Bethel Celebrates Public Servants

As a continum of our God In Me series, we have another panel of four Bethel constituets. Each one works in a very different field and shares how being a public servant has shaped their faith and their opinions of the church. They also share how non-public servants can support them in the work they do. 

Here is some background information on each of our panelist and the answer to our series question, "Why did you first come to BIUMC and why do you keep coming back?" 

Ray Fennel
I have worked for Columbus City Schools since August 2011. I am an Instructional Assistant at Centennial High School (Go STARS!). My job is working with Special Needs Kids. I love my kids and the job that I do. I must say that every day is a challenge, but with the help of the Lord and lots of prayer we make it through!

I'm also a caregiver for an individual who attends Bethel International Church. Andy loves to come to praise and worship.

I have been working with him for over five years. Andy and his family have become my Ohio family. I love working with this individual. He helps me be a better person every day, as do my kids in school. I'm a firm believer that GOD places people in your life for a reason.

Why did you first come to BIUMC and why did you keep coming back? The reason I came to Bethel International Church was I had just moved from Florida to Columbus in March of 2011. I was looking for a home church, and one day at work my dear friends and coworkers Tracey Kennedy and Kathy Young invited me to attend their church here at Bethel International. I had informed them that my dad was an A.M.E. Methodist Pastor in Florida, and I was looking for a church that felt like home. So, the first time attending, I felt just that. At Bethel International Church everyone was very friendly and accepting. This is the very reason that I returned.

John Snyder
I am a Franklin County Deputy Sheriff assigned to the downtown jail and soon to be at the mega jail on the West side.

Why did you first come to BIUMC and why did you keep coming back? I was invited to Bethel by Becky [his now wife] and continued because of our developing relationship.

Dale Ray
I am a Circulation Supervisor with the Upper Arlington Public Library on Tremont Road. I assist with the management of the circulation department, which includes assisting patrons, and training and supervising a team of Public Service Assistants.

Why did you first come to BIUMC and why did you keep coming back? I had been living in Columbus for about a year when I started looking for a home church. I tried several different churches, but nothing seemed to click. One Sunday I decided to give Bethel a try. On my first Sunday here, I was very impressed with the music and the singers who were featured in the service. Music has always been very important to me and is an integral part of my worship process. I returned home and informed Guy [his husband] that I had found our church. Twenty-three years later we are still here!

Tom Stikeleather
I work for the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, or PUCO, as a Gas Pipeline Safety Researcher. I create and organize reports and inspections of companies and organizations that operate natural gas pipelines in Ohio. I worked downtown near the Ohio Statehouse for almost 10 years, and now I work mainly from home.

Why did you first come to BIUMC and why did you keep coming back? I first visited Bethel International in 2012 after I moved to Northwest Columbus from the OSU campus neighborhood. The first people I remember meeting at Bethel International were Sandy Dunlap, Susie Martin, and Kathy Young, who were all very welcoming. I didn't come back right away, but I started attending again two years later with my brother Ralph. I stayed at Bethel International after being welcomed at the monthly community dinner, small group, and music ministry, and I became a member in 2015.

We’d love to receive & share your story.

Let us be in relationship with you. As “the God in Me” sees “the God in You," we will understand and care for one another deeply and from the heart. 

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