Extended Cabinet

Julius C. Trimble
Julius C. TrimbleResident Bishop
Bishop Julius C. Trimble was assigned July 16, 2016, to the Indiana Episcopal Area (Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church) by the 184 delegates of the North Central Jurisdictional Conference of The United Methodist Church meeting in Peoria, Illinois. He was elected and consecrated a bishop by the same jurisdiction in 2008 and served eight years as the bishop of the Iowa Conference before his assignment to Indiana.
Trimble is a native of Chicago and a graduate of Illinois State University. He earned his Master of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Chicago, Ill., and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Ashland Theological Seminary in Ohio.
He was ordained a deacon and elder in the Northern Illinois Conference where he served two churches before transferring to the East Ohio Conference. He served churches in the Cleveland area and as the District Superintendent of the Cleveland District from 1996-2003.
Recipient of many honors and awards, He received the Outstanding Alumni Award in 1998 from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and the 2007 Bishop James S. Thomas Social Action Award from the Methodist Federation for Social Action at Lakeside, OH. He continues to promote faith-based response to domestic violence and has encouraged the establishment of mental health ministries at the local church and conference level. He is also an active advocate for social justice, faith-based initiatives to address gun violence, as well as immigration reform. Trimble has preached throughout the United States and in Africa. He has also written a book, to support The United Methodist Church campaign Imagine No Malaria, A Faithful Church and a Healthy World: Reflections and Poems by Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble (2015). Trimble received 2015 Peace and Justice Award from Iowa Conference MFSA. In December 2017, he was the Graduation Keynote speaker at United Theological Seminary Dayton, Ohio, where he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Divinity for leadership in the area of Global Health and Global Justice.
Trimble has been married since May of 1978 to First Lady Racelder Grandberry-Trimble, a professional counselor and graduate of Methodist Theological School in Ohio. They are the parents of three adult children: Cameron, Candiace, and Julius Thomas.
Trimble’s personal mission statement is “to encourage all people with the love of Jesus Christ to rise to their highest potential or “Be Encouraged” for short. 
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.
Rev. Dr. Aleze Fulbright
Rev. Dr. Aleze FulbrightConference Superintendent - Central & West Districts
Rev. Dr. Aleze M. Fulbright is an ordained Elder in The United Methodist Church. She is a person of conviction in living a personal mission to encourage, equip, and empower all people to live on purpose and live out their God-giveness. Dr. Aleze’s greatest joy in life is her son, Myron Fisher Jr., who is a Middle School Math Educator and Basketball Coach in Wichita, Kansas. Additionally, she enjoys fellowshipping with family and friends, while also connecting with the community through her civic and sorority involvement.
Rev. Shannon Stringer
Rev. Shannon StringerDirector of Leadership Development
As the Director of Leadership Development, Reverend Shannon Stringer draws on more than 25 combined years of leading in education, ministry and staff supervision. Shannon’s personal educational background includes a Master’s in American Government with an emphasis in Constitutional Law and a Masters of Divinity and Ordination in the United Methodist Church. As an educator Shannon was awarded the US Congressional Recognition of Excellence in Education, the Coaching Excellence Award from SCORE, Coach of the Year two different years from the Fontana, CA Chamber. In her pastoral ministry, Shannon served three churches before moving to conference staff.She currently lives in Indianapolis with her husband, Dave, and their two dogs.
