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Conference Superintendent - East District & Northeast District

Rev. Russ Abel

Conference Assistant

Susie Wild

East District Director of Lay Servant Ministries and East District Connecting Shepherd

Tricia Williams

Conference Superintendent - East District & Northeast District

Rev. Russ Abel

Rev. Russ Abel is a passionate follower of Jesus Christ and seeks to live a grace-filled presence in a hurting world. Russ grew up in rural southern Indiana and continues to feel a strong connection to “hills and trees” and finds solace and renewal there. He has lived in northern Indiana since his appointment in Fort Wayne in 2007. Being one of “those people” he loves the winter and spending time as far north as possible. Russ has served the East District since 2019 and the Northeast District since 2021. Growing up in a working-class home, Russ holds deeply the values he learned in that home and strives to remember his roots. He also is very thankful for his military service, Air Force, which helped awaken him to the beauty and blessing of diversity.

A graduate of Indiana University and Christian Theological (Magna) he was also inducted into The International Society of Theta Phi (an honor society for theological students). Ordained in 2000, he continues to be blessed, humbled, and excited by opportunities to serve Jesus. He is most passionate about helping people unlock the story of Jesus in their faith walk.

Russ is committed to his beautiful family and has been especially blessed by his wife, Michelle, of over 30 years and his children Emma (Chad) and Sam (Alyssa). Ask Russ about his grandkids, but make sure you have some time to listen, because he will talk for a long time about them.

Conference Assistant

Susie Wild

Susie was born and raised in New Jersey, where she graduated from Rutgers University with degrees in Business Administration and German. Although she is an East Coast native, Fort Wayne has been her home for the past 24 years and also where she and her husband, Chris, chose to raise their 4 children together. Susie has spent the majority of her time here in Fort Wayne raising her children and being a pastor’s wife.

Now facing an empty nest, Susie is ready to dedicate her time and gifts in an administrative capacity and is looking forward to serving The United Methodist Church. In her spare time, she enjoys exercising, staying healthy, gardening, and backpacking.

East District Director of Lay Servant Ministries and East District Connecting Shepherd

Tricia Williams

Tricia was born and raised in the West District of the INUMC, and now lives and serves in the East District. She loves discipling God’s people to help them grow in their faith, and journey with them as they learn through our Lay Servant Ministries classes how God has equipped them to serve in our local churches. When she is not building relationships in the community where she serves as a Licensed Local Pastor, chances are you will find her cheering on her son, Mason, at his baseball games.  

Email:tricia.williams@inumc.org

Phone:765.730.3770

Helpful Links

Dynamite Prayer

Growing Young

Cultivate Joy

Protecting Our Children

Charge Conference Appendix

Equitable Compensation

Other useful forms and resources

SPRC Training Powerpoint

Charge Conference

2024 information coming soon! 

Featured Events

Lighthouse Congregation Trainings

November 13, 7:30p, Zoom;
Register here.

Lay Servant Academy

East District
Resources

Center for Congregations Resource Grant

 View Resource →

Church Multiplication Grant

View Resource →

Diversity, Missions, and Justice Grants

View Resource →

Get a Coach

View Resource →

Christian Conferencing Guidelines

View Resource →

Interactive Map for Advent services

View Resource →

News

Invite to Charge Conference

Dear Friends, I pray this letter finds you well and blessed.  In a few short months we will gather to celebrate Charge Conference.     ...

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East District: Save the Date

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September Newsletter

Friends, I love “cheesy” lines from movies.  Can you remember movies where people are “lost on an island” or waiting for help to arrive and...

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June Newsletter

Dear Friends, I pray this note finds you well and blessed.  What a ride!  That surely describes the past few years.  Covid and disaffiliation talk...

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    District Breakthrough
    Prayer

    God of grace and redemption, we bow before You to ask that You sow new life amongst us. We long to bring people in relationship with Jesus and to help them grow deeper in knowing, following, and serving Him in our communities. Love us, lead us, direct us, forgive us, and help us be attentive in our listening Let our prayers and expectations not be limited by “what we can ask or imagine.” Come Holy Spirit, fill us as we celebrate the resurrection. Speak, for your servants are listening.

    Amen.