Michigan District has called Edward “Ike” Porter to serve as interim district executive minister beginning Jan. 1, 2019. West Marva has called John Ballinger to serve as interim district executive minister beginning Jan. 14.
Porter will serve in Michigan District on a one-quarter time, volunteer basis. He recently retired from the Battle Creek Veterans Administration after serving for 22 years as director of pastoral care. He has a background as a pastor, having served in several Mennonite churches and as an interim pastor at Skyridge Church of the Brethren in Kalamazoo, Mich., and at Hope Church of the Brethren in Freeport, Mich. He brings a strong foundation in education and training, holding two bachelor’s degrees from Eastern Mennonite University in biblical studies and social work, and a master of divinity from Goshen Biblical Seminary. His experience and certifications include serving on the National Ethics Committee and work with federal mediation, victim offender restorative mediation, and as a specialist in critical incident stress debriefing and post-traumatic stress disorders.
Ballinger will serve in West Marva District until a permanent executive minister is hired. An ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren, he previously served as executive of the Church of the Brethren’s Northern Ohio District. He holds degrees in pharmacy from Ohio Northern University in Ada, and in pastoral ministry and church administration from Ashland Theological Seminary. He has continued his ministry studies at Ashland and also at Bethany Theological Seminary, the Alban Institute, and the Moody Bible Institute. He is a graduate of Leadership Ashland, the leadership development program of the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce. Prior to entering the ministry, he practiced hospital and retail pharmacy. He has pastored Church of the Brethren congregations in Sheffield Lake and Ashland, Ohio, has served as a hospital chaplain, and led master of divinity study groups at Ashland Seminary.