HUBER HEIGHTS — For the first time in its 145 year history, Sulphur Grove United Methodist Church has two new pastors.
The church is located at 7505 Taylorsville Road and also has ministries at the Y at the Heights on Shull Road.
Rev. Barry Baughman is now serving as the lead pastor and Rev. Marty McMichael is the Associate Pastor. Both men are second-career pastors and had never met until their appointments at Sulphur Grove.
Baughman has been at the church since June and have been impressed by the warm welcome they have received. McMichael agreed and the topic came up one Sunday after a service.
“At almost the same moment, we both began talking about the incredibly warm welcome we’d received,” said Baughman.
Baughman has been married to his wife Diane for 37 years and they have four children and five grandchildren. He previously had a career as a Medical Technologist with a degree from Wright State University. He then attended United Theological Seminary and holds a Master of Divinity Degree.
McMichael grew up in New York City before he and his wife Veronica moved to Centerville in 1997. While appreciating the slower pace of Ohio, he has fond memories of New York City.
“We enjoyed the atmosphere, the restaurants and the shows of the Big Apple,” he said.
McMichael holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the City University of New York (CUNY) John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a Master’s degree in Industrial & Organizational Psychology from Walden University.
He spent time in many agencies and worked especially with detainees not in jail but in group homes. His wife worked in the juvenile justice system where they met.
In those early years in the Dayton area, he worked for a variety of “helping people” situations, including Choices in Community Living, the Jewish Vocational Services, at Sinclair Community College and eventually formed his own business, Optimal Performance Consultants Inc. which he operated evenings and weekends. That business provides professional development, professional training and coaching.
He also attended United Theological Seminary while serving in various capacities at Omega Baptist Church. After joining Stillwater United Methodist Church he was called to serve Dixon UMC as pastor in 2011.
The pastors come to Sulphur Grove at a time when many ministries are flourishing and a new parking lot is being built to include more handicapped spaces closer to the building.
Themes for the Advent season which begins Nov. 27 are Jesus is our Hope, Jesus is our Love, Jesus is our Joy, and Jesus is our Peace.
Both are excited about what SGUMC will be involved with as it will celebrate its 150th Anniversary year in 2021.
“We both look forward to becoming a part of the Sulphur Grove family and working together to fulfill Jesus’ call to grow disciples, living and sharing God’s love,” Baughman said.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.