The Thistle

Class Notes

MDiv - Dan Quakkelaar
Congratulations to Dan Quakkelaar (MDiv ’13) on his call to plant Friend of Sinners Church near Brewer's Hill in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and his ordination in the Wisconsin Presbytery of the PCA. Dan has worked part time with Covenant Seminary as a donor analyst since 2009. Dan most recently served as a church plant apprentice at Trinity Church in Kirkwood, Missouri. He and his wife, Shereen, have four adult children, Brandon, Shaun, Caris, and Kezia, and one teenager at home, Eliya (14).
MDiv - Nick Hathaway
Nick (MDiv '07) and Annie Hathaway give thanks for the birth of Annelise Margaret, born October 23, 2014, and weighing 7 lbs. Annelise was welcomed by older sisters Cosette (2) and Sophia (9), and older brothers Martin (4), Clipston (7), and Aiden (10). Annie has recently retired from pediatric nursing, in part to homeschool their oldest two children. Nick works as the youth pastor at Liberty Church PCA in Owings Mills, Maryland, and has recently taken a sabbatical from chairing the Session Records Committee of Chesapeake Presbytery after seven years.
MDiv - Joshua Hall
Joshua (MDiv '13) and Amy Hall announce the birth of Naomi Ruth, born October 6, 2014. Naomi weighed 7 lb. Amy is now a stay-at-home Mom, and Joshua is pursuing a career in Information Technology.
MDiv & MAEM - Ryan & Ada Moore
Ryan (MDiv '08) and Ada (MAEM '08) Moore welcomed Elizabeth Armour Moore on September 7, 2014. "Bess" was immediately welcomed by her sisters, Mae (5), Anne Hardin (4), and Virginia (2). Ryan serves as the RUF campus minister to the University of Alabama.
MDiv - Jason Wilkins
Jason (MDiv ’11) and Ashley Wilkins announce the birth of Eleanor Clare, born September 4, 2014, and weighing in at 8 lbs. 6 oz. Eleanor joins older brother Elijah (2). Ashley works part time at Hand of Hope as a medical missions director. Jason works as a teacher in the Bible department at Westminster Christian Academy in St. Louis, Missouri.
MDiv - Israel Ruiz
Israel (MDiv ‘13) and Marietta Ruiz announce the birth of Lessley Valeria Ruiz, born August 23, 2014, and weighing in at  8 lbs. 1 oz. Lessley joins her brother, Antonio (3). Marietta works at raising two children full time, while Israel is working two part-time jobs while waiting for God’s calling to serve full-time in a local church. They are still located in St. Louis, Missouri.
DMin - Daniel K. Chinn
Daniel K. Chinn (DMin 2010) is professor of biblical and theological studies (BTS) at College of the Ozarks in Branson, Missouri. Daniel’s degree from Covenant enables him to teach the practical theology courses in the BTS program. He also provides pastoral leadership for his BTS department as they seek to provide a Christ-centered education anchored in Scripture, grounded in grace, and focused on the larger culture and world through the local church. His experience at Covenant also affords Daniel opportunities to mentor young believers being trained to be Trinity-focused, grace-saturated, and others-oriented. This is his fourteenth year to serve the campus, and he anticipates many years ahead, thanks to Covenant. Daniel and his wife, Sue, have four children, two in college and two still at home. His favorite author is Wendell Berry and his favorite snack is Askinosie Dark Chocolate.
MAC - Shannon Wing
Congratulations to Shannon Wing (MAC ’13) on her marriage to Tyler Jack Parker on December 29, 2013. Tyler graduated from North Carolina State University with an MA in architecture in December 2014. The Parkers live in Raleigh, North Carolina, where Tyler will work at a local architecture firm and pursue his licensure. Shannon has her provisional license for counseling and is not currently practicing. She is working for a tech start-up company as a project coordinator and is currently on maternity leave. The Parkers celebrated the birth of their son, Sibbes Haddon Parker, on October 2, 2014!
MDiv - Doug Merkey
Congratulations to Rev. Doug Merkey (MDiv’00) on the publication of his new book Gush: Refreshment for Thirsty Christians. Gush is an engaging biblical guide for finding refreshment in the Fountain Himself – God, who invites us: “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters” (Isa. 55:1a). Doug is president of Churches for Life, a ministry that nourishes churches as gospel-driven champions of the sanctity of human life. For more information about Doug’s ministry and his new book go to:
MATS - Mimi Larson
Mimi Larson (MATS '08) graduated with a PhD in early childhood education from Concordia University-Chicago in December 2014. Her dissertation was entitled "Making Meaning of God: The Faith Experiences of Preschool Children." Former Covenant Seminary professor Dr. Donald Guthrie served on her dissertation committee. Mimi lives in Wheaton, Illinois, where she is guest assistant professor at Wheaton College and on the adjunct faculty at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, Illinois) and Judson University (Elgin, Illinois), teaching courses on children's and family ministry, curriculum development, and research.
MDiv - John Kent Dawson
John Kent Dawson (MDiv ’03) and his wife, Rebekah, have been serving at Brandon Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Mississippi, since 2003. John served as assistant pastor until March 2014, when he was called as senior pastor. John completed his DMin from Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi, in December 2014. The title of his dissertation is "Double Cure: Getting Reoriented as to the Relationship Between Justification and Sanctification." John and Rebekah have two boys, Oliver (9) and Elliot (6).
MDiv/MAC - Caleb Mitchell
Recently, Caleb Mitchell (MDIV, MAC '03) teamed up with another therapist to create a website called A Smart Practice ( that is geared to helping new and experienced therapists with the business side of starting and maintaining a private practice. Since starting their individual private private practices eight years ago, Caleb and colleague Samuel Rainey (, have seen the need for practical ideas and guidance on topics such as marketing, accounting/finance, and caring for oneself and one's clients. This new website and by-weekly newsletter are an attempt to address these areas of need. Caleb and his wife, Elisa, currently own a private practice ( in Phoenix, Arizona, where they see individual clients and also see couples together.
MDiv - John Dowlen
John Dowlen (MDiv '12) and his wife, Allison, moved to Roanoke, VA in August 2012, where John serves as Director of Youth and Families at Christ the King Presbyterian Church (PCA). John begins the process of licensure and ordination this fall.
DMin - Daniel Ying
Daniel Ying (DMin ’11) is serving as senior pastor of Redeemer Montclair in Montclair, NJ
MATS - Isaac Musselwhite
Hannah and Isaac Musselwhite (MATS ’11) welcome Jack Dylan, born March 27, 2011.
MDiv - Andy Wood
Andy Wood (MDiv ’11) is serving as assistant pastor at City Church Denver (RCA) in Denver, CO.
MDiv - Jake Bennett