Rev. Mitch Gieselman
Rev. Mitch GieselmanConference Superintendent - Southwest District
Rev. Mitchell C. (Mitch) Gieselman has served churches across the Indiana Conference in various capacities since 1974; including Evansville Old North, Rushville St. Paul’s, New Castle First, Plainfield, Hanover, Mt. Vernon First, and Evansville Aldersgate UMC. Mitch has lived in six of the eleven Southwest District counties and was once employed in a seventh. In other words, he’s no stranger in Southwest District where he is assigned as the Conference Superintendent. While his energies focus on being the Chief Missional Strategist of the district, he does so through the particular lens of justice, having been intensively engaged in justice ministries and interfaith dialogue over the past decade. When the demands of being a part of the Extended Cabinet team allow, Mitch escapes into his preferred pastimes of golf, fishing, reading, crossword puzzles, watching baseball, and camping. He is also an avid follower of John and Charles Wesley’s footsteps all over the world. Additionally, he is involved in campus life at the University of Evansville and has lectured, taught in adult education courses, and volunteered in numerous capacities, and served as Chapter Counselor for Sigma Phi Epsilon, a social fraternity for male students. Gieselman received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Evansville in 1978 and Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary in 1981. He is married to the Rev. Dr. Tamara K. Gieselman, also an Elder in the Indiana Conference. The couple has three adult children: son, Cory Gieselman; and daughter, Dana (Lucious) Wagner who live in Evansville and both work for Old National Bank; and son, Jordan (Jennifer) Gieselman, a graphic designer who lives in Bowling Green, KY. The Gieselmans also have five grandchildren: Sydney, Rhyan, Sophie, Malik, and Hakeem who reside in Evansville.
Ian Hall
Ian HallDirector of Administration & Financial Services
Ian has served as the Director of Administration and Financial Services since 2016. A native of England, Ian’s first exposure to Indiana was through a pastoral exchange program in 1995. Graduating from Sheffield Hallam University, in South Yorkshire – England in 2000, Ian earned a bachelor’s degree in Business and Management. Ian moved to Indiana in the winter of 2001 and has worked in vocational lay ministry within the Indiana United Methodist Church ever since. As Director of Administration and Financial Services for the Indiana Conference, Ian provides general administrative oversight for personnel and human resource services, pension and health benefits along with property management, insurance, IT, and legal concerns. From a financial perspective, he is responsible for the accounting and finance function of the Annual Conference including all aspects of financial management, generosity and stewardship development, and risk management. Ian believes that organizational structure and a streamlined approach to administration are two key aspects of ministries success. Administration can create a firm foundation, that in turn provides the core ministry areas of Connectional Ministries, Church Development, and Leadership Development with the foundation to allow each area to flourish. This, in turn, will support and equip the connection of local congregations, The Conference, to fulfill the Vision, Mission and Wildly Important Goal (WIG) of the United Methodist Churches of Indiana. Ian and his wife Laura are active members of St. Paul United Methodist Church in Bloomington, Indiana where Laura serves as the Director of Family Ministries. Ian is passionate about working alongside Laura with the youth of St. Paul and desires to instill in them a heart for God. Ian enjoys spending time with his two sons, Elliot (10) and Nolan (6). Ian volunteers as a Den leader with his sons Cub Scout pack which allows him to share his love of the great outdoors with his boys and the wider community. An avid hiker, Ian recently completed the three-peaks challenge, climbing the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales over a three-day period. In his spare time, Ian enjoys DIY and yard work.
Dave Neckers
Dave NeckersConference Superintendent - Northeast District
Dave Neckers serves the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church as the Conference Superintendent of the Northeast District. Dave brings to this position forty years of experience as a business owner, counselor, life coach, executive pastor, and church developer. In his previous position as Director of Church Development, he led a team that consulted and coached pastors and lay leaders in church revitalization and the planting of new faith communities. As a Superintendent, Dave is invigorated by discovering where God is at work and then assisting in bringing that work to fruition. This fulfills his passion to discover, develop, and deploy leaders so that God’s Kingdom is present on earth, just as it is in heaven.
Dave received a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology. For 9 years he invested his energy in a Ford Dealership where he became partner and owner. However, God was at work in his heart leading he and his wife, Darlene, into various ministry opportunities as laity in their local church. Once God’s call was clear, Dave attended Asbury Theological Seminary earning a Master’s of Divinity degree in 1989 and a Master’s of Pastoral Counseling in 1990. Upon graduation, he received his first appointment in the United Methodist Church as a pastoral counselor and was later ordained an Elder in 1995.
Dave has been married for forty-one years to his high school sweetheart, Darlene. Together they have two adult children, Jeremy and Shannon, and have three beautiful grandchildren.
Dave is a fan of the Buffalo Bills and Ball State University football team. He likes to watch a good suspense-filled movie. He also enjoys landscaping, taking care of his lawn, flower gardens, and those DIY projects around the house. Darlene and Dave’s most favorite activity is spending time with their amazing grandchildren.
