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George Megill D’52 and his wife, June, were honored for 63 years in active ministry, which included 28 years as missionaries in Brazil, at a special service July 12, 2009, at Westover United Methodist Church, Raleigh, N.C. Megill began his ministry there in 1949 as a Duke student pastor.


Richard H. Petersen D’61 published a column, “Trinity Sunday an occasion to ponder Christian faith” in the June 6, 2009, edition of the Portland Press Herald, Portland, Maine. Petersen is a retried pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church.

ST Kimbrough Jr. D’62 has published A Pictorial Panorama of Early Russian Methodism (Commission on Archives & History, United Methodist Church, March 2009) in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the registration of Methodism in Russia (1909) and the 120th anniversary of the first Methodist Episcopal congregation in St. Petersburg (1889). He and his wife, Sarah, live in Durham, where he is a research fellow at Duke’s Center for Studies in the Wesleyan Tradition. Kimbrough is an acclaimed baritone who has had parallel careers in publishing, teaching, pastoral ministry, and music, including more than 30 solo albums.

L. Glenn Tyndall T’63, D’66 has retired after 35 years as a United Methodist minister at Virginia Tech, where he was serving during the April 16, 2007, shootings that killed 33.

Tyndall spoke about the tragedy, which he still describes as a life changing experience, in the Fall 2007 Divinity.

He and his wife, LaVina, will continue living in Blacksburg.


Donald Davis D’69 presented storytelling workshops Feb. 16 at Columbus Community College, Columbus, Ga., for early childhood students and education professionals. A storyteller, Davis has presented workshops and performances at the Azalea Storytelling Festival, Auburn City School System, LaGrange College, West Georgia Technical College, Troup County School System, and at area churches. He is the former chairperson of the board of directors for the National Storytelling Association and has been a featured teller at the Smithsonian Institution.


Daniel L. Hendricks D’73, G’77 has been appointed vice chancellor for advancement at Purdue University Calumet. Previously vice president for advancement and public services at Western Illinois University (WIU) and executive officer of the WIU Foundation, he will oversee development, alumni, and marketing/university relations.

Neil McDavid D’73 has been appointed director of Connectional Ministries for the Alabama/West Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Based in Montgomery, Ala., he will work with churches across south Alabama and northwest Florida. A pastor for the past 40 years, he most recently served as pastor of Gulf Shores (Alabama) United Methodist Church.

Michael A. Battle Sr. D’76, formerly president of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, was sworn in Aug. 21, 2009, as U.S. representative to the African Union. The union represents the interests of 53 African nations and is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Battle served as vice president of the American Committee on Africa from 1994 to 1998, as an election observer for the first South African free election in 1994, and as liaison between the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference and The South African Council of Churches. His nomination by President Barack Obama was confirmed August 7 by the U.S. Senate, and he will carry the title of ambassador.

In a prepared statement to the Foreign Relations Committee, Battle said, “My highest priority will be to build greater understanding and cooperation between Africa’s premier regional organization and the government and people of the United States.”

Vergel L. Lattimore III D’77 was selected as chaplain for the Ohio Memorial Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen Inc. for 2009. Lattimore is a professor of pastoral care and counseling and the Leon A. Beeghly chair of pastoral care at Methodist Theological School in Ohio, located in Delaware. He also serves as director of the school’s master of arts in counseling ministries (M.A.C.M.) program.

Cynthia Jones D’78 has been appointed by Bishop Gregory Palmer D’79 as superintendent of the Kaskaskia River District (Illinois). She served the Lamoine River District from 1995 to 2003 and is the first woman in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference to serve twice as a district superintendent. She lives in Mount Vernon, Ill., with her husband, Mike Jones D’78, a New Testament faculty member with the conference’s extension course of study.

