Rev. Amy C. Gopp serves as the first female senior pastor in the history of the Kent United Church of Christ. Prior to joining the KUCC, Pastor Amy responded to her calling to the work of Christ by serving as a global activist and peacemaker. Through dynamic preaching and creative teaching, she has urged God’s people to engage in compassionate service that imbues hope and Good News for all. A committed ecumenist, Rev. Gopp most recently served as Vice President of External Relations for IMA World Health in Washington, DC. With over two decades of experience in faith-based relief, refugee and development, she also served as the Director of Member Relations and Pastoral Care at Church World Service and as Executive Director of Week of Compassion, the relief, refugee and development fund of the Disciples of Christ. A passionate activist for gender justice and girls and women’s education and empowerment, Gopp is one of the key founding leaders of the interfaith We Will Speak Out U.S. coalition and campaign to end sexual and gender-based violence. She now serves as the President of the Faith Trust Institute’s Board of Directors and on the Safer Futures Domestic Violence and Resource Center Advisory Board in Portage County, Ohio.
Ecumenical Group Leaders
Rev. Jason C. Reynolds is a Bethany Fellow Alum and the Senior Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in San Jose, CA. Under his leadership Emmanuel has revitalize the ministry by redeveloping the worship service format, creating new ministry opportunities, engaging young families, significantly decreasing the church’s debt and successfully renovating the worship facility.
Reverend Jason C. Reynolds is very active in his surrounding community. Currently, he is a lead on the Santa Clara County’s COVID-19 Vaccination workgroup, a member of the Community Advisory Board to the Chief of Police in San Jose, a community trainer for the San Jose Police Department on procedural justice and a\founding member of an interfaith group of clergy and laypeople called Claiming the Beloved Community, an arm of People Acting in Community Together (PACT). He also is an Adjunct Professor at Evergreen Valley College in the Philosophy Department and a Senior Fellow of American Leadership Forum Silicon Valley.
Reverend Jason C. Reynolds earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, and a Master of Arts in Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. He has also received a certificate from the Executive Education Program at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.
Reverend Jason is happily married to Poch'e (Po-Shay) Reynolds and they have two sons, Jadon (Jay-Den) Reynolds and Jason Reynolds II (affectionately called “Bubba”).
Melissa St. Clair
Rev. Melissa St. Clair serves as Senior Minister at Heart of the Rockies Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Fort Collins, CO. She was ordained by the Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ in June 2008, after graduating with her M.Div. from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis.
She served as an associate minister through the Lilly Endowment's Clergy Residency Program in Kansas City and as a solo pastor in southwest Missouri prior to saying yes to a call from God and the mountains to serve in Colorado. She is a Bethany Fellows alum and currently serves as Moderator Elect for the Central Rocky Mountain Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She and her partner, Ben, live in Loveland in the home of their two lazy cats and two enthusiastic dogs.
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and raised in Texas, Rev. Bob Hill served from 1987 -2015 as Senior Minister of the Community Christian Church in Kansas City, Missouri, with the distinction of being called to the position as the youngest senior minister in the congregation’s 125-year history. Currently he is working with the Kaufman Foundation in KC.
Before being called to Community, Bob served as Special Projects Director and Co-Director of Project Return, Inc., a non-profit agency working with ex-prisoners and their families in Nashville, Tennessee. Prior to his undergraduate and graduate studies, Bob was a Conscientious Objector during the war in Vietnam and served for two years as a Youth and Family Worker at All Peoples Christian Center in south central Los Angeles. He was ordained at All Peoples Christian Church, in Los Angeles, California, on August 2, 1981.
Bob holds three degrees: a B.A. degree from Texas Christian University (1977), an M.Div. degree from Vanderbilt University Divinity School (1980), and a D.D. degree from Christian Theological Seminary (2000). Bob is married to Priscilla Reckling, and they live in the Brookside neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri.
Kim Gage Ryan
Rev. Kim Gage Ryan serves as Director of Bethany Fellows—a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) ministry supporting young clergy in their first five years of ministry. Building on 25 years of congregational experience in Indiana and Missouri, she also consults with congregations to help expand their ministries to reach their goals and visions—specifically in the areas of Christian Education, Evangelism, Welcome and Hospitality and Spiritual Gifts Empowerment.
She is an active member at Olivet Christian Church in Columbia, MO.
Born and raised in Amarillo, TX, Kim graduated from Texas Tech University in 1980 and Brite Divinity School in 1984. She has two sons—Gage and Keller and one sweet grandson—Oliver.
Melanie Harrell Delaney
Rev. Melanie Harrell Delaney serves as Co-Director/Pastor of Bethany Fellows after 10 years as the Lead Pastor of Good Shepherd Christian Church in Macedonia, Ohio. Melanie is a Bethany Fellows alum, and is grateful to be able to serve the Bethany Fellows which sustained and enriched not only her ministry, but the entire congregation as they grew.
Melanie holds a degree in Sociology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Master of Divinity Degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, TN (where she is also a proud alum of the Disciples Divinity House.) She was ordained into the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in 2009.
Melanie is married to Rev. Tyler Delaney (a chaplain for the Cleveland Clinic.) They have three young children, Olivia, Owen and Clayton, who keep them grounded and joyful.