Dr. David Palmer
Dr. David A. Palmer has been our senior pastor since 1995. He has a B.A. from Wittenberg University, a Master of Divinity from Duke University, and a Doctor of Ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary. A native of Wooster, Ohio, he has served three other churches in east Ohio before coming to Kent. He and his wife, Mavis, have three children.
Minister of Pastoral Care
Rev. Douglas Denton, serving as Minister of Pastoral Care, has as his primary responsibility visitation of the sick and and the homebound. He, along with the senior pastor, provides spiritual support and counsel to those going through critical, life changing events. Rev. Denton has served churches in both Cleveland and Akron, and more recently worked in the field of child welfare. He is married, has two children and two grandchildren.
Director of Christian Education & Youth Ministries
Rick joined our staff in January, 2006, and brought a strong background in both education and youth ministry. He has a B.A. in Elementary Education from Bethany College and a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry from Malone College. From 1989 to 1993, he taught sixth grade in the Akron public schools, and from 1993 through 2005 he was the physical education instructor for grades two through eight at the Canton Country Day School. He also served for five years as the Youth Director at the Wedgewood United Methodist Church. Rick couples a strong professional background with a deep Christian faith and a passion for being in ministry to young people. He and his wife, Staci, have four boys, ranging in age from 11 to 20. Rick oversees our entire ministry of Christian education for young people from birth through the twelfth grade.
Business Manager, Webmaster, Youth Choir Director
Adam joined the staff in 2015, bringing more than 15 years of experience working with the public, including nearly a decade managing local Hollywood Video stores. Adam is a Kent State University alumnus with a B.A. in Classics and Art History. He studied choral music education for several years at Bowling Green State University, and has been performing in choirs and musicals for over 20 years. He has worked with teenagers as a vocal director and assistant music director of high school musicals and as a counselor for two summers at BGSU’s Musical Theater Camp for high school students. As a lifelong member of this church, he is proud to be assisting the church in its mission. He lives in Stow with his wife, Patti, and their son, Alexander.
Lynnette joined the staff in 2004 bringing 15 years of financial and office management experience in both the private and non-profit sectors. With her expertise in data management she has automated and streamlined operations for many businesses, as well as, our business office. Lynnette is a lifetime member with a strong commitment to the growth of the church. She has two adult children, Brandie and Bradley and lives in Kent with her husband, Dan and son, Jared.
Tree City Preschool Director
Lisa is our new Tree City Preschool Director. She has an extensive background in early childhood education and has worked in the Tree City Preschool for many years. We look forward to many more with her at the helm of this wonderful program!
Director of Sanctuary Choir
Dr. Frank Wiley has been the Music Director for our Sanctuary Choir since 1996. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received a Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance and a Master of Music degree in composition. His Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition was awarded by the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University.
Mary Ragna Yetter
Mary Ragna Yetter has held organist and choir director positions in Memphis, TN, El Paso, TX, Cork, Ireland, and most recently Bartonville, IL, joining our staff in 2011. She is active as a solo recitalist on organ and harpsichord and earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth, the Certificate of Advanced Study from the Royal College of Music in London, England, and a Master of Music degree from the University of Memphis. Mary Ragna and her husband, Erich, have three children, Evan, Clara, and Jacob.
New Spirit Director and Ensemble Accompanist
Sarah Brosvic joined the music staff at the United Methodist Church of Kent in 2015 as the ensembles accompanist, and now also leads the New Spirit ensemble. She received her Bachelor of Music from Messiah College under Richard Roberson and Ya Ting Chang, and a Master of Music from Kent State University with Donna Lee. Since 2010, Sarah has accompanied a variety of ensembles and recitals in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Sarah teaches elementary piano at the Aurora School of Music, maintains a private teaching studio, and is a freelance accompanist in the Kent area.
Director of Handbells
Brad joined our staff in September of 2003 when he became the Director of our Youth Handbell Choir, known as the ZAMARingers. Brad has a B.M.E from Kent State University and an A.E.E.T from ETI Technical College. He is a Senior Project Manager with Hewlett Packard. Prior to switching careers to enter the Information Technology industry, Brad was a Band Director in the Ohio public schools and has always enjoyed working with church musical groups. Brad and his wife Cheryl have two adult children, Brittany and Chelsea.
Children's Choir Director
Chelsea Young is the Children’s Choir Director at the UMC of Kent. She received her Bachelor's degree in Music Education from Messiah College and a Master in Music Performance from Kent State University. Chelsea has performed with a variety of theaters in PA and OH and worked as a music director for several youth music and theater camps. Currently, Chelsea is also a private vocal instructor at Jackson High School and Woodsy’s Music Store.
Youth Music Ministry Leader, Worship Band Leader
Michael joined our staff in May of 2011 as the music ministry leader for evening Youth Group and later became the director of our youth choir "Resurrection" from 2013–2015. Michael is also the worship band leader for our 9:30am contemporary service, held in the gym. Michael has a BA in Business Administration from Heidelberg University, and also works as the Digital Media Manager at LeafFilter. Michael lives in Kent with his wife, Christine, their daughter Evelyn and son, Daniel.
Assistant Worship Band Leader
Henrique serves as the Assistant Worship Band Leader for the contemporary service. He has been involved in music ministry as a member and leader of worship teams since his teen years in his native country of Brazil. He loves the Lord and is glad to be able to use his musical talents at the UMC of Kent. While he serves as Assistant Professor of Counseling and Human Development at Walsh University (North Canton, OH), he also performs as a freelance musician for events around the region. Henrique holds a Bachelor of Juridical Sciences (Law School) from the Methodist University of Piracicaba (Brazil), a Master of Science in Education from Youngstown State University, and a Ph.D. in Cultural Foundations of Education from Kent State University. Henrique and his wife, Jennifer, are members of the church and along with their son, Daniel, have been attending the UMC of Kent for several years.
Staci provides overall management for our very active church kitchen. She works with our United Methodist Women to prepare weekly lunches for Rotary and Lions Club and monthly dinners for the Kent Garden Club. She also works with numerous church groups to prepare a variety of church luncheons and dinners. She also serves as the kitchen hostess for outside groups that need food for an event, and coordinates with caterers for groups renting the church.
Rick Hall joined the staff in 2015 after a long career as a school custodian for Crestwood Local School District. He is responsible for cleaning the building and overseeing setup of Pierson Hall, the Gym, and other areas of the church for all events.
Richard Pryor serves as Assistant Custodian, cleaning and opening and closing the building on the weekends and for special events. He also has served as the volunteer bus driver for our church's transportation ministry for many years.