early age and has been on a journey of faith ever since. Has had many roles in the local church as well as the district, and as of August 2021, Abby was hired to be the new district administrative assistant. Passionate about who we are as Wesleyans, she is excited to serve the district in this capacity. She has one son & daughter-in-law, Curtis & Emma Peters.