Bishop Tracy S. Malone Appoints Five Clergy to New EOC Leadership Roles

By Rick Wolcott*

Bishop Tracy S. Malone announces the following appointments, made to ensure that the East Ohio Conference continues to be strategically staffed for both the sustainability of the Church and for the future of the Church. The appointments, made after prayerful discernment, are effective July 1:

  • Ed Peterson, appointed as assistant to the Bishop;
  • Edward Fashbaugh, II, appointed as director of Connectional Ministries;
  • Angela Lewis, appointed as superintendent of the Canal District;
  • Kelly Brown, appointed as superintendent of the Three Rivers District; and
  • Laura White, appointed as superintendent of the Southern Hills District.

“Each of these leaders is fully committed to The United Methodist Church and bring visionary leadership, creative skills and expertise and ministry experiences that will strategically benefit their specific roles and will serve as a strong asset in our shared vision of sustaining our mission of making and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ and for helping to steward our emerging witness and mission in the world. These transitions provide an opportunity to adapt some portfolios based on what we have learned during this past year,” Malone said.


Rev. Ed Peterson – Assistant to the Bishop

Rev. Ed Peterson is in his seventh year serving as the superintendent of the Canal District. Prior to that appointment he served Lake Brady and Middlefield First UMCs. As assistant to the Bishop, he will succeed the Rev. Dr. Gary George, who is retiring.

“It’s been an honor to serve in each place I’ve been appointed. Each appointment has formed, taught and shaped me. I look forward to how I will be formed, taught and shaped in this new appointment. I pray that God will equip me to be a blessing to the greater Church through this new role in ministry,” Peterson said.

Raised in Mahoning UMC in Youngstown, Peterson was called into pastoral ministry while attending Living Hope UMC in Norton and working as an engineer and project manager for mechanical contractors in the Cleveland/Akron area. He has volunteered his time with a number of community agencies and organizations in the communities in which he has lived and has served in Church leadership with local congregations and as a member of district and East Ohio Conference boards and committees. He is currently the Cabinet liaison to the Council on Ministries, the Board of Congregational Development, and the Agenda, Rules, and Administrative Process Committee. Peterson previously served on the Conference Board of Ministry and on the Annual Conference Program Committee and the Annual Conference Worship Committee. In 2005 and 2011 he was a delegate to the World Conference of Methodism.

Peterson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Akron and a Master of Divinity from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio. He and his wife, Cindy, are the parents of three adult children and are the grandparents of one.


Rev. Edward Fashbaugh, II – Director of Connectional Ministries

Rev. Edward Fashbaugh, II has served as superintendent of the Three Rivers District since July 1, 2019. At the time of his appointment to the Cabinet, he was pastor of Crossroads UMC in Canton, a church birthed from the merger of two churches he served: the former Church of the Savior UMC and the former St. Paul’s UMC. He has also served North Canton Faith, Garfield Memorial, and Seville UMCs.

As director of Connectional Ministries, Fashbaugh will succeed the Rev. Steven Court, who is retiring. He will now lead the staff of the office of the Conference Council on Ministries in which he once served. From 1997-2004, Fashbaugh was an associate director (now called director) in the areas of youth, young adult, and higher education ministry, and evangelism.

“I have been a follower of Jesus since I was in the ninth grade, and all that I have ever wanted to do was serve Christ and His Church. By God’s grace, over the years, I have been blessed to fulfill a calling that has resulted in many incredible experiences that brought me into contact with countless wonderful people. I am now called to serve the mission of Christ in a new way. I am humbled, and honored, that Bishop Malone has entrusted me to serve the local churches of the East Ohio Conference as we pursue our common mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” Fashbaugh shared.

A clergy delegate to the 2000 and the 2004 General and Jurisdictional Conferences, Fashbaugh earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History Education from Grove City College (PA), and a Master of Divinity from Methodist Theological School in Ohio (MTSO). He and his wife Amy are the parents of an adult son and an adult daughter.


Rev. Angela Lewis – Canal District Superintendent

Rev. Angela Lewis is in her third year as pastor of Doylestown UMC. She previously served Steubenville Simpson, Maple Heights, and Cleveland St. Paul UMCs and All God’s Children and Mansfield Urban Mission in the East Ohio Conference before serving seven years at Burns UMC in the Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church. As superintendent of the Canal District, she will succeed the Rev. Ed Peterson, who is being appointed assistant to the Bishop.