On August 15th, Jake Bennett (MDiv '11, MAC '12) was ordained and installed as a civilian Chaplain at Friendship Village Chesterfield by Missouri Presbytery. George Stulac (DMin ’93) chaired the Presbytery commission and Dr. Robert Peterson preached for Jake's ordination. Jake and his wife Rebekah have two children.

MDiv - Jonathan Davis
Erin and Jonathan Davis (MDiv ’11) welcome Margaret Spencer, born July 25, 2012.
MDiv - Justin Sembler

Justin Sembler (MDiv ’11) is now serving as pastor of First Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Cedar Grove, WI.

MAEM - Jennifer Cronk

Jennifer Cronk (MAEM ’10) recently transitioned to director of children's ministry at Grace Evangelical Church in Germantown, TN.

MDiv - Currie Bishop

Abby and Currie Bishop (MDiv ’10) welcome Hudson Davis, born January 14, 2012.

MDiv - Barret Turner

Congratulations to Beth and Barrett Turner (MDiv '10) on the birth of their third son, Louis Benedict, June 14, 2012. Louis joins older brothers Symeon (3 years) and Ambrose (1 year). The Turners live in Alexandria, VA where Barrett is working on his PhD in moral theology at the Catholic University of America (Washington, DC).

MDiv - David Salyer

Dawn and David Salyer (MDiv ’10) welcome Evelyn Elizabeth, born November 24, 2011.

MDiv - Nathaniel and Suzy (MAC ’06) Thompson

Congratulations to Suzy (MAC ’06) and Nathaniel Thompson (MDiv ’10) on the birth of Adelaide Elise, July 14, 8 lbs 14.5 oz and 20.5 inches long. Adelaide joins her older brother Iain (2.5). The Thompsons live in Kailua, HI where Nathaniel serves as the assistant pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church.

MDiv - Tim Butler

Tim Butler (MDiv ’10) recently transitioned to assistant pastor of discipleship at Grace Presbyterian Church in St. Charles, MO.

