Church Development Team
Emily Reece serves as Director of Church Development for the Indiana Conference. Hailing from Muncie, Indiana, she now lives in Whitestown – the fastest growing community in the state for the past six years! Reece is a lifelong United Methodist with a rich history in service to the Church and the Connection. With more than 20 years of professional ministry experience, she brings a wealth of knowledge and resources in the areas of church planting and revitalization, ministry coaching, community building, resource development, marketing, and storytelling, along with much more. Prior to serving for the past 16 years at the General Church and Indiana Conference, Reece worked in lay ministry coordination for congregations in Illinois and Indiana. She also worked in corporate communications for a health insurance company, fundraising and public relations for the American Red Cross, and property management for Simon Property Group before beginning her ministry career. A graduate of both Ball State (Chirp! Chirp!) and Illinois State universities, Emily holds degrees in Journalism (Advertising) and Communication (Organizations). While pursuing her master’s degree, Emily taught the basic communication course at Illinois State and assisted two professors with their research and publications. Through these experiences she learned that grading papers in a publish or perish university environment is not her life’s calling. Emily is an avid movie fan with interests in classic, current, and international films. She also enjoys sewing, gardening, singing, dancing, and spending time with her family. Being “Back Home Again in Indiana” offers Emily (with her labradoodle, Boomer) the opportunity to live nearby her sister’s family in Zionsville, and within an easy drive of Muncie, where her parents still reside.
Doug Anderson is a retired United Methodist clergy who served under appointment for 48 years. During that time he served several growing churches of various sizes as well as twice being appointed as a District Superintendent. Doug was the founding Executive Director of the Bishop Rueben Job Center for Leadership Development for 15 years. He is a member of the Academy for Spiritual Formation of the Upper Room. Currently, Doug serves as an associate director for Church Development of the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church and also as Transitional Lead Pastor of The Promise United Methodist Church in Fishers, IN. Doug and his wife Jan, have been married for 46 years and have lived in the Muncie area for 25 years. They have 4 children and 9 grandchildren who range from 4 to 21 years old. Doug and Jan enjoy time with their family, specifically the grand kids activities, traveling to historic sites, playing and watching baseball, basketball, and football, playing board and card games like euchre, sudoku, Sorry, Farkle, Quixx and many more. Additionally, Doug and Jan spend time with friends, shopping, watching TV and movies, reading, cooking, and eating out.
Randy Anderson serves as the Associate Director of Church Development and Associate District Superintendent for the Southwest District. He has been an ordained Elder in the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church since 1985. During his tenure, Randy pastored in local churches until 2016 when he was appointed to the Conference staff. Randy works directly with the Church Development team, primarily focusing on redevelopment of smaller congregations. Randy and his wife Julie have 4 adult sons, a daughter by marriage, and two wonderful grandchildren (a boy and girl) who light up his world. Randy loves to travel, fish, and watch sports with his boys.
Ed Fenstermacher is a lifelong United Methodist layman who has served as Associate Director of Church Development for the former North Indiana Conference and Indiana Conference since 1995. Ed lives with his wife, Marlene, in Fort Wayne and is an active member of Covenant United Methodist Church. In his position with the Conference, he leads Church Development’s Multiplication Team, which focuses on helping churches start new faith communities and Fresh Expressions. He also provides staff support for the North, Northeast, and East districts. Over the years, Ed has been a delegate to many General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference sessions. He presently serves on the Discipleship Resources board of directors (a General Church agency), and he chairs the board of directors of the Upper Room Ministries. Ed is also an ICF-certified coach and has a passion for helping leaders and churches reach their fullest potential for fruitful ministry. His greatest passion, however, is serving Christ and helping develop a multiplication movement within the UM churches of Indiana. Ed is active in his local neighborhood association and co-chairs his church’s Mission & Outreach Team. He enjoys playing racquetball, reading, working crosswords, gardening, and water and cross-country skiing. He and Marlene, a diaconal minister, have three adult sons and live in a 120-year-old home that they’ve renovated near downtown Fort Wayne.
Brenda Gross joined the Indiana Conference Office as a Conference Assistant on January 4, 2010. She has almost 40 years of administrative experience gained from working in many different fields, ranging from airline maintenance to advertising. Currently, she assists the Church Development Team and deals mostly with the IMPACT and ADAPT programs. She is a graduate of the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University and is an avid Boilermaker sports fan. Her husband, Abbey, works for Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance as a field underwriter. They have two adult children, Amanda, a Physical Therapist, and Jackie, an attorney. She is a member of Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Indianapolis.
During Jen’s years of serving in the local church as Director of Christian Education and Children’s Ministry Director, her passion centered around building teams to further the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ. She found it very rewarding to invite people into ministry, provide them with significant resources, and create rich environments for effective ministry whether with children or adults. In 2012 the Fruitful Congregation Journey began Jen’s work with Church Development as she served on consultation teams. As an Associate Director of Church Development, she was a part of the creation team for ADAPT and is now serving as the program’s coordinator. She currently resources Church Development coaches and connects with pastors to revitalize churches through ADAPT and IMPACT. Jen is the wife of Pastor Micah and the mother of Emily, Elijah, and Ella. With an overloaded van, a tent, and a dreadful amount of bologna, their family has adventured through many national parks and 49 states.
Sergio Reyes is a native of Mexico and has lived in the United States since 1987. Sergio has been serving as Associate Director of Church Development for the Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church since 2011. Sergio’s passion is evangelism, starting new faith communities, and raising church planters. Before joining the United Methodist Church and beginning in 1998, Sergio was involved in church planting in the following cities of Indiana: Logansport, Lafayette, and Monon. Sergio is the founder of Iglesia Cristiana Getsemani UMC, which he has been serving since 2005 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Sergio and his wife, Janie Reyes, have four daughters. Sergio loves to spend time with his family.