Connectional and Mission + Justice Team

Rev. Larry Whitehead
Rev. Larry WhiteheadExecutive Assistant to the Bishop & Director of Connectional Ministries
Larry Whitehead serves as Executive Assistant to the Bishop & Director of Connectional Ministries. Prior to taking this position, he served six years as Conference Superintendent assigned to the North District and has also served for two years as Dean of the Appointive Cabinet. Bringing a strong emphasis on missional strategy, Larry offers a consistent message to churches and pastors to abandon survival efforts for the church and to instead, discover vitality in a focus on giving ourselves away to connect people to the message of Jesus Christ (Mark 8:35). While energized for ministry as a Conference leader, Larry loves to recharge by traveling and kayaking with his wife Susan and sharing family activities with the families of their 5 adult children including 2 grandsons.
Roscel Carandang
Roscel CarandangConference Assistant - Administration & Financial Services and Connectional Ministries
Roscel S. Carandang serves as Conference Assistant for the Annual Conference in the Administration and Financial Ministries Team. She brings with her more than 30 years of administrative experience, in addition to many years in event coordination, media coordination, Web development and design, graphic design, fund development, community organizing and ministry outreach. Always interested in making this world a better place for the growth of God’s kingdom, she volunteers and supports many local not-for-profits from women/family/homeless shelters, feeding the hungry, environmental concerns to animal rescue.
Born in the Philippines and a lifelong Hoosier, Roscel comes from a very large, close-knit Filipino family. She says she attributes her deep love for the Lord from being taught to lead a prayerful life by her grandmother and mother. She is aware that all her talents are God-given and is excited to apply them to promote ministry at the Indiana Conference in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. She lives daily by this Scripture: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Tom Heaton
Tom HeatonAssociate Director Mission + Justice
Tom is probably best known by churches in the Indiana Conference as the founder of Mission Guatemala. As an ordained Elder, Tom spent nearly a decade living and working in one of the poorest areas of Guatemala starting and growing a ministry that now serves hundreds of families every week. He brings a depth of knowledge from his personal experiences in mission work and ministry with the poor. Tom has also served as pastor of several churches throughout Indiana.
Rev. Paul Wagner
Rev. Paul WagnerAssistant to the Director of Connectional Ministries
Paul Wagner, although raised a United Methodist, first became keenly aware of God’s presence in his life while a teenager on a “Work Camp” trip to the backwoods of Kentucky during which he participated in building a log home for a young widowed mother and her baby. In working with and helping this family, who couldn’t help themselves, he experienced God’s presence in a truly tangible way and from that moment knew that the purpose God had for his life was to be in ministry beside others, serving others. Paul, an experienced pastor, has served twenty-seven years in Indiana Methodism in various capacities including, serving on the Board of Ordained Ministry and various District Committees for 16 years, as the lead planner of the Worship Service for Commissioning and Ordination at Annual Conference, and as a District Youth Director. Along with his current position as the Assistant to the Director of Connectional Ministries for the Conference, Paul serves as the pastor of Edgewood UMC in Indianapolis bringing together the unique experience of local church ministry and institutional ministry. He was ordained a Deacon in 1991 and Elder in 1993. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Church History, giving him valued insight and interest in collaborating with our Conference Commission on Archives and History, along with a Masters of Divinity from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. His experience, training, and personality have provided him with tremendous skills for managing details and diverse tasks, making him a meaningful part of our Conference staff. He believes that, “We are much more powerful as the people of God when we unite our resources, knowledge, and passion in ministry together.” He’s excited about being a member of our Indiana Conference Connectional Ministries Team. As a self-described baseball fanatic, Paul participates in a Fantasy Baseball League, plays softball, has coached many youth and adult softball teams, enjoys attending Indianapolis Indians games — and of course roots for the Major League Angels, “as any good Christian should”. He’s currently writing an interactive book which tests how well the reader would succeed as a baseball manager. When he’s not involved following baseball, he’s found with his wife watching movies, hiking trails and cooking – creating many of his own recipes.
Nick Yarde
Nick YardeExecutive Director - Camping + Retreats Team
Nick Yarde has a deep connection to the Camping Ministry. It was at Junior High camp that he solidified his faith. While finishing his Master’s degree in Natural Resources Agency Management at Purdue University, Nick served as a youth pastor at Battleground UMC. After brief stays at Lincoln and Turkey Run State Park, Nick returned to full-time ministry as the Director/Manager of Camp Rivervale. Prior to becoming the Association Director of Camp in the North Indiana Conference, Nick and his family were hosted at Camp Indicoso and Camp Lakewood. Currently, Nick serves as the Associate Director of Camps and Retreats Ministries. His wife, Nanette, has served along of him in each role at the various UMC camps while raising their three children.
Cindy Garver
Cindy GarverDisaster Response Coordinator
Ordained a Deacon in 2006, Garver has served in both extension and local church ministry. A graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology, and master’s degree in Religious Education from United Theological Seminary, her education has given her a keen understanding of both natural disasters and ministry. She is also a trained Early Response Team (ERT) member.

Garver’s vast experience includes organizing and leading mission trips, developing innovative forms of youth outreach, creating activity programs for Assisted Living residents, and farming with behaviorally-challenged clients. She has a passion for challenging congregations to live beyond their walls whether it’s weatherizing homes, cleaning up after a tornado, or packing and delivering flood buckets for UMCOR relief.

A native of upstate New York, Garver currently calls Muncie, Indiana home. She presently serves alongside her husband, William, at Corinth UMC. Prior to serving in Indiana, Garver served the former North Central New York Conference as a Diaconal Youth Minister in both New York and Ohio.