Rev. Gary Schaar
Rev. Gary SchaarConference Superintendent - South District
Gary Schaar is in his fortieth year of ordained ministry. During those years Gary has served in Indiana as a choir director of a large congregation, as an associate pastor, and as the pastor off our additional congregations of varying sizes. Gary was a member of the Conference staff for eight years and is currently the Conference Superintendent for the South District of the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. As a member of the Conference staff, Gary was appointed to be the conflict manager and staff mediator for the Conference. Gary ministered in that position for over five years as he worked with UM congregations across southern Indiana to understand and hopefully resolve, differences within their congregations. He coached congregations to practice loving, respectful, dialogue and encouraging critical conversation. Gary was trained in conflict management at Speed Leas of the Alban Institute and from the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center. Along the way, he earned his certificate in mediation. Gary received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Louisville on an Interim Ministry track. Gary has taught New Testament in the Indiana Course of Study for local pastors in the Indiana Conference. He has also taught United Methodist Polity at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. Gary is married to his wonderful wife, Joyce. Together they have two daughters, one son-in-law, and the cutest, smartest, most handsome grandson, Gary has ever laid eyes on.
Rev. Lore Blinn Gibson
Rev. Lore Blinn GibsonConference Superintendent - Northwest District
Rev. Lore Blinn Gibson met Jesus as in infant, carried by her parents to be baptized at Star City [United] Methodist Church, where she began her ministry by playing piano and working with children. There she was trained to think outside the box, work hard, and be a team player. Experiences in marching band, choirs, and teaching middle schoolers were the doors God used to invite her into pastoral ministry. After working with local pastors on several District Committee on Ministries and teaching Course of Study, Lore developed a passion for equipping and empowering licensed local pastors and small churches to do whatever it takes to follow the Spirit in transforming lives to become more and more like Jesus. When not driving around the Northwest District in her blue super-mobile, Lore maybe found painting, walking the family dog (Kitty), trying to coax interesting plant life out of the Lafayette clay, learning about and creating art, and history. She’s a proud Winamac Warrior, Indiana State Sycamore, Duke Blue Devil, and adopted Lafayette Jefferson Broncho and above all, a grateful United Methodist who highly values the connection. Lore married Randy, who currently works in medical research for Cook and teaches college ethics. They are the parents of Maia, a UIndy student and soon-to-be teacher, and James, a student at Lafayette Jefferson High School.
Rev. Saneta Maiko
Rev. Saneta MaikoConference Superintendent - North District
Saneta Maiko, Ph.D. is a former John Templeton Research Fellow with Indiana University School of Medicine (2017-2019). His clinical research investigated the role of spirituality and religion on the emotional and spiritual wellbeing of metastatic cancer patients. An experienced ordained clergy of the United Methodist, Dr. Maiko is the founder and former executive director of Crime Victim Care of Allen County (Amani Family Services), Chaplain Researcher at Indiana University Health. Dr. Maiko has many years of serving churches and teaching gender and diversity management at Purdue University. He is a respected leader in training Intercultural Competence for Law Enforcement, Social Agencies, Businesses, and Healthcare Systems. Dr. Maiko is Nationally licensed as an Intercultural Development Qualified Administrator and is nationally board certified as a healthcare chaplain. Dr. Maiko is a recipient of several honors and awards. He has authored a book and several articles in medical, leadership, chaplaincy, and youth journals. He is married to Beatrice. They are both blessed with three daughters and a son.
Rev. Russ Abel
Rev. Russ AbelConference Superintendent - East & Southeast Districts
Rev. Russ Abel has been passionately following Jesus most of his life. A native of southern Indiana he has found great joy in serving the northern part of the state for the past 13 years. Russ has served as a parish pastor since 1992. He began serving in his new appointment as Conference Superintendent for the East District of the Indiana United Methodist Conference July 1, 2019.

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) and 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 and his wife have two children, Emma and Sam.
Russ is committed to his beautiful family and looks forward to his firmly growing through two weddings (Chad and Alyssa) in the next four months.