Meet Our Staff

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Rev. Stephen W. Austin

Pastor
E-mail Rev. Stephen W. Austin

Pastor Steve and Sherry Austin

Pastor Austin and his wife Sherry grew up in Wells County, Indiana. They met and attended the same church and were they were active in youth group. After being close friends for several years Sherry and Steve began dating during their Junior year of high school. Pastor Steve graduated from Norwell High School in 1983 and Sherry graduated from Bluffton High School on the same day. Steve joined the United States Army for a four-year enlistment in the 82nd Airborne Division. Due to an injury, Steve was discharged early and Sherry decided to put her education on hold. They were married on October 28, 1984. Steve and Sherry have shared life and ministry together ever since that day.

After getting married Pastor Austin enrolled in Indiana Purdue at Fort Wayne where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1991. He began serving as a student pastor during his final year of college and upon graduation enrolled in United Theological Seminary where he earned a Master of Divinity degree 1995 with the indispensable help of his wife. Being a husband, father, student and pastor came with challenges, but they met those challenges together. Sherry enrolled in college the Fall semester of 1995. She graduated Suma Cum Laude from Ball State University with a Bachelor of History.

Pastor Steve was ordained to the Order of Elder in 1997 and has served in communities throughout Northern Indiana such as Roll, Keystone, Markleville, Muncie, Burket, Warsaw, Pendleton, McGrawsville, and most recently Sandy Hook UMC in Columbus. The ministries at Warsaw and Pendleton are multi-site ministries to reach those who are yet to believe in nontraditional ways.

Sherry also works for the United Methodist Church. She worked for several years as the District Assistant for the old Warsaw District. Sherry now works in the conference office as Pensions Benefits Assistant for pastors’ pension.

Pastor Steve and Sherry have two sons, Wes and A.J.. Wes lives in Avon, Indiana with his wife Britni and daughter, Stella. He works for Rolls Royce at the new facility on the Purdue campus. A.J. also works for the United Methodist Church living and working at Epworth Forest Conference Center and Camp Adventure in North Webster, Indiana. All of them are passionately serving in local United Methodist Churches.

Pastor Steve loves to preach the gospel and is passionate about evangelism and disciple making. Sherry has the spiritual gift of helps and loves to serve whenever and wherever she can help the most.

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Annette Gower

Director of Children's Ministries
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Annette has been a member of FUMC since 2000.  After teaching Sunday School and coordinating VBS for years, she came on staff as the Director of Children’s Ministries in 2008. She loves teaching children about God and seeing them grow in their faith. She and her husband Aaron have four children.

 

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Tana K. (Ritter) Sheets

Kids First Director
E-mail Tana K. (Ritter) Sheets

Tana has been the director of Kid’s First Child Care Ministry for over 20 years and has been in the child care field for  over 29 years. Tana is married to Jeff Sheets (captain of training for the Decatur Fire Department).  She is a mother to Justin J. Sheets and Jimmy D. Sheets.

Tana has lived in Decatur all her life and enjoys the small, close family-oriented community.  She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and collecting M&M figurines.