Meet the Staff
The Reverend Tom York
Tom began his ministry as “Visiting Pastor” following the retirement of our Pastor-Head of Staff in May of 2013. A graduate of Hanover College and Princeton Theological Seminary, he served as Pastor-Head of Staff for 38 years prior to retirement in June of 2012. He served congregations in Wausau, WI, and Columbus, OH, prior to serving as Pastor of Knox Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati for 16 years.
Tom is the father of 30-year-old son, David, who also resides in Cincinnati. In his retirement Tom has continued to enjoy reading, tennis, golf and boating on Lake Michigan in Northern Wisconsin.
The Reverend John W. Neely
Associate Pastor for Music
John has served as Associate Pastor for Music at Westminster Church since 1981 .He grew up in Western Pennsylvania and has been active in the Presbyterian Church all his life. John is a graduate of Duquesne University , Union Theological Seminary School of Sacred Music, and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He has taught in the music departments of Washington and Jefferson College, Washington, Pennsylvania, and Mt. Union College, Alliance, Ohio. John has been Dean of the Canton and Dayton Chapters of the American Guild of Organists and was National President of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians. He is active in the Dayton and surrounding areas as an organ recitalist, choral clinician, and is Music Director of the Bach Society of Dayton. John and his wife, Ruth, are parents of two grown sons and four grandchildren, Micah, Zeke, Kennedy, and Miles.
The Reverend Nancy S. Hodgkins
Associate Pastor for Youth and Mission
Nancy joined the staff of Westminster in December of 1997. She grew up in Maine where she graduated from The University of Maine at Farmington. From there she went on to earn her Masters of Divinity from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Kentucky. Prior to coming to Westminster Nancy worked as student chaplain at a prison in Kentucky. Nancy oversees youth fellowship, post-high and Young Adult ministries as well as our local and global Mission programs and ministries. In her spare time she enjoys reading, movies, and traveling.
The Reverend Laurie Brubaker Davis
Associate Pastor for Spiritual Growth
Laurie began her call at Westminster on January 1, 2008, to become the first full-time Associate Pastor for Spiritual Growth. She graduated from the College of Wooster (Ohio) with a B.A. in Religion; and eight years later earned an M.B.A. from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. In 1992 she completed her Masters of Divinity at San Francisco Theological Seminary. She is currently working on her Doctor of Ministry degree in Christian Spirituality at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. Prior to her ministry at Westminster, she served Presbyterian churches in Springfield and Dayton as a solo pastor for 11 years , and as an Associate Pastor for Evangelism in Xenia for four years before that. She and her husband, Bob, have two daughters, Emily, who lives in Manhattan and teaches fifth grade writing in Brooklyn, and Hannah, who attends St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, majoring in English.
The Reverend John S. Shonle
Interim Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care
This past August (2012), our Session approved a third twelve-month contract for John to continue to be our Interim Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care. In addition to providing general pastoral care, John is the staff person relating to Deacons, Older Adult Ministries, Westminster Presbyterian Women, Church Partners Ministry Team, and Prayer Shawl Ministry Team. John has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Wesleyan University in Connecticut and a Masters of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. Previous to coming to Wesminster, he was a solo pastor at churches for 15 years, and for 3 years was the Assistant Director of the House of Bread in Dayton. He has one child, Joseph, attending Hanover College and two children, Stephen and Anna, attending Beavercreek City Schools. John enjoys hiking, camping, cooking and eating good food.
Jim was born in Dayton and grew up in nearby Germantown. He retired from the Dayton Public School System in 1999 after teaching, coaching, and counseling for 30 years. Following retirement, he served as the Executive Director of the Germantown Senior Center following, and joined the staff of Westminster in 2001. He coordinates the educational collaboration between the church and E.J. Brown Elementary School, and shares this partnership model with other churches and schools. Jim's wife, Donna, is a retired Literacy Specialist, having worked in both Dayton and Middletown schools. They have a daughter, Allyson, who is married, has a baby boy (with another one on the way), and lives in Florida.
Born in the Pacific northwest, Jerry Taylor attended music schools near San Francisco and Seattle, graduating from Walla Walla College, before beginning a 12-year career teaching high school music in Arkansas and Virginia. After building a pipe organ for the Shenandoah Valley Academy Chapel, he won a fellowship to Indiana University where he completed his graduate degree in Church Music (Organ and Choral Conducting) graduating with "distinction." In 1986 Jerry accepted the full time position of Minister of Music at the Kettering Seventh-day Adventist Church. At the same time he became a member of the Westminster Choir and was invited to be the Music Associate three years later.
