Changes in District Staff
July 9, 2015
A Letter from Bishop Gregory V. Palmer...
Dear beloved friends,
Today I am pleased to announce the appointment of Rev. Linda Middelberg as the new Superintendent of the Capitol Area North District effective August 15 and Rev. Dr. Scot Ocke as the new Superintendent of the Maumee Watershed District effective September 1.
Linda Middelberg has been a valued member of the Bishop’s Cabinet since July, 2014 serving the Maumee Watershed District where she has provided exceptional administrative and pastoral leadership. Immediately prior to serving as Superintendent of the Maumee Watershed District, Linda was Executive Pastor at King Avenue United Methodist Church.
Linda attended Morehead State University where she earned both her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Business Administration. While taking a disciple bible study class at her home church, Christ United Methodist Church in Kettering, she recognized her call to ordained ministry and earned her Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary. As the leader of the Capitol Area North District, Linda will have spiritual and administrative oversight of 89 churches in central Ohio, as well as numerous mission sites and ministries.
Linda is passionate about engaging with people who believe they have been forgotten and connecting them to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ. Her skills as a teacher have also allowed her to be a coach for new pastors, a candidacy mentor and a Crucible leader. Linda has been married for over 30 years to her husband, John, and they have two daughters, a son-in-law and two grandchildren who are the joy of their lives.
Scot Ocke has served as Senior Pastor at Maumee United Methodist Church since 2006 and Chair of the Maumee Watershed District Leadership Team for seven years. Prior to that he was pastor at First United Methodist Church (Marysville), Grace United Methodist Church (Piqua) and the former Hedges Chapel, now Village Chapel United Methodist Church, in Ashville. Scot felt the call to ministry at his home church of First United Methodist in Sidney where he grew up, and while in seminary became a student pastor and deacon there.
A graduate of Bowling Green State University in Business Administration, Scot received his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary. Scot serves on the Conference Board of Ministry, the Board of Trustees at Lakeside Chautauqua, and as Spiritual Director for several Walk to Emmaus communities. As Superintendent, Scot will have spiritual and administrative oversight for the 106 congregations in the Maumee Watershed District as well as numerous mission sites and ministries.
Scot's passion for mission work has led him to Methodist Camp Sierra Linda in Mexico, Henderson Settlement in Kentucky, and local mission work in South Toledo. While at Maumee he led the church to complete a Family Life Center, providing space for new ministries for the church and community. Scot is married to Mary and they have four children, all of whom they are proud to say, are active members of United Methodist Churches where they live.
Both are beloved colleagues who bring a history of empowering ministry to the leadership of our conference and as members of the Bishop’s Cabinet, will assist in the appointment of all pastors in the West Ohio Conference.
I invite you to be in prayer for these transformational leaders as they begin preparing for their new roles serving the West Ohio Conference in its mission and ministry of making disciples of Jesus Christ.
Your servant through the Risen Christ,
+Gregory V. Palmer