Troy Jester is Pastor of Discipleship at Central Ministries. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Youth Ministry at Huntington University and his Master’s in Marriage and Family Counseling from Liberty University. He has served at Central Ministries as Youth Pastor and Marriage and Family Counselor for eighteen years, and is now transitioning to Men’s Ministry, Discipleship, and Connections. He will remain as Marriage and Family counselor and also teach through Central Institute.
Melissa Soldner has a B.S. in Psychology from Campbellsville University and Master of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. She served in Kentucky as a church minister to youth and children. She later has worked in secular realm in Fort Wayne as therapist to adults and children. Her main responsibility at Central is as Women’s Counselor, however, she is involved in teaching and leading small groups with women’s ministry. She serves as point person in several other areas of ministry at Central.
Jim Welch earned a B.A. in Ministry at Anaheim (CA) Christian College and a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He has been teaching for many years in various settings, including in churches on both coasts, as well as in the Midwest. He has also taught over thirty classes on a collegiate level at Taylor University, Fort Wayne and Huntington University. Most recently, he has been blessed by teaching Sunday School classes at Central Ministries.
Vicki Gatchell has a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy from The Ohio State University, and Master’s Degree in Ministry Studies and Women’s Leadership Studies from Grace College and Theological Seminary. She is a long-time volunteer teacher and leader in women’s ministry and has taught Scripture and discipleship in a variety of settings for over 25 years. She works for Central Ministries as Director of Central Institute.
Sara Baldwin is a Christian Counselor at LifeSpring Counseling, Fort Wayne. She has her M.A. in Mental Health Counseling from Huntington University and her B.S. in Human Resources from Indiana University. Sara has served in youth ministry since 2009. She helped start The Perk Coffee House at Central Ministries and runs Encounter Magazine for young adults. She is married to Jonathan, Central’s youth Pastor and together they have three little boys, Bowen, Beckett, and Barrett.
Mike Bowersock serves Central Ministries on the Finance Team and is involved with Men’s Ministry. He and his wife Roberta have been attending Central for nearly 5 years. Mike earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing Technology and an MBA from Bowling Green State University. He has studied Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Islam extensively. His study has included numerous discussions with leaders in those faiths and visits to their services.
Ben Gates has been ministering to college age youth for over thirty years. For the past twenty years, he has directed the Campus Ministry program at Indiana IPFW and at IIT. Having earned a Master of Divinity Degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Tennessee—Knoxville, Ben has also taught in the IPFW History Department for past twenty years. He teaches courses in European history, American history, the History of American Sports, and American Constitutional History. Ben is married to Janet, a fourth grade teacher at Aboite Elementary School, and together the have two sons, Alex (wife, Morgan) and Benjamin. The Gates’ are members of Sonrise Church in southwest Fort Wayne.
Jeremy Helmuth serves as Pastor of Central Ministries. He received his BA in Biblical Studies from Grace College and Theological Seminary and went on to complete his Masters in Divinity. He received his Doctorate in Ministry from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago. His main responsibilities at Central Ministries include preaching, teaching, and vision casting. He is married to Amy and together they have four daughters, Lily, Ellie, Charlotte and Annalise.
*We plan additional teachers as more classes are offered. Stay tuned!