Rev. Larry Clark, Ph.D.
Larry returned to parish ministry at First United Methodist Church after having served as Executive Director of Toledo Area Ministries for six years. He has been a pastor since 1979 serving churches in Toledo, Cincinnati and Columbus. All have been in urban settings. Two were African American congregations.
Larry graduated from BGSU in 1977 with a degree in social work and headed to the Methodist Theological School where he focused his studies on the Bible, in particular the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. He also received a specialization in drama. Along the way, Larry went back to BGSU where he studied sociology and received a Ph.D.
Larry has two children: Marcus and Monica and five adult stepchildren. Larry and his family have two dogs, Zoe and Polly. As a family, they enjoy traveling, camping, movies, and concerts. Larry plays softball and is an avid football fan of the Minnesota Vikings.
Director of Ministries
Julie is a graduate of the University of Toledo, College of Education. Upon completion of her schooling she taught for eight years at Owens College and St. John’s Baptist School.
Julie and her husband, Tom, joined our church in 1990s. They have four children – Trevor, Mitchell, Spencer and Maggie - who have all attended school in the Evergreen school district where Julie has been on the school board for several years. Julie was also the chair of the Education Committee at our church prior to becoming the Director of Ministries in 1998.
Julie enjoys working with all age groups from infants to seniors. Her contagious enthusiasm is a huge help in keeping the congregation engaged with the wide array of programs. One of the recent successes has been the upgrades within the church’s pre-school program where our church recently received a 2 star ranking.
Julie is the perfect person to be working in our Christian education ministries.
Director of Youth Ministries
Lynn attended Mount Union College and received her Bachelor degree in Sports Medicine. In 2001, Lynn and her husband, Dave, became members of our church. They have three active children whom each love sports and our enrolled in Sylvania schools – Dominic, Cassie and Trent.
Lynn has been involved not only in the life of our church, but in the lives of children and youth for many years. She served as President of the church pre-school and as chair of Age-Level & Family Ministry. She has been in her current position since 2009. The youth meet regularly at church and for special activities of fun and service. Each summer the junior and senior high youth go for a week on a mission trip. Past mission trips have included Cherokee Reservation in North Carolina, Redbird Mission in Kentucky and Washington D.C. to serve in the inner-city.
Lynn’s goal is to help lead and mentor youth as they grow and walk with Jesus Christ.
Minister of Music
Nathanael Leonard holds a graduate degree in Music from the University of Toledo where he accompanied the opera chorus and the women’s chorus, both under the direction of Dr. Denise Ritter-Bernardini. He also accompanied in both the instrumental and vocal studios. While at UT, Nathanael won first place in the Concerto and Aria competition and was on departmental scholarship for the duration of his study.
Nathanael started a bachelor’s degree in piano performance at Marietta College, where he studied with Ms. Merewyn Brasington. After two years of work, he transferred to the University of Toledo where he completed his degree in the spring of 2011. Nathanael’s teachers while at the University include Dr Michael Boyd, piano, Dr. Denise Bernardini, voice, and Dr. Jason Stumbo, conducting.
In addition to his collaborative efforts, Nathanael is an active piano soloist. His recent solo repertoire includes Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the UT Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Tchaikovsky’s Second Piano Concerto with the UT Orchestra. Most recently, he has been asked to solo for Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the UT Orchestra and Concert Chorale and has also assisted in mainstage opera productions and served as the accompanist for the opera's outreach program.
Music Choir Director & Church Office Administrator
Jerry holds a Bachelor of Music degree with a major in music education, and an MBA, both from BGSU. Before coming to Sylvania First in 1997, he directed church choirs in Chillicothe, Perrysburg, and Toledo. He has also been a member of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Chorus, the Toledo Symphony Chorale, and the University Choral Society in Bowling Green. Along with directing the Chancel Choir and Wesleyan Ringers handbell choir at Sylvania First, Jerry also plays drums with the church’s Common Ground band. He lives in Sylvania with his wife Betty. They are the parents of two adult sons.
Char is a registered nurse who assists persons, families and groups towards wholeness, which is a balance between the spiritual, physical, and emotional aspects of the person, through the setting of a congregation. She does not just focus on disease or absence of disease but bringing persons into a closer relationship with God who is our real healer.The Parish Nursing activities can be described by the following four roles: Health Educator, Health Counselor, Coordinator of Volunteers, and Liaison to the Community.
Jim is a vital member of the church staff. He is responsible for keeping the church prepared for meetings, caring for church equipment, and performing many important maintenance and renovation projects.