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101 Fee Street, Berea, KY 40403 859.986.3485
Worship: 8:30 & 11 am Sundays
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Rev. Ken Southgate
Ken Southgate was born a Virginian, but raised in Lexington, Kentucky. He comes from a loving Christian family and heritage, and is a “son of Centenary,” (Lexington Centenary UMC). A 1977 graduate of Tates Creek High School, Ken pursued his television production interests first through Kentucky Educational Television, while enrolled at the University of Kentucky.
Being “born again” into a loving relationship with Jesus in 1979, he transferred to Western Kentucky University where he graduated in 1981 with a double major in Broadcasting and in Religion. His first career was in television and advertising (WBKO-13 in Bowling Green, and WSMV-4 in Nashville). For seven of those years, Ken was involved in campus ministry at the WKU Wesley Foundation, first as a student, then part-time as the Assistant to the Director.
At the age of 31, after a year of soul searching and a call to ordained ministry, Ken enrolled at Asbury Theological Seminary, finishing a Masters of Divinity (1993) and a Masters of Arts in Counseling (1994).
His first appointment was as the Director/Campus Minister at the EKU Wesley Foundation, where he served from 1994 until 2017. For 18 of those years, he also served the EKU community as an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Communication. He was ordained a deacon in 1994, and ordained full elder in 1997. Ken was appointed to Berea UMC in June, 2017, after over 32 years invested in campus ministry.
Ken is married to Paula Taylor Southgate, whom he met at the WKU Wesley Foundation. They were wed in 1985 and have three sons: Daniel, Michael, and David. Ken also counts Emily Downer as “the daughter of his heart”. She, her husband Nathan, and their two daughters currently attend BUMC.
Mary Miller, Director of Music Ministry
Mary Miller moved to Berea with her family in 1993 and has been serving at Berea United Methodist ever since. Mary oversees all of the music ministries at BUMC, including directing the BUMC Singers (choir for high school age and up), the BUMC Ringers (handbell choir) and the Praise Team (our contemporary worship team).
Mary graduated in 1984 from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, with a bachelor’s degree in music education. She served in music ministries in three other churches and two other states before moving to Berea. Her desire is to create opportunities for God’s children to linger in His presence and in doing so, to experience the transforming power of God’s grace and mercy. Mary and her husband, Chris, have two children, Ben and Becca, and a son-in-law Andrew. Mary also operates a private music studio out of her home.
Jamie Salyers, Director of Youth Ministries
Jamie Salyers serves as the Director of Youth Ministries since 2015. Jamie grew up in a tiny community in Casey County, Kentucky (he tells people that they used to have a gas station — they don’t anymore.) He attended Lindsey Wilson College and majored in Christian Ministries and History. He also attended graduate school at Lindsey Wilson College, earning a Master’s in Christian Leadership. While attending graduate school, he also served as an Assistant Chaplain in the Campus Ministries department.
He enjoys UK basketball, Reds baseball, the television show The Simpsons and Barq’s root beer.
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Karen Reynolds, Director of Children's Ministries
Karen Reynolds guides the children's ministries team serving children ages birth to 5th grade. Karen began her career in early childhood education in 1982 while living in Anchorage, Alaska where she cared for children ages infants to ten. She taught at 2 child care centers and a Christian academy before moving to Illinois. There she worked at a preschool and a home daycare while attending an Early Childhood Education Program. After graduation in 1991 she owned a licensed daycare called “My Own Preschool and Daycare”.
Then she spent a year as a teacher’s aide in the public school before moving to Kentucky in 1999 where she worked in 2 child care centers and a home daycare . She now balances her time between her children's ministries work, sewing business, and volunteer work.
Vonda Scribano, Sunshine Friends Preschool Director/Teacher
Vonda has more than 17 years teaching experience and has served as preschool director since 2007. She attended EKU where she majored in elementary and special education. She has two children who are both graduates of Sunshine Friends and currently attend EKU.
Laura Barscewski, Financial Assistant
Laura has spent more than 20 years working in a church. She has been with BUMC since June 2015, and has previously worked as a legal secretary and word processing supervisor. Laura is a self-described perfectionist and gets such a feeling of satisfaction when all the financial reports and figures balance.
Originally from Michigan, Laura came to Kentucky by way of Florida. She feels that God led her family to Berea, as she and her husband “house hunted” all over the state before settling on our little town. Since moving here, she has taken up the dulcimer and weaving. Laura has three grown children and one adorable grandchild.
Margaret LaFontaine, Administrative Assistant
Margaret moved from Georgia to Berea in 2002. She is an Administrative Assistant by day and by night she is a dance teacher/ coach. She has taught dance for more than 30 years in Georgia, Alabama and Kentucky. In addition to serving as the Administrative Assistant at BUMC, she is the dance coach at Pulaski County High School, teaches dance classes at the Mission Dance Academy (Berea) and Missy’s Dance & Gymnastics (Somerset).
Prior to joining BUMC, Margaret held the same position at First Christian Church here in Berea.
She is married to Ed LaFontaine, and between them, they have five children, three daughters-in-law, one son-in-law and seven grandchildren – which makes the holidays and family gathers a blast.