AYERSVILLE — For the past two years, Pastor Mo Dunn has served as lead pastors at Ayersville United Methodist Church, and Trinity United Methodist Church (UMC), in the Defiance area.
In late spring, Dunn learned he would no longer lead Trinity UMC, but instead would be tasked with a three-point charge to lead Ayersville UMC, Florida UMC and Independence UMC.
While Dunn may have been given more responsibility, he won’t be doing it alone. In fact, he’s very familiar with the person who will help him lead the three churches.
Dunn’s wife, Leanne, has been appointed as lay supply by the Northwest Plains District Office, and the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church, to assist Mo at Florida UMC and Independence UMC. In addition, she has taken the first steps in becoming a licensed local pastor.
“In ministry, whether you’re called, whether you have the background or not, God always equips you in the way you need to be equipped,” said Leanne, who will also lead the music ministry at all three churches, as well as social media. “Right now I can’t baptize anyone or serve communion, but when I become a local licensed pastor, I will be able to do that at the church I’m serving.
“When I become licensed, we’ll both continue to serve all three churches. Maybe on a Sunday he’ll do two and I’ll do one, or we’ll still do all three, it’s something we can figure out,” continued Leanne. “We’ll still be in partnership and ministry together, and we’ll get all those details worked out.”
Said Mo: “She’s been reluctant to be a preacher because she has wanted to support my pastoring, but she’s been such an asset to me. She’s now making it possible for us to be able to have this three-church rotation. When the assignments went out from the district office, my name and Leanne’s name were together for Florida and Independence, with my name for Ayersville.”
Worship on Sundays at Ayersville UMC, located at 27728 Ayersville-Pleasant Bend Road, begins at 9 a.m., with the service live streamed on Facebook at Ayersville Church, before the link is posted later in the day at ayersvilleumc.org.
Worship on Sundays at Independence UMC, located at 09966 Adams Ridge Road, Defiance, begins at 9:45 a.m., while Sunday worship at Florida UMC, located at 100 Market St., Napoleon (Florida), begins at 11 a.m.
The sermon from the prior week’s service at Florida UMC can be heard at 7:45 a.m. on 103.1 FM on Sundays, and at 8:30 a.m. on 105.7 FM.
The two are replacing Rev. Dr. Kenneth Ladd at Independence and Florida, with Ladd filling in the past few years in retirement. Ladd served as district superintendent of the Maumee Watershed District prior to his retirement.
Mo and Leanne went on to explain how they are handling responsibilities on Sundays with the three churches, which first began on June 27.
“So, Leanne leads the singing at Ayersville, then leaves at 9:30 a.m. for Independence,” said Mo. “Around 9:55 a.m., I leave for Independence, so she is there and has already started the service by the time I arrive. After the service at Independence, we head out to Florida.”
Said Leanne: “The realignment allows me to be along side Mo in a different way, while I pursue my ministerial license. I love that this will also allow me to spend more time with our outreach ministries at Ayersville, while being a part of a new energy at Independence and Florida. Now that things are opening up, we’re going to have opportunities for people to be involved in spiritual formation, in a new exercise ministry and in children’s ministry.”
For more information about Ayersville UMC, call 419-395-1742 or go to ayersvillechurch.com.
For more information about Independence UMC, call 419-497-3301, and for more information about Florida UMC, call 419-762-5365.