Each member of our staff is a unique individual who has trusted the LORD and is following the path he has directed.
Our staff is here to assist you and each provides a service to make our worship and our church a very special place.
Pastor Larry Wade has pastored Urbana Yoke Parish since April 1, 2016. Receiving his education in Tennessee, Florida and Georgia, he has a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Ministry, a Master’s degree in Ministry, and a Doctorate degree in Homiletics.
Pastor Wade began his ministry October 5, 1975, as a Youth Pastor in Tennessee, and has been involved in ministry constantly since that time. He has been a pastor since December 4, 1983, serving in Florida, Ohio and Indiana. For nine years, Pastor Wade worked with a funeral home, as staff clergy, dealing with families during times of loss and, at the same time, continued in church ministry.
Rena’ has been employed, as the secretary for Urbana Yoke Parish, for four years. She works at the church on Wednesday evenings (times will be updated when set) and at least two Saturday mornings a month. Rena’ enjoys serving as liturgist several months out of the year and, yes, she does a great job of pronouncing all the names and places. She has served on the church board, as the recording secretary, for three different terms. SEE MORE
Janice Mattern is our new "CLEANING ENGINEER". We welcome Janice, but even Norman Frog, media assistant, could not capture her image. He followed the smell of freshness. He looked in all the rooms. He looked under the pews. He checked in the rest rooms and in Fellowship Hall. She was always one task ahead of him. Norman Frog has declared her highly efficient, but invisible.
Mary approached the Church Council, “We need a website and I am willing to put it together.” They said, “Go for it.” Mary oversees our social media.
Mary and Bill have been married 54 years and they have two children, a son-in-law, and six grandchildren. When Bill fully retired, at the end of 2018, Mary lost her job. She had worked as his “cheap help” or “administrative assistant” since 1975. “I was administrative assistant when he had a big project and knew I was going to put in extra hours,” she laughed. “The fact is we have always worked as a team: In the office. In the barn. In life.” SEE MORE
This is Norman Frog. Norman is our Social Media Assistant and told us, “My goodness! Without me this site would be a mess. Thank heaven for spell check, because she is a terrible speller! I will admit she is pretty good with Power Point and we worked together without one disagreement…. Well, there was that one time, but I promised to never mention it.” SEE MORE
These ladies continue a tradition of adding joyful music to our worship.
Nancy Miller played duets with Esther Terrel and eventually became the organist, at Grace UM Church. When Martha Weck was no longer able to play the St. Peter's organ, Nancy filled in on the piano and Janene Dawes began playing the organ. They have used their combined talents at the Urbana Christmas Journey, at various churches, and at Peabody and Timbercrest Retirement Homes. Janene Dawes and Nancy Miller are accomplished musicians and we appreciate their joyful music.
Dawn Mattern is the congregational song leader. Dawn has worked with the youth bell choir and sings in seasonal choir presentations.
Nancy has lived in Urbana all her life. She began her music education after the first grade, played for the Salem United Methodist Church starting in the fifth grade, played for recitals, district and state contests during high school, and played the clarinet during band. She commented, “I still love music, many different kinds, from church hymns, gospel, western, even some long hair stuff once in a while. Playing the piano has stayed with me all my life and I still go to the piano and play for relaxation!” SEE MORE
When asked to provide information, Janene said her favorite job is being a wife, of 60 years, to Wendel, mother to Scott and Dana, and grandmother to Camron, Erin, Matthew and Bailey.
Janene attended 12 years and graduated from Chester School. During this time, she played the tenor saxophone, was a twirler and drum major, and took seven years of piano lessons. Apparently her musical ability did not include voice, because the chorus teacher requested she “just move her mouth.” Later she studied the organ. Janene has always liked music, but wants it upbeat as slow music bores her. --- SEE MORE
Dawn Mattern has been married to Aaron for 17 years. They have a 13 year old son, Eli. Dawn grew up in the Urbana Yoke Parish and is an active member of the church.
When asked how she became the song leader, she replied, “The minister wanted to know if anyone was familiar with the song we were getting ready to sing. I knew the song so I raised my hand. Pastor Wade asked me to come up and help lead the song, which I did, and when we finished he said, that was great, you found yourself a job! I was the new song leader.” SEE MORE
The lights are on. The microphones are in place. The camera is ready. The music begins. These simple actions take place each Sunday morning.
Maybe we need to remove the word simple. Simple would mean it all runs smoothly. Simple would mean anyone could do it. Simple does not fit the recording of our Sunday morning service. BUT, our three audio/visual volunteers face every unexpected challenge. The congregation greats those challenges, with shouts of, “Blame Ed.” The congregation might also hear Brian or Aaron call out, “Hold on a minute. The camera came unplugged.”
In January 2020, recording our service was an idea. During the week of December 22 to December 26, 2020, there were 1,591 visits to the church website and the worship service videos were watched 500 times. This is what can happen when someone says, “I wonder if we could video our services?”
Meet Ed Fitch. Ed’s favorite word is ‘blessed.’ He commented, “I have been blessed to be married to my bride, Lori, for 36+ years. We have been blessed with three children and their spouses. They have blessed us, even more, with eight grandchildren.” Another of his blessings is Christian music. He hears great testimonies and messages, as he listens to the good old hymns and contemporary hymns.
Ed runs the sound booth and works with Pastor Larry to pick the songs for Sunday Worship. He confesses, “I am not computer savvy, but have learned a lot in the past year.” He pointed out that every Sunday can offer a new learning experience.
Ed was instrumental from “we need to do this” to the “we can do this” stage. We were in the “we are doing this” stage when Covid 19 hit. Having the sound and recording system in place has allowed us to post our worship service on the website. At this point, Ed gets a bit animated. “We have been really excited about being able to video and record our services and sharing the Word of God with thousands of people around the world. People we have never met and will probably never meet, but we hope they view the message and are blessed as much as we are by being able to share it.”
There is his favorite word again: blessed.
Meet Brian Chamberlain. Brian wears many hats at UYP. On Sunday mornings, he keeps a steady hand on the camera. Brian has a very exuberant faith. His wife, Janet, tries to keep him under control, but we all know that is impossible. Brian and Janet are parents and very proud grandparents.
Meet Aaron Mattern. Aaron is often the first person you see on Sunday mornings and is willing to step in where needed. He always has a handshake and loves to greet everyone who walks through the door. Aaron and his wife, Dawn, have one son, Eli.