Our Church Staff

Bill_0206_1Rev. Dr. William F. Schnell, Senior Pastor

bschnell@tcia.cc
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Bill’s ministry reflects his ecumenical spirit. He first served a Disciples of Christ congregation in Columbus, Ohio as a Solo Pastor for seven years, followed by a Congregational Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as an Associate Pastor for seven years (where he chaired the World Christian Relations Commission of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches). He has served as Senior Minister at The Church in Aurora since 1995.

Educational accomplishments include a BA in Political Science from Capital University, an MA in Community Leadership from Central Michigan University, and both the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio.

Representing Community Churches Bill has been a voting delegate to the National Council of Churches, the President of the Ohio Council of Churches and the President of the Aurora Clergy Association. He has also been officially sanctioned to represent Community Churches at planning sessions of the World Council of Churches.

A continuing involvement is his fifteen-year tenure on the Board of the Portage County Community Action Council, which translates grant funding into solutions in the fight against poverty.

Rev. Schnell received the 2007 Outstanding Service Award from Portage County Habitat for Humanity, and the 2008 Charles A. Trentham Homiletics Award from the International Council of Community Churches.

Current interests include astronomy and motorcycle adventures around the United States and Canada. Past travels have been to Israel and Egypt, Venezuela and throughout Europe with his wife.

Bill has been married to Nancy since 1983. They have two grown children: Mary Beth and Jim Bob.


Kevin_0111_1Rev. Kevin M. Horak, Associate Pastor

khorak@tcia.cc
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Kevin is a native of northeast Ohio where he attended the University of Akron and earned a degree in Elementary Education. After teaching for several years, he entered Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts where he received a Master of Religious Education degree in 1981. That summer, Kevin was called to The Church in Aurora, to serve as the Director of Christian Education—a non-ordained position responsible for church programming outside of the Sunday morning worship services for all ages.

As this role continued to expand, he enrolled part-time at Ashland Theological Seminary where he completed his Master of Divinity degree in the spring of 1988. Ordained by the Presbyterian Church, USA in 1989, The Church in Aurora extended to Kevin a call to serve as the Associate Pastor. He continues to serve in this capacity with an emphasis on pastoral care, education and details. His personal job description is to, “Love God, love people and bring the two together.”

Kevin and his wife Kathleen are proud parents and grandparents. When his free time affords, Kevin “plays” in the local Aurora Community Theater, located across the street from the church.


Liz_0182_1Liz Sutter, Director of Christian Education and Youth Ministries

lsutter@tcia.cc
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Liz was born and raised in Aurora, having attended The Church in Aurora since childhood. She is overjoyed to be serving our church, which has served her well for many years. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from Ohio University in 1995.

After having taught at The Church in Aurora for over 12 years, Liz began working as an Assistant before becoming the Director of Christian Education and Youth in 2014. To work with the children and youth of this church is such a blessing for Liz…a lifelong passion.

Liz currently lives in Aurora with her husband, Josh, and three children. She keeps herself busy with her family and adores every minute of it. When she is able, Liz enjoys reading and traveling.


Kay Oxford, Church Secretary

koxford@tcia.cc 
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Kay joined The Church in Aurora staff in 2017 and has been an active member of the church since 1999. She has served as a Confirmation Class teacher since 2010 and volunteered for Youth Workcamp, multiple Nutcracker Sweets, Vacation Bible Schools, and the Fellowship Committee.

 

She is married to Richard, and together they have 2 children and 2 dogs.  She received her Business Management degree from Pellissippi State Technical College in East Tennessee where she was born and lived until she and Richard married and ultimately made their home in Northeast Ohio.

 


Sally_0135_1Sally McGill, Minister of Music

Sally is a life-long Ohio resident.  She graduated from the Baldwin – Wallace University Conservatory of Music where she obtained a Bachelor of Music Education.

She became a public school music educator and worked in that capacity for a number of years.  Sally moved to Aurora in 1959 and joined The Church in Aurora the following year.  It was in 1965 that she assumed the duties of Minister of Music and this began her long tenure in that position.

Under her guidance and direction, the music program has prospered and grown to include six choirs – four choral and two hand-bell.  These choirs offer a musical opportunity for all age groups within the church, who wish to participate.  Sally works with a staff of four who assist with the children’s choirs.

In addition, she is a welcome volunteer on a number of church committees and serves as past-president of the Women’s Guild.

Although she retired from directing at The Aurora Community Theatre ten years ago, this local Aurora institution remains near and dear to her heart.

Sally and her husband, Lynn have six children, thirteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren plus four little dogs.


Ann_0148_1Anne Ramsay, Organist

Anne has served as organist and pianist at The Church in Aurora since August 1999.  Her organ instruction started in the 8th grade when a need arose for an organist at St. James Episcopal Church in Titusville, PA, where she was a member.  She played at St. James in high school and again for two years after college, with the added responsibility of choir director.  For her four years in college, and again while raising a family, Anne continued to share her talent and love of music as a substitute organist for churches near where she and her family lived.

She attended Grove City College where she received her degree in Elementary Education.  Though not a music major, Anne was the accompanist and a member of the Touring Choir while in college.  Anne did her Master’s work at Edinboro State University in Edinboro, PA, in Special Education.  Currently Anne is a music and substitute teacher at Hope Christian Nursery School in Aurora.

Anne has two grown children, Sara, who is married with one child living in Cortland, Ohio and Kyle, who works for Price-Waterhouse in NYC.  She lives in Aurora with her husband, Kent, a video-conferencing consultant.