The staff of Germantown Methodist Church love God and love you, and we are here to serve and help you in anyway we can to help you Build a Christ Connection.
Gary came in July 2011, and has been a Methodist pastor since 1987 in Ohio and Georgia. Gary shares his gifts of leadership, preaching, and teaching in helping the church serve God’s purpose in our community and the world.
Gary is married to Myra, who is a social worker with Montgomery County Children Services. Myra teaches Women’s Bible Studies at the church, is very involved in Emmaus, is the Registrar of the Mountaineer Christian Ashram, and tries to keep Gary in line. They have four adult aged sons: Marty, Kevin, Matt, and Greggie.
Gary’s outside activities include serving as a Community Spiritual Director for the Greater Dayton Emmaus Community. He is the Director of the Mountaineer Christian Ashram. He serves on the Board of Ordained Ministry for the Allegheny West Conference of the Global Methodist Church. He is also a member of Dayton Pilots’ Club and serves on its Board of Trustees as Treasurer.
Gary is also an author. “Hanging On In An Upside Down World” is about how to cope with the events in life that turn one’s world upside down. You know, no matter what is happening in a person’s life, Jesus has a way of taking us from our worst to our best. His follow-up, “Living Right Side Up: Jesus’ Guidelines For A New Life” answers the question: what does a right side up life look like? He has also written an in-depth Bible Study called “The Last Week of Jesus of Nazareth.” His book “Unseen Warfare” addresses the invisible spiritual warfare that is going on all around us. He has also published the first three books in his Christian historical fiction series “The Messengers” that tells the story of a young boy from the 1820s and how he and those around him discover Christ. All these books are available on Amazon. See his website: www.garykwheeler.com.
Gary’s hobbies include flying (he has his Private Pilot’s License), reading, watching sports, computers, and music, while Myra’s hobbies are taking care of her family and shopping (shocking!).
He is passionate about helping people growing in the relationship with God, and reaching out to people who are far from Him.
His favorite passage of Scripture is Joshua 24:15 “But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.”
Kathy Kitchel – Assistant Pastor, Missions
Kathy has a passion for bringing Christ into the lives of others. Joining the staff in 2005, she began as our Director of Youth Ministries. Over the years, she has planted the love of Christ in the hearts of hundreds of teens through Bible study, mission trips, and fellowship activities. While doing so, she was given the opportunity to share the Good News with the congregation on Sunday mornings. In return, she found that she had a passion to bring the Word of Christ to all ages.
In 2012, Kathy followed a dream and organized a dress ministry to serve teenage girls. Today, Tinkerbell’s Closet is still providing school dance attire to about a thousand girls each school year. With the mission statement, “Every girl deserves to look and feel beautiful at the school dance,” Tinkerbell’s Closet has allowed for girls to feel self-worth, self-confidence, and joy. For more information about Tinkerbell’s Closet, please click here.
Today, Kathy is excited to change direction and serve in the church as Assistant Pastor. In addition to assisting Gary on Sunday morning, she will be able to focus on her passion – the mission field! She hopes to guide our congregation in outreach. She will be developing a program to allow the church to live out the Great Commission, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” Matthew 28: 19
Kathy attended Capital University where she majored in Organizational Communication and Psychology. Her and her husband, Chris Kitchel, both grew up in Preble County, but moved to Germantown in 2003. Their daughter, Jessica, now resides in Columbus, enjoying a career in restaurant management. Kelsey, their youngest, is currently enrolled in a doctoral program at Toledo University with plans to be an occupational therapist.
In addition to being on staff, Kathy works in sales at Greenpoint Metals in Franklin, OH. She enjoys participating in the Greater Dayton Emmaus Community, reading, and hiking. She loves being outdoors, surrounded by God’s beauty.