Dan Martin D’78 has been appointed to First United Methodist Church in Hendersonville, N.C. Martin, who served as pastor of Newton United Methodist Church for more than 11 years, was honored by church members and friends at an event they called “The Dan Show.” In a feature for the Hickory Daily Record, writer Dee Henry explained why Newton’s mayor, himself a Wake Forest graduate, paid tribute to Martin’s loyalty as a Duke sports fan by wearing a Duke T-shirt and cap.

“Most pastors aren’t such die-hard sports fans [that they] would spray Round Up on the field in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan Stadium spelling out “Go Duke!” wrote Henry.

Among Martin’s honors while in Newton were the city’s Unity Day Award, given in recognition of his impact on racial reconciliation, and Nine Who Care, a community service award given by WSOC-TV in Charlotte. The Martins have two sons, Parker, 19, and Duncan, 25, who graduated in May with a master of divinity from Duke.

John Patrick Colatch D’79, director of religious life and chaplain at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., received the 2009 Lafayette College Award for Excellence in Diversity Education. The award is presented to the faculty member or administrator whose commitment to service to diversity promotes awareness and a positive learning environment for all students.

James C. Howell D’79 has published Introducing Christianity: Exploring the Bible, Faith, and Life with Westminster John Knox Press. Howell is pastor of the Myers Park United Methodist Church in Charlotte, N.C., and an adjunct professor of preaching at the Divinity School.



Wendy Kilworth-Mason D’81, D’96 is currently the Training Officer and EDEV Implementation Officer for the Cornwall District of the Methodist Church. In September she began teaching part time at Wesley College, Bristol. Previously she was with the Connexional Team of the British Methodist Church.

Andrew Purves D’81, professor of reformed theology at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, was the guest speaker at a July celebration in East Liverpool, Ohio, of the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin. Presbyterians from 18 area churches gathered to celebrate the July 10, 1509, birth of the founder of the Presbyterian Church. Purves graduated with degrees in philosophy and divinity from the University of Edinburgh before coming in 1978 to the United States, where he earned his Th.M. degree at Duke. He then returned to the University of Edinburgh to earn his Ph.D. He served as minister of the Hebron Presbyterian Church in Clinton, Pa., until 1983, when he joined the faculty of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Joseph L. Ratliff D’83 received a 2008 National Clergy Renewal Program Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. Ratliff is using the grant for a 12-week sabbatical to trace geneology, Blacks in the Bible, and for travel to Egypt to research his favorite Bible character, Joseph.

Channel Update from Mike Solberg D’89

At press time, Mike Solberg D’89 knew only that the countless hours of training in preparation to swim the English Channel — and to raise $50,000 in donations to build an Angolan school — would come down to, well, the weather.

“The ‘window’ is sometime between Sept. 10 and 16,” Solberg reported in an e-mail. “I won’t know exactly until a few hours before I swim.”

The senior pastor of Second Congregational United Church of Christ in Rockford, Ill., began a three-month sabbatical July 10 with support from a National Clergy Renewal Grant funded by Lilly Endowment. Solberg is an experienced triathlete and marathon runner who has long dreamed of swimming the English Channel. He was inspired to turn that dream into a fundraiser to help rebuild a school in Waku Kungo, Angola, where he visited in 2002 after that country’s civil war ended.

Swimming the 21-mile channel involves navigating strong currents through choppy 60-degree water complete with stinging jelly fish, sans wet suit, which is prohibited by the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation. Fewer people have swum the channel than have climbed Mt. Everest.

Follow Solberg’s blog or make a donation.

Debbie McLeod D’84 is pastor of Mandarin United Methodist Church in Jacksonville, N.C. McLeod spent the past seven years as district superintendent for the South United Methodist Church’s Florida Annual Conference Southeast District, where she was responsible for 76 congregations and 92 pastors in the Miami-Dade, Broward, and Florida Keys areas.

