Welcome to Dexter United Methodist Church!

Meet our Stephen Ministers & Leaders!

Stephen Ministers

Deb Adair

Life can throw you a curve ball, and I have a heart for helping people through challenging times. I’m a business woman and raised my daughters Michelle and Stephanie as a single mother. I enjoy expressing my creative side as an artist with sketching and oil painting. Faith brings so much joy and comfort into my life. As a Stephen Minister I’m privileged to express God’s care to others.

Greg Bazick

"Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17 (ESV)

I became a Stephen Minister to walk with men that are struggling with a life challenge. Most men have been conditioned to believe that to ask for help or to show vulnerability is to show weakness, that these are signs of failure. But this is not so. God does not see us this way.  He also does not expect us to experience it alone. As I've experienced troubles from time to time in my life I have come to realize in hindsight that it is through the support of Godly men that have helped carry my burdens that I have been able to overcome adversity.  I simply want to honor God and "Bear one an other's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2 (ESV).

I'm married and have two young adult children. My interests are broad. I enjoy exercise, reading, fixing anything that's broken, any adrenaline pumping activity and trying new things. I've been active in mission work both in the US and in other countries. I've been employed in social service organizations for 26 years.

Michelle Bazick

I became a Stephen’s Minister from my heart’s desire to do what others have done for me.   I have benefited from having a supportive, encouraging confidant walk beside me during dark times.  A listening ear, a praying partner, a builder of people. This is a Stephen’s Minister. My personal heart aches and significant losses have taught me that we are not meant to walk this life journey alone.  So, let us walk together.

I have lived in Dexter for 19 years. I am married with 2 young adult children.  In addition to Stephen’s Ministry training, I have also received training from New Hope, specializing in grief ministry.  I believe journaling is therapeutic.  I currently work part time and enjoy reading, journaling, exercising and spending time with family and friends.

Sue Gillespie

I came to Dexter UMC because they have an active Stephen Ministry Program.  The Lord called me to be a SM because of scriptures that were speaking to me over and over again.  2 Corinthians 1: 3&4 tells us that God is the Father of all comfort who comforts us, in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God through Jesus Christ.  Another scripture is Galatians 6:2:  Carry each other's burdens and in this way you fulfill the law of Christ.  When people hurt, I hurt.  I long to be someone who can listen and comfort others.  It gives me great joy.  I have four children and a wonderful husband, and they give me a lot of practice in this ministry. 

Marilyn Johnson

I have been a Stephen Minister for about four years and knew when I came to this church that it was a ministry that I wanted to pursue. My family and friends have always considered me a "good listener". I also have experienced God's love and guidance throughout my life, through good times and bad. I am widowed with one daughter and two grandchildren with whom I am very involved. I enjoy travel and spending time enjoying the beauty of nature.

Ken Jones

I am a recently retired accountant and a father of four children (that range in age from 14 to 43). I enjoy visiting my children and grandchildren, who are spread out across the country, and traveling. I wanted to become a Stephen Minister because, when I was younger, I spoke to a fellow Christian about things impacting me that really adversely impacted my life, and someone was there to listen to me.  In Christ I serve

Barb Locks

Steve and I and have three adult children. I retired as a 6th grade teacher and now I am a guest teacher in area schools. I like to smile and I try to see the positive in things.  Recognizing blessings is important:  I don’t “have” to do dishes; I “get” to do dishes. It is a matter of perspective.

Stephen Ministry fills my desire to serve God in a new way.  I want to experience God through caring for others.  I knew the training would be valuable in my personal and spiritual life.

Kim Lomax

I am relational by nature. I'm told I'm a good listener, and I love listening to people's stories. Every story is different, and not what you necessarily would expect. This is why I've been interested for several years in being a Stephen Minister. This last fall, God nudged me to say this was the time. 

I recently went through breast cancer. It was a faith-building experience for myself and my husband. We had to rely on God, and on other people. Our church family (and many others) stepped forward in a big way, and we had to let others minister to us. Not something that comes easily. Since then I've been able to use my experiences to help others navigate that path. 

My husband is my biggest supporter and together we have three adult children and some extras we picked up along the way. 

Jennie Maynard

I like the idea of Stephen Ministry.  I have appreciated those who have cared for me and for my family members when we needed care. It’s what Jesus asked us to do for each other. As a physical therapist for almost 40 years, I have seen that a little encouragement can go a long way.  I hope that God can use me to offer that and be a listening ear for a woman who needs that in her life.

 

Ramona Ridalls

Hello, my name is Ramona Ridalls. I am a survivor of abuse and divorce.  Muddling through, I often wondered if I would ever find joy and happiness.  As time went by, Bill and I met.  We began our search for a church and found Dexter UMC.  We began attending in 2003. In 2005 Pastor Steve performed our marriage.  Since then, we have endured many a hardship and tragedy.  Yet accomplished so much together.  We give God the glory for being right there with us all the way.  My favorite bible verse is Phillipians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”  Through my career of work in customer service and as a church secretary. I have fallen back on this scripture more than once.

I became a Stephen Minister for many reasons. The biggie is answering the call to serve in this capacity.  If I can help just one along their journey, it will be to glorify Christ.  I love God, I love people, I’m a good listener and I care! Blessings Joy & Peace 

Mims White

I became a Stephen Minister in 2011. I had finally found my purpose in Life. My husband (Paul) and I are very active with the Dexter United Methodist Church and with our family.  We currently have 14 grandchildren. We feel very blessed.

I’ve worked at Sheridan Books In Human Resource for 38 years. I have a gentle caring personality with a big smile. I love gardening and traveling.  I was drawn to Stephen Ministry when I realized my purpose was to serve other with my talents. Love God, Love People…..

Stephen Leaders

Sara Atwell

I am passionate about helping people.  I am a nurse by profession. I became a Stephen Minister so I could help people who are in need of Christian support.  I am an advocate to people for health and fitness.  I recently became a certified Yoga instructor and love the practice of quieting my mind in prayer and meditation. My family (Bill, Amanda and Alea) is my life and my faith is my way.  

Steve Bringardner

I have been on the pastoral staff and a Stephen Leader at Dexter United Methodist Church for 14 years.  Marcie, my wife, is an artist and a writer of short stories.  We were both widowed back in the mid-90's, and married in 1998.  Between us, we have five children--one deceased (2002) and four others spread across the country, and seven grandchildren.  I love music and the theatre. . .playing water polo. . . teaching math (which I do a little of on the side). . .biking and hiking with my dog in the woods.

Jane Hamilton

Ted and I have celebrated our love with over 33 years of marriage. We have 3 adult children. I have faced many challenges and feel that God’s plan for me is to share what I learned with others in similar situations.  I want to hear your “story” and help find God where you will least expect him. Stephen Ministry allows me to serve God and serve others.

Melanie McIntyre

I love to read, write, and connect with people.  I was drawn to Stephen Ministry because I felt called to serve and care for others the way that God and others have helped me through difficult periods in my own life.

Michael Tomzcak

My desire is to walk alongside individuals experiencing difficulties and to show them the love and compassion of our Savior Jesus Christ. I have been involved for about two and a half years in Stephen Ministry and also work with our youth with Edge Ministries. I love new opportunities and the chance to "Dive In" to make a difference. My major passions outside of Dexter UMC are running and cycling, particularly the Make A Wish Michigan 300 mile ride to grant wishes. I have an outstanding partner in life, my wife Kristin, and we have a beautiful and talented daughter Brianna.