Theresa Fiessinger – Director of Children’s Ministry
Theresa is a long-time member of Germantown Methodist Church, and became our Director of Children’s Ministry in 2023 after retiring from teaching elementary school teacher at Valley View Schools for 33 years, mainly Kindergarten and 1st Grade. She loves working with young children! She enjoys their enthusiasm, curiosity, honesty, and willingness to try new things, and is excited to be involved with helping to lead kids to Jesus by encouraging them to come to worship service, Sunday School, Children’s Church, and activities that are planned for kids outside of the regular Sunday church activities!
She is married to Jeff, and she has three grown kids and one grandson, for whom she is his biggest fan when he plays soccer, or baseball, or basketball. Her interests include arts and crafts, reading, playing indoor soccer, and watching the Cleveland Browns (don’t judge her! ☺), the Cincy Reds, and The Ohio State Buckeyes on TV and in person!!
Her mission is to help kids to know about Jesus and His love for them by giving kids opportunities to learn and “grow” their love of Jesus through Children’s Moments in worship service; through Children’s Church monthly sessions during worship service; by inviting them to our Sunday School classes and providing Biblical lessons ; by offering a summer Bible School; as well as by planning church activities for kids outside of the regular Sunday service.
All of this is to honor the words of our Lord Jesus, “Let the little children come unto me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)
Melody Herbst – Administrative Assistant
Melody came to Germantown Methodist Church in 2013 after a career in the medical and dental field. Melody is a hometown gal, living in Germantown her entire life. She convinced her husband David to move here when they married. They have a son, Bryan who lives nearby with his wife and two children.
Melody enjoys family activities, antiquing, watching home renovation & cooking shows, watching football games, fishing and spending time with friends.
Melody likes Hebrews 11:1 as her life verse: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Carolyn Holland – Chancel Choir Director
Carolyn grew up in Farmersville. She graduated from Miami Jacobs College, then later attended Sinclair College, studying music theory and composition.
She worked for what is now known as The Ohlmann Group, then at Kettering Medical Center as a receptionist for a radiation oncologist. Later, she was an Account Representative at the Community Blood Center, then manager for special events and scheduling blood drives with the Middletown Community Blood Center. She now works at Anderson Funeral Home in Springboro as an Administrative Assistant.
Throughout her life, music has always been an important part of her life. She has taught piano for many years, entertained at Moraine Farm for NCR, weekends at the dinner club in Miamisburg, Alex’s Continental Restaurant, Peasant Stock on the River. She performed dinner theatre at Dayton’s Marriott, playing piano as well as acting, acting at Dayton Playhouse, playing for weddings at the Dayton Art Institute and The Engineers Club in Dayton. She has played piano at a most of the Country Clubs in Dayton. Locally, she is known for her playing, acting, and directing the Germantown Rescue Squad performances.
She has served a number of places, including as the Director of Music for the Youth at Kirkmont Presbyterian Church in Beavercreek, directed adult and children’s choirs at Slifer’s Presbyterian Church, Farmersville United Methodist Church, and was Choir Director at Parkview United Methodist Church.
Carolyn came to Germantown Methodist Church in 2017 as the Chancel Choir Director. She is also the pianist at Trinity Church in New Lebanon.
She enjoys knitting, Swedish weaving, reading, cooking, yard work, and traveling, having been to England, Paris, and Switzerland.
She has a son who lives South Carolina and one who is deceased. She also has three grandchildren.
She two favorite passages are:
Psalm 57:7: “My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast, I will sing and make music.”
John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
Wilda Peters – Organist
In October of 2017, Wilda Peters joined the staff as organist and feels honored to have received the knock on the door about the position opening. She loves how the congregation sings with joy and love on all the hymns. As a full time organist for over 30 years, she has previously played at First Presbyterian in Franklin, St John’s United Church of Christ and Emmanuel’s Evangelical. Lutheran Church both in Germantown along with subbing and playing for many weddings and funerals. Her favorite hymn is “Blessed Assurance.”
She also enjoys helping with the Children’s Message throughout the year.
Wilda is a 6th generation life-long member of St John’s UCC where she and her husband Kendall have been very active over the years. They have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.