Our Church Staff

L. Chris Martin, Interim Senior Pastor

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L. Chris Martin is a product of the former Cleveland District of the United Methodist Church. Born in Cleveland, he attended Superior Elementary, Kirk Junior High and Shaw High School in the 1950’s and 60’s. Baptized and confirmed at Windermere UMC, he “preached” his first “sermon” [at the age of 12] on Children’s Day in 1959. In 1969 he married Cynthia [LaTurner] at Windermere UMC. Cynthia retired from a 30-year career as a public school teacher in 2005. The Martins reside in Ravenna, Ohio.
The Martins have an adult daughter, Robin Worges, who is the gifted and talented coordinator for Ravenna Local Schools. Robin has three sons, David (age 16), Stephen (age 14), and Noah (age 8) and a daughter, Elena Grace (age 9).
Martin received his undergraduate degree from Baldwin-Wallace College and his graduate degrees from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio and the Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary. He was ordained a minister in the United Methodist Church in June 1973.
In addition to a two-year student appointment at Westfield UMC, Martin served Centerburg UMC for 8 years, First UMC in Bucyrus for 18 years, and Epworth-Euclid UMC in the University Circle area of Cleveland for 12 years. Martin retired from full-time ministry at the June 2009 session of the East-Ohio Conference of the UMC. He was appointed interim pastor of Christ UMC in Alliance for one year (July 2009-June 2010). He served as interim pastor at Solon UMC January through March 2013 and at Garrettsville UMC January through April 2014. Recently, he served as interim pastor at Bethany Covenant Church in Lyndhurst, Ohio from November 2017 through April of 2018.
His passions include: Cleveland Orchestra concerts [he served for ten years on the Community Relations Board of the Orchestra], Apollo’s Fire concerts [Cleveland’s Baroque Orchestra], the Brass Band of the Western Reserve concerts, the Stratford Shakespearean Festival in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, where he and Cynthia have been patrons for 44 years, the 2 weeks he spends [one in the spring and one in the fall] on a silent spiritual retreat at the Abbey of the Genesee, a Trappist Monastery in New York, serving as a spiritual director for Emmaus Walks and Chrysalis Flights, and traveling the world [he and Cynthia have taken 21 trips across the oceans], visiting 38 countries on 5 Continents.
Most of all he loves the opportunity to be “Papa,” spending as much free time as possible with his four grandchildren.

Kevin_0111_1Rev. Kevin M. Horak, Associate Pastor

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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

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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 many years, Liz began working in the Christian Education department in 2013, becoming the Director of Christian Education and Youth in 2014. To work with the people of this church is such a blessing for Liz…a lifelong passion.  Her personal goal is to spread the word that God’s love is huge and available to everyone.

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

Lance Vene, Youth Director

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Lance was born in Cleveland, Ohio where he spent most of his life until attending college. He comes to us from his previous church in Willoughby, Ohio where he spent 5 years working and rebuilding their youth ministry program. He is excited to be joining us here in Aurora as this church holds a special place in his heart.  The Church in Aurora has been central to his foundation in growing his relationship with Christ through the Chrysalis ministry.

Lance works full time in the Marketing world where he helps manage day to day operations for his company out of Brooklyn Heights, OH. He has come to TCIA to help grow and lead the Youth Ministry program. Lance lives his life by a quote: “My life is devoted to saving your life”.  He can’t wait to see how he can help the youth of Aurora grow, and also how they can help him grow more in his faith.

In his free time, Lance likes to spend time with his nieces and nephews, catch a movie, or hit up the golf course.

Rebekah Bramley, Assistant to Christian Education and Youth


Born and raised in Willoughby, Ohio, Rebekah is excited to start her new adventure here at The Church in Aurora. Rebekah is a graduate of Cleveland State University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Middle Childhood Education in 2015. She has been involved with youth ministries for over 8 years and has found her passion for helping children and youth not only grow physically and mentally, but spiritually as well.

Rebekah currently works full time as a middle and high school science teacher in Lorain, OH. She is excited to not only assist with the child and youth ministries here at TCIA, but also to live out her passion of building children and youth up in the church, mentoring them to reach their full potential.

In her free time, Rebekah enjoys spending time with her fiance Brandon and her family, singing and playing her guitar, and working out.

Kay Oxford, Church Secretary

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Kay joined The Church in Aurora staff in 2017.  She is married to Richard, and together they have 2 children. 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. They became members of The Church in Aurora in 1999 and to this day feel so very grateful for the countless blessings this church has provided them. She served as a Confirmation Class teacher from 2010-2018 and has volunteered for Youth Workcamp, multiple Nutcracker Sweets, Vacation Bible Schools and served on Nominating, Fellowship and Receptions committees.

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 1964 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 Theater, 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.

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.