MDiv, MAC - Tom Rubino

Tom Rubino (MDiv, MAC ’10) is now serving as assistant pastor at Potomac Hills Presbyterian Church in Leesburg, VA.

MAC - Steve Benson

After three years of working toward his full licensure, Steve Benson (MAC '09) received his LPC in North Carolina. He has opened up his own practice called Grace Roads Counseling Center PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina. Steve is also an adjunct faculty member at New Life Theological Seminary undergraduate urban studies and counseling department. Steve continues to write devotionals along with speaking in churches and Christian schools about journeying toward grace. You can find out more about his ministry by visiting his website:

MAEM - Amy Roebke

Congratulations to Amy Roebke (MAEM '09) on becoming the Kid's Ministry Director at Redemption Hill Church in Singapore. Amy has been serving at Redeemer Presbyterian in NYC in the Children's Ministry for the past 3 years and is especially thrilled to be continuing her work with Redeemer in their City-to-City church plant in Singapore.

MDiv - Gary Leibovich

Gary Leibovich (MDiv ’09) is now serving as associate pastor at New City Fellowship of Nairobi, Kenya.

MDiv - George Lacy

Charlotte and George Lacy (MDiv ’09) welcome Amos Hamilton and Malachi Tucker, born February 14, 2012.

MDiv - Luke Morton

Kudos to Luke Morton (MDiv ’09) on his contribution to a compilation music CD by Cardiphonia.

MDiv - Todd Gwennap

Jennifer and Todd Gwennap (MDiv ’09) welcome Raney Grace, born May 24, 2012.

MDiv, ThM - Jeff Zehnder

JoAnna and Jeff Zehnder (MDiv '09, ThM ’10) welcome Anna Sophia Judith, born May 28, 2012. Jeff also was ordained as associate pastor of Fairview Reformed Presbyterian Church in Industry, PA, on May 20, 2012.

MAEM - Kristy Mitchell

Kristy Mitchell (MAEM ’08) is now serving as executive director of the Wilson Pregnancy Center in Wilson, NC.

MDiv - K. J. Kim

Susie and K. J. Kim (MDiv ’08) welcome Samuel Covenant, born July 22, 2012.

MDiv - Mike Bobell

Congratulations to Mike Bobell (MDiv '08) on being called as the Pastor of Emmaus Christian Fellowship (RCA) in Langley, British Columbia. Mike has been without call since 2010. He and his wife Sarah (MAEM, MATS '08) have a daughter named Maya (8 months) and all of them are excited for this new work to which the Lord has called them.

MDiv, MAEM, MATS - Mike and Sarah Bobell

Mike (MDiv ’08) and Sarah (Park) Bobell (MAEM, MATS ’08) welcome May Evangeline, born January 26, 2012.

MDiv - Jason Polk

Jason Polk (MDiv ’07) is now serving as a missionary in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with Mission to the World (MTW).

MDiv - Jonathan Mattull

Jonathan Mattull (MDiv ’07) is now serving as headmaster of Providence Classical Christian Academy in St. Louis, MO.

MDiv - Michael Barber

Gretchen and Michael Barber (MDiv ’07) welcome Samuel Hewitt, born May 13, 2012. Michael also was ordained as a chaplain in the South Texas Presbytery on May 27, 2012.

MDiv - Nick Hathaway

Annie and Nick Hathaway (MDiv ’07) welcome Cosette Capell, born February 14, 2011.

MDiv, MAC - Lance Qualmann

Lisa and Lance Qualmann (MDiv, MAC ’07) welcome Will Edwin, born June 5, 2012.

DMin - Jame Hahs

After 11 years as pastor of Nameoki United Methodist Church in Granite City, Jame Hahs (DMin ‘ 06) was appointed to the position of Directing Pastor of Main Street United Methodist Church in Alton, IL. He is now entering his fourth year in that position. Jame and his wife Donna live in Alton, IL.

MAC - Laura Schultz

Congratulations to Laura Shultz (MAC ’06) on the successful defense of her PsyD in clinical psychology with an emphasis on the integration of faith and psychology as ministry, received from Wheaton College.

MATS - Melissa Anizor

Uche and Melissa Anizor (MATS ’06) welcome Ezra Christian, born May 16, 2012.

MDiv - Kristofer Holroyd

Jone and Kristofer Holroyd (MDiv ’06) welcome Sylvia Jean, born March 15, 2012.