Craig has been formally working with church facilities and finances since his ordination by the United Church of Christ in 1985. He is a Certified Church Administrator by the National Association of Church Business Administration (NACBA) and is President of the Dayton Chapter. He is a Fellow in Presbyterian Church Business Administration and sits on the Board of Directors of the Presbyterian Church Business Administrators' Association (PCBAA). As Pastor of Pleasant Hill United Church of Christ, he is also active with the UCC in many capacities related to church finances, stewardship and planned giving. Craig and his wife, Veronica (Ronni), have two children, David and Erica (Ricki), and are caretakers of Ronni's mother.
Executive Assistant to Dr. McConnel
Cathy Shilt joined Westminster as Dr. McConnel’s new Executive Assistant in mid-January 2011 after spending over 25 years as a legal secretary. Upon the retirement of Judy Hamilton, Cathy was selected from over 450 candidates in the Executive Assistant search. In addition to assisting Dr. McConnel, Cathy supports Adult Education; the Nominating Committee; the Personnel Committee; the Session; and the Worship, Music and Fine Arts Committee. She has lived in Brookville, Ohio, for 18 years and is the proud mom of three daughters: Lindsay, Maria, and Hailey. Cathy is a life-long Christian and is active in the church affiliated Emmaus Community. She enjoys reading anything she can get her hands on, participating in marathons and spending time outdoors.
Membership/Pastoral Care Secretary
Carol has been with Westminster since September 1990 and has also been a member since May 1996. Her responsibilities include secretarial support for Laurie Davis and John Shonle, which includes the Evangelism, Hospitality and Membership Committee, Fellowship Committee, Deacons, Older Adult Ministry Team, Support Groups, and Stephen Ministry. She also maintains the church membership records and attendance. Carol and her husband, Scott, have been married for 11 years, and together they have five grown children and eight grandchildren, which keep them very busy. Hobbies include scrapbooking, reading and camping.
Amanda Newhart came to the Westminster staff in July 2002 after working several years in the health care industry as an Activity Director and Marketing Assistant. In addition to serving as receptionist, she is the secretary for the Departments of Music, Education and Practice, and Mission, and does the design for much of our printed advertising and marketing pieces as well as in-house printing. Amanda lives in Arcanum with her husband, Todd, and children, Hunter, Morgan, and Davy. When Amanda is not chasing Davy or running to baseball and soccer games, she serves as Director of Music at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Huber Heights, Ohio. She enjoys playing softball and doing needle crafts such as knitting and quilting (at least trying).
Kate supports the communications areas of the church including layout, design, and printing. She graduated from Marion Technical College with an Associate of Applied Business in Office Information Technology. A life-long animal lover, Kate shifted career paths in 1995, attending the National K9 School for Dog Trainers, and opening her own dog-training and pet-sitting business in 1996. Though she has returned to full-time office work, she still teaches dog obedience classes as a volunteer at Dayton Dog Training Club. Currently, her spare time revolves around her pack of Belgian Shepherd Dogs (photos at www.genesisbelgians.com). Kate lived most of her life in Marion, Ohio, and moved to the Dayton area in November 2007.
Shari retired from Westminster in June 2008, but has now re-joined the staff as
part-time bookkeeper. She and her husband, Richard, have three grown sons and five beautiful grandchildren that keep them very active. Shari also volunteers with the
Dayton Philharmonic Volunteer Association. In her spare time, she enjoys quilting and reading.
Transition Administrative Assistant
Judy retired from Westminster in 2011 as Executive Assistant to Sandy McConnel and now has rejoined the staff on the temporary part-time assignment of Transition Administrative Assistant. In her new role she will assist the pastoral staff with administrative tasks related to the transition process and will support the Pastor Nominating Committee in their search for the next Pastor/Head of Staff. Judy is married to Dave, has a daughter, Dianna, and a son-in-law, Gary, and two adult grandsons, Justin and David. Judy enjoys writing, playing bridge, and watching good movies. She is very active in her home church as a Lay Speaker and Stephen Leader.
Wayne has been with Westminster since March of 2005. As Maintenance Supervisor, he is responsible for seeing that the building and rooms are set up and ready for meetings, concerts and special events. Wayne also oversees the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the church property. He is a native Ohioan, raised in Bexley. He joined the Air Force after high school and spent the majority of his career in North Carolina, Iceland, and Florida, ending up at Wright-Patterson where he retired in 1994. He is a single parent with four children; Nicole, Gregory, Gary, and William. Wayne hopes one day to show them as much of the world as he has seen.
Marv is a native of Dayton and has served in the Naval Reserves and retired from the City of Dayton Fire Department after 30 years of service. He received special recognition from both the City of Dayton and Dayton Fire Department as Employee of the Year and recognition by the VFW for his dedication and services rendered to the City of Dayton. He was also named Officer of the Year by the Harrison Township Fire Department. Marvin and his wife Becky have two grown sons, three grandsons and one granddaughter. He enjoys fishing, gardening, camping, and golf.