Lou Seipel, Pastor
Lou was reared in Monroe, North Carolina, the child of Paul and Mary Riggins. Lou, and Lynne (her twin sister) were the youngest of 5 children. She attended Monroe High School and Greensboro College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Philosophy. Lou attended the Methodist Theological School in Ohio and was ordained an elder in 1983. Her first parish was a 6 point charge in Washington County, and has served as a variety of church sizes throughout her career, with her last church appointment in Powell. She has served the last 8 years under special appointment, working with under-resourced families, living in section 8 housing and working with Ohio State University’s International Poverty Solutions Collaborative. Lou is a member of the YMCA Downtown Board, the Homeless Families Foundation, the Weinland Park Collaborative, and the Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services Senior Independence Board.
For the past 7 years, Lou has been a Certified Trainer of the Bridges Out of Poverty curriculum that explains the hidden rules of economic class, making diverse communities better able to understand and work with persons of different economic backgrounds. Her work at OSU has initiated the development of a new workforce development model and a research project designed to examine the cliff effect, the results of which are intended to influence welfare policy.
Lou and Craig are the extremely proud parents of two grown sons, Zach and Sam. Zachary is a Lieutenant in the US Army, stationed in Fort Hood, Texas. He and his finance, Sheri Kimes, are scheduled to be married in May of 2013. Sam currently lives in Chicago, and is with United Health Care in the division of International Sales.
Joy Bronson, Minister of Mission and Ministry
Our new Minister of Mission & Ministry, Joy Bronson was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH, the sixth of seven children and twenty-fourth of twenty-five grandchildren to her paternal grandparents. Her grandfather, Willie Bronson, established the Church of God in Christ Written in Heaven in Lincoln Heights, of which her uncle is now bishop and her father an associate minister. Her father also served as Assistant Pastor at Tried Stone Missionary Baptist Church (Cincinnati) for thirteen years.
Joy attended Saint Ursula Academy in Cincinnati, and then matriculated to the College of Wooster for undergraduate education. She moved to Columbus post-graduation to serve as an AmeriCorps member for two years with City Year, and then served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Community Properties of Ohio. She most recently worked as Training Coordinator for Ohio Court Appointed Special Advocates. Joy has attended King Avenue UMC in Columbus for the past six years, which initially was a stark contrast from her Pentecostal service upbringing. The reconciling congregation was, however, a very much refreshing change, as was the focus on the Methodist Church of God’s love for and embracing of all people and social justice-it just seemed much more the way God would intend the spirit of the church to be. As District Superintendent Linda Middelberg once observed of her, “You were probably a Methodist your whole life and just never knew it.”
Joy has been considering attending seminary for the past five years, but was patiently awaiting her specific call from God. That call came last summer while attending the West Ohio UMC’s Mission University, during a presentation on the 125th Anniversary of Deaconesses in the United Methodist Church. Curious about the role of deaconess, Joy approached the deaconess who had made the presentation in regards to potentially pursuing the role. The discerning Deaconess thoughtfully asked, “What is your specific interest in the role of deaconess?” Upon learning that Joy was specifically interested in helping others connect to and pursue their God-given purpose and missions, the deaconess responded, “Oh! You want to be a deacon!” And once she proceeded to explain the role of a deacon within the UMC, Joy realized that she did, in fact, want to be a deacon, and that God had finally made the official call.
The next several months were spent trying to discern timing of answer to that call-when to attend seminary and begin the ordination process-in the relation to her then-schedule. That answer was provided by Pastor Lou Seipel’s invitation to consider the position Minister of Mission and Ministries at Broad Street United Methodist Church which, after praying with her family, Joy happily and excitedly accepted. Joy is thrilled to be joining the Broad Street UMC family, and to lead, coordinate, and support initiatives and programs to strengthen BSUMC’s missions and outreach in the Columbus community!
Pete Elliott, Student Associate Pastor
Pete was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He lived in Iowa, Michigan, and finally in Dayton, Ohio while being raised by his parents, Mike and Pat Elliott. Pete is the oldest of two children. Pete is a graduate of Centerville High School and of Ball State University where he earned a degree in Mathematics in 1986. After teaching high school for a year at Red Bird Mission where he also led work-camp groups and served on the volunteer fire department, Pete attended the Methodist Theological School in Ohio where he earned a Master of Arts in Drug and Alcohol Abuse Ministry in 1989. After 15 years of working in the counseling field, primarily with youth who were involved with the courts, Pete left that field to combine his technical and people skills as a technology consultant.
Currently, Pete is again a student at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio where he is completing the Master of Divinity degree and he is working through the process to become ordained in the United Methodist Church.
Pete and Susan have been married for 28 years and are the proud parents of two adult children who both live and work in the Columbus area. When Pete has a few free moments, you can find him out on a country road riding his bicycle, on his back porch with his guitar, or puttering around the house.
Gary Everts, Chancel Choir Director
Gary Everts has been Chancel Choir Director since 1999. The Chancel Choir rehearses on Thursday evenings, 7:30-9:00, from September through May, and sings for the 10:45 worship services most Sundays during the year and special music and special musical events. Membership in the Chancel Choir is open to all. Gary holds degrees from Westminster College (PA) and Trinity Lutheran Seminary.
Brian Johnson, Organist
Brian Johnson has served as Organist of Broad Street United Methodist Church since March, 1992. His leadership in worship preparation and planning is the focus of his music ministry. Brian carefully studies the appointed lectionary for the day (and season) to begin a disciplined process in choosing service music which bestreflects the theme of each worship service. He works closely in a collaborative spirit with the staff, clergy and worship committee of Broad St. church. Consequently, worship at Broad St. is always fresh, and alive in spirit. His preparation is constantly in progress as you may hear him practicing when you enter Broad St. other than for worship.
Brian holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in organ and sacred music from Wittenberg University. He has completed further studies in music education at Wright State University, Ball State University, Capital University and Westminster Choir College. He earned his specialist diploma in Orff-Schulwerk from the Orff Institute, Salzburg, Austria, and completed Kodaly certification at Capital University. In addition he holds a second graduate degree in school administration from the University of Dayton. He has been a guest organist for the summer movie series at the Ohio Theater in Columbus, OH.
In the world of handbell ringing, Brian is a past-chairman of Area V of The American Guild of English Handbell Ringers, Inc. His original composition “A Simple Celebration” has been rung as part of the national young ringers festival. He has been actively involved in handbells for over thirty years and was a member of the twenty-fifth anniversary AGEHR choir. In addition to serving Broad Street United Methodist Church as organist and handbell director, Brian is an elementary music specialist with the Columbus Public schools.
Deb Brierly, Church Administrator, Facilities Use Coordinator
Deb Brierly has been with Broad Street UMC since 1995. She is the first voice many hear when they call into or visit the church. Deb facilitates the communication between the church staff and leaders and advises staff and leaders of member requests, illnesses, concerns, etc. She produces the church newsletter and bulletins, maintains the church calendar and mailing lists, files & records for church and committee functions, including attendance. Deb manages the church website, schedules the usage of the various spaces in the church building including parking, and manages church use fees. Deb also maintains the quality of the computer systems, office equipment, and evaluates and recommends improvements. Deb is mother of two grown daughters and grandmother of four wonderful grandchildren. Deb dearly loves Max, her terrier. When she is not at work, she can be found in the garden tending to her veggies and flowers or assisting with the family Koi farm.