MDiv - Travis Scott

Brooke and Travis Scott (MDiv ’06) welcome Jerram Charles, born July 17, 2012.

MAC - Mari Ellen Reeser

Our sympathies to the family of Mari Ellen Reeser (MAC ’05), who passed away April 8, 2012.

MDiv - Brian Main

Brian Main (MDiv ’05) is currently in the PhD program in biblical studies at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

MDiv - Jeremy Bedenbaugh

Jeremy Bedenbaugh (MDiv ’05) recently transitioned to lead pastor at The Journey: Tower Grove, in St. Louis, MO.

MDiv - Matthew Novenson

Congratulations to Matthew Novenson (MDiv '05) on the successful completion of his PhD in New Testament from Princeton Theological Seminary and on his position as lecturer in New Testament and Christian origins at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

MDiv - Nick Gleason

Suzanne and Nick Gleason (MDiv ’05), welcome longtime foster child Lyric Denise Ayanna (age 4), adopted August 2, 2012.

MDiv - Ryan Hughs

After 6 years as the RUF campus minister at Washington University in Seattle, WA, Amy and Ryan Hughs (MDiv ’05) transitioned to Fort Collins, CO where Ryan will be serving as the RUF campus minister at Colorado State University. The Hughs have two children, Ava (3) and Jane (10 mo.).

MDiv - Tom Mirabella

Tom Mirabella (MDiv ’05) is currently serving as a missionary to Chiba, Japan, with Mission to the World (MTW).

MDiv - Brent Webster

Katie and Brent Webster (MDiv ’04) welcome Lucy Kathryn, born December 14, 2012.

MAC - Karly (Klocksiem) Winter

Karly (Klocksiem) Winter (MAC ’03) is now serving as a lay counselor for The Living Center in LeMars, IA.

MDiv - Derek Bates

Luda and Derek Bates (MDiv ’03) welcome Elisea Hope, born June 24, 2012.

MDiv - Rodrigo DeSousa

Rodrigo DeSousa (MDiv ’03) recently became dean of theological faculty at Mackenzie University (Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie) in São Paulo, Brazil.

MDiv, MAC - Matt and Cheri Uldrich

Congratulations to Matt (MDiv, MAC ’03) and Cheri Uldrich (MAC ’03), who are licensed as professional counselors in Arizona.

MATS, MDiv - Richard Schumacher

The R. Schumacher Memorial Library at Jubilee Community Church in St. Louis, MO, opened on May 18, 2012. It is named after the late Richard Schumacher (MATS '02, MDiv '07).

MDiv - Brent Harriman

Brent Harriman (MDiv ’02) recently became area coordinator for Reformed University Ministries for 15 college campuses in Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri.

MDiv, MAC - Wes and Amy Zell

Wes (MDiv ’02) and Amy Zell (MAC ’00) welcome Wiley Paul, born April 8, 2012.

MATS - Larry McAuley

Larry McAuley (MATS ’01) and wife Linda are leaving Malawi after 14 years of service there with RCA/CRWRC and partner churches in Malawi and Mozambique. They are transitioning back to Kenya where they previously served with RCA/AIM/AIC for 15 years. In their new assignment they will be joining the staff of AIC’s Missionary College in Eldoret contributing to the preparation of African missionaries through classes in Wholistic Development, Missions, and Theology. They will also be facilitating implementation of Community Health Evangelism (CHE) and Church and Community Mobilization Process (CCMP or Umoja) with churches and communities in western Kenya. Larry’s theological education at CTS has built a strong foundation for helping churches and communities see God’s providence and presence and move forward in confidence toward more abundant living.

MDiv, DMin, MATS - Allen and Tracy Taha

Allen (MDiv ’01, DMin ’10) and Tracy Taha (MATS ’99) continue serving at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Boerne, TX, which they planted six years ago.

MATS, ThM - Nicholas Farelly

Congratulations to Nicolas Farelly (MATS 00 ThM ’02), associate professor of New Testament at the evangelical seminary in Vaux-sur-Seine in the Paris region, who was recently appointed director of École Pastorale (pastoral school), in Massy, France.