“I am humbled and honored to serve as the next superintendent of the Canal District. One of my favorite persons in scripture is King David. He was overlooked. He defeated giants and bullies. He united God’s people. He honored leadership. He was a warrior. Most importantly, he was after God’s heart. He was a praiser, worshiper and lover of God. I want to inspire people to stand against the giants and bullies of injustice, fear, and hatred and to unite God’s people, honor leadership and most importantly always run after the heart of God,” Lewis said.

She has served on the East Ohio Conference Board of Ministry, as a trustee at Otterbein University, and as vice president of the Black Pastors’ Fellowship. While serving in the Iowa Conference she served as vice president of the Commission on Religion & Race, vice president of the Pastor’s and Minister’s Alliance, and was a member of the district operational team, and a mentor.

Born and raised in Oklahoma, where most of her biological family still lives, Lewis earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Education from HBCU Langston (OK) University, a Master of Arts in Secondary Administration from The University of Akron, and a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary.

Lewis is an encourager who tries to see the good in every situation. One of her favorite passages is Joshua 1:9.


Rev. Kelly Brown – Three Rivers District Superintendent

Rev. Kelly Brown is in his 10th year as director of Congregational Vitality. He previously served Mt. Vernon Gay Street, Sycamore, Smithville, New Philadelphia Otterbein, and Leroy UMCs in East Ohio and St. Paul UMC (now Eaton UMC) in the West Ohio Conference before being appointed to his current position. As superintendent of the Three Rivers District, he will succeed the Rev. Edward Fashbaugh, II, who is being appointed director of Connectional Ministries.

“I am filled with excitement for this new ministry opportunity. I greatly look forward to being in partnership with the clergy and laity of the Three Rivers District,” Brown said. “My first appointment was in Mount Vernon, so it will be nice to return to the district where my appointed ministry began. In my current role as director of Congregational Vitality, I have made many trips to the Three Rivers District. It will be nice to have the opportunity to plant ministry roots and continue the faithful work of so many in the district. I am thankful and humbled for this opportunity and am anxious to get started.”

An author and an International Coaching Federation associate coach, Brown has worked across the connection planning training events and leading workshops on many topics about church health and vitality. In East Ohio he developed learning cohorts for clergy and laity seeking to lead healthy and vital congregations, worked with the Vitality Resource team and the Cabinet to resource new and emerging work, developed the playbook to guide the work of the Board of Congregational Development, and co-led a team with Will Jones to develop a Conference-wide racial justice training for clergy.

Brown earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baldwin Wallace University and a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Amy, are parents of a son and a daughter.


Rev. Laura White – Southern Hills District Superintendent

Rev. Laura White is senior pastor of Ashland Christ United Methodist Church. She previously served Chapel Hill and First Ashland UMCs. A second-career pastor, she was a preschool director for Children’s World Learning Center before following her call into ministry. As superintendent of the Southern Hills District, White will succeed the Rev. Gail Angel, who is being appointed to serve Fredericktown UMC.

“The greatest joy of my life is the ability to serve God and God’s people. I am both honored and humbled to be called to serve in this new capacity. I believe that Christ is doing something new and that this is a time of revival and resurrection for the Church and God’s people. It is my hope that as we embark on this journey together that we will be renewed, rejuvenated, and transformed through the love of the Holy Spirit. I look forward to the opportunity of learning, serving, and growing alongside both the clergy and laity in the Southern Hills District,” White shared.

Active in Emmaus, Kairos prison ministry, and with Matthew 25 Outreach, White currently serves as the Provisional and Associate Member registrar for the Conference Board of Ministry and as co-chair of the Annual Conference Worship Committee. She is a past recipient of both the Mid-Ohio Lay Speaker of the Year and Mid-Ohio Pastor of the Year awards and has remained involved in Lay Servant ministries by teaching several classes over the past several years.

White earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Religion from Liberty University and a Master of Divinity with a specialization in Womanist and Feminist Studies from Methodist Theological School in Ohio. She has professional certification from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) for Being in Ministry with the Poor and is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry program, on the Transformational Leadership tract, at Methodist Theological School in Ohio.

She and her husband, Ray, are the parents of two adult children.


Mission and Vision
Mission of The United Methodist Church:
To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Vision of the East Ohio Conference:
The East Ohio Conference equips and supports pastors, congregations, and faith communities to grow in their capacity to bear fruit that lasts by:

  • being disciples, making disciples, and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ;
  • being God’s agents of transformation in our communities and throughout the world; and
  • being bold and courageous leaders in reaching new people, younger people, and a more diverse people.

Pastors, congregations and faith communities can best live into this vision by recognizing that:

  • Discipleship is our foundation.
  • Covenant guides us.
  • Connection strengthens us.
  • Leadership moves us forward.

*Rick Wolcott is director of Communications for the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church.