Ecumenical Leaders

  • Nannette Banks

    Rev. Nannette E. Banks 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!

  • Scott Hardin-Nieri

    Rev. Scott Hardin-Nieri is an alumnus of the Bethany Fellowship and new to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, North Carolina. Before Asheville, he and his family served as Global Ministry Volunteers of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ in a vulnerable cloud forest of Monteverde, Costa Rica. 

    Scott is an ordained pastor with the Christian Church (DOC) He is now serving as Associate Minister for Green Chalice. He has joined the Green Chalice team to coordinate the partnership work with Blessed Tomorrow and is also theDirector for the Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina. Scott has served as a pastor with Heart of the Rockies Christian Church in Fort Collins, Colorado, as well as DOC and Presbyterian congregations in Texas. Scott attended Texas A&M University (Whoop!) and holds a Master of Divinity and a Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction from San Francisco Theological Seminary. 

    Scott enjoys accompanying people during transformative experiences, whether in worship, spiritual direction, sharing stories, work trips, live music concerts, camps or retreats. He continues to be reminded of his name as “beloved child of God” most clearly in the forests, oceans and deserts and seeks to invite faith communities into conversations regarding creation. He is most alive when playing outside with his partner, Becca, and their two children, Olivia and Nicholas. He is excited to accompany ecumenical colleagues through the joys and pains of ministry life through the Bethany Fellowship Ecumenical. 

  • Bob Hill

    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.

  • John Myers

    Rev. Dr. John T. Myers is currently serving as the Minister of Church Affairs for the Eastern Virginia Association of the Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ assuming the position full time as of January 1st of 2014. His most recent position was as pastor of Corinth Chapel United Church of Christ in Suffolk, Virginia where he served with distinction since 2007. He is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and currently resides in Chesapeake, Virginia with his wife of 30 years, Angela. As Minister for Church Affairs, his responsibilities include being the “pastor to pastors” of the forty-four churches of the Eastern Virginia Association in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. His most recent educational accomplishment is the completion of the Doctor of Ministry Degree in Preaching from Chicago Theological Seminary. His call is to make disciples of men, women and children by preaching and teaching the Word of God. His life’s mission is to empower Christian believers to exercise their spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit in order to be instruments of service to God going into all the world performing ministries of outreach, reconciliation and healing as God has ordained.   

  • Ryan Otto

    Rev. Ryan Otto is a pastor and singer/songwriter in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Ryan served First Congregational United Church of Christ in Sioux Falls for over a decade, as Associate Pastor, Lead Pastor, and Co-Pastor.

    In 2019, Ryan launched Songwriting for Change ( His song "Juntenos, Espiritu," written with Shantha Ready Alonso, is published in Gifts in Open Hands, a global worship resource collected and edited by Maren Tirabassi and Kathy Eddy. In 2017, he composed Joyous Light: An Advent Pageant.

    Ryan is a tech consultant, helping churches with technology needs in order to create vibrant and authentic online worship. He is a certified Our Whole Lives sexuality educator and trained in conflict mediation. Ryan received his Master of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music and Government from Augustana University in Sioux Falls.

    Ryan and his wife Louisa have two fierce daughters, Layla and Clara.

  • Jason Reynolds

    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”).

  • Lawrence t. richardson

    Rev. Lawrence T. Richardson is a pastor, prophet, digital evangelist, and author. He is a graduate of St. Catherine University and Liberty Seminary, where he was trained in Sociology, Communications, Pastoral Care, Evangelism, and Christian Ministry. Rev. Richardson has also completed certifications for Antiracism Facilitator Training, Our Whole Lives Sexuality Training, Church Planting, Digital Media Strategy, and Executive Leadership Coaching. Rev. Richardson is on staff as lead minister at Linden Hills UCC, is a media trainer for Auburn Seminary, serves on advisory boards, and works as an executive clergy coach for Convergence US. Rev. Richardson also has active partnerships with the Evangelical Church of Germany, collaborating on digital ministry projects.

    The author of, I Know What Heaven Looks Like, Rev. Richardson writes about and advocates for LGBTQ people, people of color, and the flourishing of all; with his works appearing in Huffington Post Religion, The Root, Believe Out Loud, The Salt Collective, Rachel Murr's Unnatural: Spiritual Resiliency in Queer Christian Women, Austen Hartke's Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians, and numerous national and international publications. Rev. Richardson has received awards and commendations for his service, including the Humanitarian Award from Black Transmen Inc. and the Stellar Award for his work in global communication.

    When he is not ministering, researching, or writing about what he researches, Pastor Lawrence loves reading, trying different cuisine, traveling, spending time with family, and empowering people to live life from a place of joy, abundance, faith, and gratitude. You can read more about him and his work at

  • 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. 

  • 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

    Melanie Harrell Delaney now 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.