Monroe United Methodist Church
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Shining the light on the hill by connecting with Jesus Christ, connecting with each other, and connecting with the world.



 Joel was appointed to the Monroe UMC in 2014.  He was first  ordained in 1985 and is excited about doing ministry here and  now!  He loves to spend time with people, young, older and in the  middle!
 Joel hails from the small town of Jackson, Ohio.  He holds a BS in Social Work from Ohio University and a MDiv from Drew  University  Theological School in Madison, NJ.  He spent many years working  in Youth Ministry and Campus Ministry before he was called to be the Lead Pastor in some churches. 
He has been blessed to be happily married since 1979 and has two grown children living on the West Coast.  His other interests include camping, paddling, hiking, bicycling, cooking and eating great food, reading and watching movies.
Contact Pastor Joel at 

Ruthie Stout – Director of Youth Ministries

Our wonderful new Director of Youth Ministries

Gina Craft - Director of Children's Ministries
 Gina Craft was born and raised in Middletown, OH. She earned a  BFA at Miami University and a MACE at Union Seminary in  Richmond, VA. She has experience in children’s ministry, youth  leadership, and adult Christian education. She loves to spend  time  with her son and daughter, as they often go on hiking trips  and bike  rides together. Gina is grateful whenever God gives her  opportunities  to share the Gospel with others.
Rev. Jim Weible - Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care
 Jim grew up on a farm in northwest Ohio. His family attended First  Baptist Church of Defiance, Ohio, where he was baptized at the age  of eight.
 He earned his Bachelor's of Music degree from Ohio University      and responded to God's call to serve for approximately 30 years in  full time Worship and Music Ministry in a variety of                    Presbyterian and Methodist churches.
 For the past 7+ years, Jim has served as a pastor and consultant  in the Ohio River Valley District of the United Methodist Church. He is a Licensed Local Pastor taking classes in the Course of Study. Jim is married to Lisa Deaton. Lisa is a professional portrait artist, musician, and potter. They live in Fairfield Township and have five adult children.
Jim oversees our Support Groups, Health Related Outreach Ministries, Congregational Health Committee, Home  Bound and Elder Care Ministries, Newcomer Outreach, and Counseling.
Rachel Watkins - Director of Hornet haven
 Rachel Watkins and family joined Monroe United Methodist  Church   in the fall of 2005. Over the course of many years she has  been a   member on our Missions team, Finance Committee, Child   Education Committee and held the title of Church Treasurer for 3   years. Her most rewarding service to the church was when she   served as a Sunday school teacher for 2 years. 
 In 2010 she started at Hornet Haven as an assistant pre-school  teacher. Within 2 years she was promoted to head Pre-K teacher.  In August of 2015, she was named as Director of Hornet Haven.  Being   given the chance to work with the children of our  community and help them with their educational and spiritual  needs is a true blessing. 
In her spare time some of her favorite things to do are camping, boating and playing soccer with her three sons, Jacob, 17, Alex, 14 and Thomas, 10. She has lived in Monroe for over 18 years and enjoys the small “home town” community. Throughout the past 10 years she has done some amazing things within this church and she is looking forward to the new adventures that God has planned for her.
Rev.Tim Draxler - Choirmaster
 The Rev. Timothy A. Draxler (Choirmaster) was born in Middletown,  Ohio, graduated from Lemon-Monroe High School and Asbury  University. After seven years in full time ministry, he became bi-  vocational working at AK Steel and serving several Middletown area  churches. He has two adult daughters working in the medical field  and two grandsons.



Stephanie Fleming – Contemporary Worship Leader



 Linda oversees the nursery / preschool room during our Sunday  Mornings services. She also works in our Hornet Haven Latchkey  and Honeybee Haven Preschool programs and has done so for  more than eight years.  Well-trained and equipped in child development, Linda loves kids and helping the church fulfill its mission. Linda’s responsibilities include everything from wiping runny noses to giving much-needed hugs and everything in between, making the children feel safe and secure while being her care. You may Contact Linda at


 Edna has been a church secretary/office administrator/office  manager for 30 years. She started out at Faith UMC in Middletown,  working there on two separate occasions. Over the last 30 years,  Edna has worked at  First Baptist Church in Middletown, St. James  UMC in Miamisburg, Hope UMC in Hunter and Christ UMC. Edna  and her husband, Warren, have been married 28 years and are  lifelong residents of Middletown.  She has one son, Tommy and  Warren has two sons, Rob and Joe. They have three  granddaughters, Hailey, Hanna and Julia and one grandson, Hudson.  Edna’s son and his family live in Middletown and Warren’s two sons and their families live in North Carolina. Edna and Warren share their home with their dog Skooter who is a Chorkie (Chihuahua/Yorkie mix).  She is an avid lover of Golden Retrievers – and has had three over the years – and hopes someday to have another one.
Contact Edna at


 Melanie has been a resident of Monroe most her life. Her family  includes husband John, daughter Tonya Deem, son Kevin,  granddaughter Morgan and grandson Dakota. She is also blessed  to have in the family four dogs and four horses.
Melanie attended Monroe local schools and after graduating went to Miami University and earned a B.S. in Education. After beginning her teaching career she earned a Master’s degree in Classroom Teaching from Wright State. She retired from Middletown City Schools in 1999. 
Her hobbies include working outdoors, reading, doing crosswords and Sudoku, and spending time with my grandchildren.
I have been the organist at Monroe United Methodist Church for 49 years. Her responsibilities include playing for the 8:30 and 10:45 services, attending choir rehearsals, practicing and playing for soloists and small groups, playing for special services like Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Christmas Eve. She also play at funerals that are held in our church.
Contact Melanie at