Loveland, strive always to live up to your name sake. We are making
strides but there is still more river to bridge.
-Rev. Dr. Douglas Damron
Miami Township, Ohio - After eleven and a half-years as Senior Pastor of Epiphany United Methodist Church, Rev. Dr. Douglas Damron is moving. He has accepted the appointment as the Senior Pastor of Epworth United Methodist Church serving the city of Toledo, and surrounding communities. Epworth United Methodist Church located in the Village of Ottawa is the largest church in the Maumee Watershed District of the United Methodist Church's West Ohio Conference.
Damron was born and raised in Amherst, Ohio between Sandusky and Cleveland.
He began his ministry 17 years ago as the Student Pastor of Marathon United Methodist Church on the eastern border of Clermont County. His first full-time appointment came upon graduation in 1998 from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky when he was appointed as the Associate Pastor of Church of the Saviour United Methodist in Montgomery.
In January 2003, Damron became the second Senior Pastor of Epiphany United Methodist Church in Miami Township. During his tenure he received his Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton.
Over the years Epiphany has grown from a church worshipping just under 300 persons a weekend to a congregation now averaging close to 750 in three weekend services.
The congregation has conducted two capital stewardship campaigns during Damron's tenure to reduce the building debt and most recently to continue debt reduction. Currently the growing church is expanding and renovating the sanctuary, the fellowship space, and office area. Also, the congregation now has a 20/20 Vision that will find the church completely debt free, with 10% of the operating budget, above and beyond the apportionments they pay to the larger United Methodist Church, going to the missions they support locally, nationally, and internationally.
Effective July 1, Damron begins his new appointment. He is married to Kimberly, who Damron said, “Lives out her call as a public school teacher.” The Damrons have two sons; Wesley (14) and Clayton (12) who attended the Loveland schools.
Damron's last Sunday at Epiphany UMC will be June 22. Because of remodeling, the worship services and Sunday School are being held at Milford's McCormick Elementary School, located at 751 Loveland-Miamiville Road. Services are at 9 and 10:30 AM.
One of legacies Damron leaves to the Loveland area is an increasingly, inclusive church, He passes on this message to his Epiphany family:
No matter how large God grows you, remember water is thicker than blood. Continue to live life as family, a spiritual family created before the foundation of the world, a family that cherishes, listens to, treasures the gifts of, and welcomes all of God's children unconditionally. This is what it means to live life as a baptismal family.
Damron said that the Toledo church is well established and stable, "But now looking to embark upon significant systemic changes that will result in moving it from stable to dynamic in terms of growth. Epworth UMC has plans for a multi-million dollar renovation/enhancement of their large facility. They were looking for a pastor who has capital campaign fundraising experience. The history of Epworth United Methodist Church dates back to 1894, when Epworth Methodist Episcopal Church was established.
In announcing his new job, Damron said, "After nearly twelve years serving Epiphany I believe it is time for me to take up a brand new challenge that will stretch and grow me professionally."
I was privileged to partner with our lay leadership to cast vision and raise capital funds for our current project, and now a new pastor with different gifts, fresh perspective, and new energy will work with you to strategize ways to reach more people and create new programming that can now be accommodated in our larger space.
To Loveland community he said, “Strive always to live up to your name sake. Living in Loveland means loving and including all of our neighbors, especially the ones who are different economically, socially, politically, and religiously. We are making strides but there is still more river to bridge.”
A replacement for Damron is expected to be announced in the next few weeks.
Damron said to the church he leaves behind, "Your best days as a faith community lie just beyond the next horizon."