Association of Brethren Caregivers Makes Personnel Announcements

The Association of Brethren Caregivers (ABC) has made two personnel announcements today, the appointments of Mary Lou Garrison as director of Wellness Ministry in a position also supported by the Church of the Brethren General Board and Brethren Benefit Trust; and Kim Ebersole as director of Older Adult Ministry and Family Life Ministry.


— Kim Ebersole of North Manchester, Ind., will serve as director of Family and Older Adult Ministries for ABC, effective Aug. 1. She will work to continue the Older Adult Ministry program, creating resources and leading workshops for congregations wanting to provide an intentional ministry by, for and with older adults. She also will be forging a new emphasis on Family Life Ministry. In recent years, Family Life Ministry was a component of each of ABC’s ministry imperatives. Now the agency intends to make a more intentional effort at providing program for Family Life Ministry.

Prior to joining ABC, Ebersole has served as director of Social Services for Peabody Retirement Community of North Manchester since 1997. In this role she created a campus-wide program providing social services for residents in all levels of care to meet their social, psychological, emotional, spiritual and physical needs. She hired, trained and supervised a staff of social workers, facilitated support groups, and supervised social work students from Manchester College. Prior to working for Peabody, Ebersole worked for several years for a hospice as a social worker and bereavement coordinator. Her professional career has included creating and directing an AIDS service organization in Gettysburg, Pa. She also served on the denomination’s HIV/AIDS Task Force in the 1990s.

Ebersole earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Manchester College and a master’s degree in social work from Temple University. She is a Licensed Social Worker and a member of the National Association of Social Workers. Ebersole is a member of the Manchester Church of the Brethren. She will relocate with her family to Elgin, Ill., in the coming months.


— Mary Lou Garrison will assume responsibilities as part-time director of Wellness Ministries of ABC, effective Aug. 1. The position is staffed through ABC, and is a collaborative position also supported by Brethren Benefit Trust and the Church of the Brethren General Board. Garrison will work from the ABC office at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill.

Garrison’s work will involve promoting wellness and the goals of the church’s Wellness Ministry in congregations, districts, and agencies throughout the denomination, with special attention to those enrolled in the Brethren Medical Plan. She will also develop, coordinate, and manage a resource bureau of people from across the Church of the Brethren who have expertise in various areas of health education.

Garrison is resigning effective July 28 as director of Human Resources for the General Board. Previously she served as Human Resources Director and as a Geriatric Social Worker for Pinecrest Community, a Brethren-affiliated retirement community in Mount Morris, Ill. She also has worked as a manager of Upjohn Home Health Care Services of Battle Creek, Mich.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Manchester College and a master’s degree in Family Ecology from Western Michigan University. She has completed course work and training in Mediating Interpersonal Conflict and Employment Law and has earned a lifetime certification as Senior Professional in Human Resources. Her interest in healthy food and cooking led her to complete courses in Culinary and Hospitality Management from Elgin Community College. She is a member of Mount Morris Church of the Brethren.


In another personnel announcement from the General Board, Barbara York has accepted the position of Accounts Payable and Payroll specialist, at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. A resident of Elgin, she has filled this position previously on a temporary basis and is currently assisting in the Annual Conference Office. She brings a strong accounting background from positions held in the Elgin area and has operated her own business. She also has worked as a teacher’s aide, providing special needs assistance. She will join the General Board by May 30.


The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board. Mary Dulabaum and Mary Lou Garrison contributed to this report. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. To receive Newsline by e-mail go to Submit news to the editor at For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to Messenger magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.