Dana McKim D’85 has been appointed to serve as minister to Pfeiffer University and pastor of the Village Church of Pfeiffer in Misenheimer, N.C. He is co-founder and board member of Triad Crisis Chaplaincy Inc. and recently was appointed to the board of Plowpoint Ministries Inc. He and his wife, Pat, recently adopted a 6-year-old daughter, Ashley.

Elaine Walker D’85 lives on a 14-acre goat farm near Carrboro, N.C., where she produces angora wool. She also works with a state mental health clinic in Henderson doing psychiatric assessments and treatments.

Jarvis Bailey D’88 a minister and former chaplain residing in Fredericksburg, Va., has published his first book, Three Minutes with God (Moore Press, 2009).

Susan Dunlap D’88 has published Caring Cultures: How Congregations Respond to the Sick (Baylor University Press, 2009). The book explores the ways in which three Durham congregations — one African American, one Hispanic, and one Euro-American — have developed practices of care for the sick.


Joey Shelton D’97, a senior pastor of Galloway United Methodist Church in Jackson, Miss., was the commencement speaker at Pearl River Community College in Hattiesburg, where he graduated in 1980. Shelton earned degrees in business administration and law before entering ministry. He and his wife, Connie D’97, served as directors of field education and church relations at Duke Divinity School before their appointment in January 2008 to Galloway.

Stephen Faller D’99 is a chaplain in Trenton, N.J., and, the author of Beyond the Matrix and most recently, Reality TV: Theology in the Video Era, In the latter, Faller explores the meanings of video and media from a Christian perspective. The book is available from Chalice Press. Discussion questions are included at the end of each chapter.

Wayne M. Weathers D’99 graduated from Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pa., with a doctor of ministry degree May 17, 2009. Weathers is the pastor of Miller Memorial Baptist Church in Philadelphia. He also serves on the political action committee of Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity.


Michael Barham D’00 was ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, Dec. 6, 2008. Duke alumna Myra Ward D’00 vested him with the stole worn by his uncle, the late Rev. Ronald J. Barham (Mississippi Conference). He is currently serving as associate rector at the Parish of St. Clement in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Stephen Lewis D’00, a Baptist minister, has been named national director of The Fund for Theological Education’s Calling Congregations initiative. He had served as regional director for the initiative since 2008. Calling Congregations is an ecumenical movement funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. to increase the number of gifted young people considering ordained ministry as a profession. Lewis will also direct Project Rising Sun, a two-year leadership academy that he created to develop and support gifted young pastors from African-American, Hispanic, and other racial/ethnic groups.

Craig Kocher D’01 has been named university chaplain and Jessie Ball DuPont Chair of the Chaplaincy at the University of Richmond (Virginia). He will oversee all religious and spiritual life on campus, manage the chaplaincy staff, work with campus ministers, lead worship in Cannon Chapel, and serve as a senior officer of the university.

For the past six years, Kocher served on the staff at Duke Chapel. His wife, Abby Williford Kocher T’00, D’06, will continue to work at Duke Chapel through the fall semester. In the new year, she will pursue ministry opportunities with the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Jeremy Troxler D’02, director of Thriving Rural Communities at the Divinity School, was among 32 graduates of the N.C. Rural Economic Development Institute’s intensive, three-month leadership training program. The annual institute offers an opportunity for leaders in business, government, economic development, civic groups and grassroots organizations to broaden their understanding of rural community and economic development and to hone their personal leadership skills. He has served as a pastor to various Methodist churches throughout Great Britain and in Maggie Valley.

Jim Parsons D’02 and his wife, Alycia, announce the April 25, 2009, birth of a daughter, Campbell Jane. Jim is the pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Thomasville, N.C.

Ken J. Walden D’02 has been appointed as the first African-American senior pastor of Lakewood United Methodist Church, Lakewood, Calif. He served previously in Southfield, Mich.

Carole L. Baker D’03 published “Messiahs, Mimicry and Meaning: Lessons in Visual Literacy,” in the May 2009 edition of On the Square: a web exclusive from First Things Online. Baker is an associate in research at Duke Divinity School and an artist.

