Bethany Board & Ministry Staff

The Bethany Fellows Board reviews and shepherds the ministry of this 501c3 not-for-profit, 

and is composed of church and civic leaders, congregational pastors, and Bethany Alumni.

  • Rev. Josh Baird, Chair

    Team Leader, Global H.O.P.E.

    United Church of Christ Wider Church Ministries

    Bethany Fellows Alumn

  • Rev. Dr. Aleze M Fulbright, Vice-Chair

    Ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church

    Conference Superintendent of Central and West Districts of the Indiana Conference

  • Rev. Jessica Vacketta, Secretary

    Minister of Outreach

    University Christian Church, Fort Worth TX

    Bethany Fellows Alum

  • Rev. Dr. Sarah Lund

    Senior Pastor, 

    First Congregational UCC of Indianapolis, IN

    Bethany Fellows Alum

  • Rev. Herb Lynskey

    Interim Pastor, Fort Worth TX

    Retired Clergy, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

  • Minister Cynthia Newman

    Light of the World Christian Church

    Co-Owner, The Newman Group ~ Primerica

  • Rev. Dr. Gary Straub

    Congregational Consultant/Coach

    Retired Clergy, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

    Louisville, KY

  • Rev. Dr. Chris Wilson

    Senior Pastor,

    Saint Andrew Christian Church  Olathe, KS

  • Rev. Johnny Wray

    Retired Clergy, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

    Director of Disciples/Week of Compassion 1992 - 2014, 

    Raising grass fed beef, High Hope Farm, Cedar Bluff, MS

  • Rev. Kim Gage Ryan, Co-Director/Pastor


    Bethany Fellowships, Columbia MO

  • Rev. Melanie Harrell Delaney, Co-Director/Pastor


    Bethany Fellowships, Cleveland OH

    Bethany Fellows Alum

  • Rev. Scott Hardin-Nieri, 

    Bethany Congregations Director

    Bethany Congregations Pilot Project Director

    Associate Director, Green Chalice (Christian Church Disciples of Christ)

    Asheville, NC

    Bethany Fellows Alum

  • Rev. Don Schutt

    Founding Director, Bethany Fellowships

    Retired Clergy, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Section Title

Former board members and Bethany Group Leaders continue to shape and guide this ministry through ongoing prayer and advisory roles. We are thankful for these folks who serve in this way.

  • Rev. Nannette Banks

    Rev. Nannette E. Banks is a former Ecumenical Group Leader and Board member. Her personal motto is “It is through the power of the spoken word and active hand that we can begin to build uplift and heal.” She has engaged in ministry and learning across a myriad of contexts around the world including Kingston Jamaica, Cuba, South India, South Korea, Turkey, Jerusalem, Cairo, London and Barranquilla. She is an ordained minister within the United Church of Christ and is a member of Covenant United Church of Christ in South Holland, Illinois.

    Reverend Banks is a people and poetry lover who believes in the power of worship and the sacraments to liberate and set free all who are marginalized and oppressed –for the table was set in the presence of my enemy! Her most recent essay “This Is My Body,” was published in the Presbyterian Outlook October 2018 issue. Nannette serves as the Vice President of Community Engagement and Alumni Relations at McCormick Theological Seminary where she is also pursuing a Doctor of Ministry Degree. In addition to a Master of Divinity degree, she holds a Masters in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Aurora University. She is a prayer warrior and firm believer that God is therefore we are!

  • Rev. Mark Briley

    Rev. Mark Briley is a Bethany alum, former Disciple Group Leader and serves as Lead Pastor at Broadway Christian Church in Columbia, MO. He previously served as the Lead Pastor of Harvard Avenue Christian Church (DoC) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 2009 -2019. Ordained by the movement in 2006, Mark became a third generation Disciples minister. He is passionate about church health, fostering authentic environments for people to find acceptance, a growing faith, and room to discern their life purpose. Married fifteen years to his wife, Carrie, they enjoy life and ministry in Tulsa with three young children: Morgan, Dane and Hayes. Mark is a Bethany Fellow alum and believes fully in the “Bethany rhythm” that cultivates health and strength among newly ordained pastors. He holds a degree in Psychology from Purdue University and a Master of Divinity degree from Christian Theological Seminary.

  • Rev. Elizabeth Myer

    Rev. Elizabeth Myer is a Bethany Fellows alum and former Disciple Group leader. She is the President and Creative Director over at the SALT Project, a not-for-profit Emmy winning production company dedicated to reclaiming and sharing the beauty of Christian life through film, photography, music, poetry, and ideas. Elizabeth is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and has served as the Minister of Discipleship at Old South Church in Boston and senior pastor of Hope Church. She holds degrees from Trent University and the University of Chicago Divinity School.