District executive team is announced for Southeastern District

By Nancy Sollenberger Heishman

Gary Benesh and Wallace Cole have been called to serve as interim co-executive ministers for Southeastern District of the Church of the Brethren. The district called the two new leaders in an Aug. 22 reorganization meeting. They will serve as non-salaried volunteers. Benesh will represent the district on the Council of District Executives.

Scott Kinnick is no longer actively serving the district as district executive minister, although he officially concludes his employment on Dec. 31. All inquiries regarding the district should be directed to Gary Benesh or Wallace Cole.

Benesh is co-pastor of Friendship Church of the Brethren in Wilkesboro, N.C., and is a retired public school teacher and coach. He is a graduate of Bethany College in Bethany, W.Va., and Emmanuel Christian Seminary (formerly Emanuel School of Religion) of Milligan University in Elizabethton, Tenn. Benesh has previously served as the district’s representative to the Standing Committee of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference. He is actively engaged in supporting the global Brethren in the Great Lakes region of Africa.

Cole is co-pastor of the Friendship congregation and recently retired as co-manager of Outdoor Ministries at Camp Carmel in Linville, N.C., after serving there for 12 years. His previous pastorates include the Maple Grove congregation in Virlina District, where he completed ministry training, and First Church of the Brethren in Mt. Airy, N.C. Cole previously served as interim district executive minister for Southeastern District and as a member of the Church of the Brethren’s Mission and Ministry Board.

Nancy Sollenberger Heishman is director of Ministry for the Church of the Brethren.

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