Marcus Briddell D’03 has been transferred to the New York annual conference where he is serving as the pastor of Bethel AME Church in Westbury, Long Island, N.Y. He was previously pastor of St. George’s AME Church in Lewes, Del.

Amy Dill D’04 was ordained as a full elder in the South Carolina Conference May 31, 2009. She is serving Emma Gray UMC in Woodruff, S.C.

Adrian L. Dixon D’04 and Shoshannah Coleman were married March 14, 2009, at Duke Chapel. He is the director of spiritual care at Duke Raleigh Hospital. The couple lives in Raleigh, N.C.

Daneen Warner D’05, who served as the 2006 Westbrook Scholar at Duke’s Institute on Care at the End of Life, has adapted her Th.M. thesis into her first book, Life, Death, and Christian Hope, which was published by Paulist Press last May. Written to reach both clergy and laity, the book includes reflection questions at the end of each chapter.

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove D’06 and his wife, Leah, are featured in the documentary “Another World Is Possible Vol. 1 - REDUX.” Co-directed by Shane Claiborne and Jamie Moffett, the film is a follow-up to the original “Another World Is Possible” (2003) series.The Wilson-Hartgroves, who traveled to Iraq with a Christian Peacemaker Team, share their attempts to apply that experience through their ministry at Rutba House, an intentional Christian community in Durham’s Walltown neighborhood.

Elizabeth Ingram Schindler D’07 and her husband, Steven, announce the May 21, 2009, birth of their first child, Caroline Alivia. The Schindlers live in Seattle, Wash.

Hannah Bonner D’08 is the founder of the Wright Room, a free, six-week summer program for children ages 6 to 16 at the Asbury Temple United Methodist Church in Durham. Her vision for the camp grew from Feed My Sheep, the church’s food distribution ministry that serves hot meals and bagged groceries to about 100 local families twice a month. In fall 2008, the North Carolina Conference of United Methodist Women recognized Bonner as woman of the year for her work with the Wright Room.

Michael Oswalt D/JD’08 worked last year as a clerk for federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor in New York City. Confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, the 54-year-old Sotomayor joins Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the second woman on the court and the third in its history. Oswalt began the one-year clerkship after graduating in May 2008 from Duke University with degrees in law and divinity. In July, the Saratoga, N.Y., native began a two-year fellowship with a labor union. Both he and Sotomayor will be in Washington, D.C.

Christian Peele D’08 is serving as a White House intern. While assignments vary, all those selected for the competitive internships participate in a long-term service project to help the surrounding community. Peele’s internship began in September and will conclude Dec. 18, 2009.


Emily Sanford D’08, who earned the M.Div./M.S.W. through the dual degree program at Duke and the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work, is currently the pastor of students at Galloway United Methodist Church in Jackson, Miss. Her work there involves youth and the church’s “Grace Place” program, which serves the homeless.

T. McKennon Shea Jr. D’08 was named director of admissions for the Divinity School effective July 1, 2009. Since graduating from the Divinity School, McKennon has served the Congregation at Duke Chapel as assistant pastor. He is a 2005 graduate of Hampden-Sydney College where he majored in religion and psychology.

Kamille Williams D’09 is in El Salvador to establish a palliative care center that will accommodate 16-20 inpatients. It will be a facility for women, men, and children and will be staffed by an interdisciplinary team consisting of a nurse, social worker, chaplain, and a certified nurse assistant, says Williams. There will also be a traveling team that goes to the houses of those who are not able to come to the facility.

“This is a cutting-edge effort to bring together the church, the community, and medicine in order to intervene in the suffering of people who don’t have access to such care,” says ICEOL professor Dr. Ray Barfield.

Lynn Cross Kilbourne D’09 has been appointed associate minister at First United Methodist Church in Bryant, Ark., where she serves with pastor Todd-Paul R. Taulbee D’97.

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