MDiv - Duff James

After nearly 10 years at First Presbyterian Church (ARP), Columbia, SC, Duff James (MDiv ’00, MAC ’02) is planting a new church in Asheville, NC. City Church (ARP) is a new gospel-centered church located on the north side of downtown Asheville in the historic Montford neighborhood. The James’ arrived in May of 2011, and officially stated the parachute plant in December. Currently, they are meeting with a launch team every week for food, fellowship, study, and prayer. Duff and his wife Kristi have two daughters: Olivia and Eliza.

MDiv - Michael Hall

Congratulations to Michael Hall (MDiv '00) on becoming Pastor to Students at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Charlottesville, VA. Michael has served as Pastor of Student Ministries at Kirk of the Hills, St. Louis, MO for the past seven years. Michael and his wife Kirby Hall MATS '99) have three children, McKenzie (10), Carter (9), and John Thomas (7).

MAC - Dan Judge

Dan Judge (MAC ’99) continues as chaplain of the Windsor-Severance Fire Rescue in Severance, CO.

MDiv, MAC - Clay and Missy (Barton) Smith

Clay (MDiv ’99) and Missy (Barton) (MAC '00) Smith are now in Lynchburg, VA, where Clay serves as senior pastor of Rivermont Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

MATS - Randy Rhea
After ten years as an assistant pastor of Grace Evangelical, Germantown, TN, Randy Rhea (MATS ’98) planted Trinity Presbyterian Church, Corinth, MS. This past January, Randy and his wife moved to Madison, MS where Randy is serving as the assistant pastor of Madison Heights Presbyterian. Randy and his wife Sheri have two children, Emily (12) and Walker (9).
MDiv - Dave Vosseller

Dave Vosseller (MDiv ’98) recently transitioned to pastor of Lakemont  Presbyterian Church in Augusta, GA.

MDiv - L. B. Graham

Kudos to L. B. Graham (MDiv ’96), chair of the Bible department and teacher of English and ethics at Westminster Christian Academy in St. Louis, who recently published several new books: Avalon Falls (Not Yet Books, July 2012); The Raft, the River, and the Robot (Not Yet Books, Sept. 2012); and The Darker Road (Living Ink, due out in Feb.).

MDiv - Stephen Estock

Congratulations to Stephen Estock (MDiv ’95) on being named the next coordinator for Christian Education and Publication. At the fall CEP meeting, Stephen was called to be the provisional coordinator of CEP, effective January 1, 2013. His name will be placed before the 2013 General Assembly for their approval and concurrence with the call. Stephen currently serves as an associate pastor at Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian, in St. Louis, MO.

MATS - Patricia Goodson

Congratulations t0 Patricia Goodson (MATS ’92),  who was named Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence at Texas A&M University.

MDiv - Brian Wayne Kinney

Condolences to the family of Brian Wayne Kinney (MDiv ’92), who passed away July 11, 2012.

MDiv - Jon Mould

Mary and Jon Mould (MDiv ’91) returned to Africa with United World Mission on August 2, 2012, to teach at Dakar Academy, a school for missionary children in Senegal.

MDiv - Sam Joyner

Sam Joyner (MDiv ’86) is now serving as pastor of Grace Coastal Church in Bluffton, SC.

MDiv - Sam Murrell

Sam Murrell (MDiv ’86) is serving as interim senior pastor at St. Andrew's Church (Anglican) in Little Rock, AR.

MDiv - Curt MdDaniel Jr.

Curt McDaniel Jr. (MDiv ’84) is currently serving as interim senior pastor of New Hope Presbyterian Church (EPC) in Ft. Myers, FL.

MDiv - Gerry Gutierrez

Condolences to Gerry Gutierrez (MDiv ’82) on the death of his wife, Ruth, on February 27, 2012.

MA - Wai Kan Yu

Celebrating a lifetime of ministry, Wai Kan Yu (MA ’81) retired in 2008 but continues serving in his mother church in Hong Kong.

MDiv - Curt Lovelace

Congratulations to Sandra and Curt Lovelace (MDiv ’81) on the completion of the book Children in Church: Nurturing Hearts of Worship (Great Waters Press, January 2013).

MDiv - Allen Lancaster

Congratulations to Allen Lancaster (MDiv ’80), who celebrates 21 years serving as a Navy chaplain.

MDiv - John Macaulay

Congratulations to John Macaulay (MDiv ’79), who is serving as translation coordinator on the Wycliffe Bible translation for Tanzania and Kenya.

MDiv - Bob Muhlig

Our sympathies to Bob Muhlig (MDiv ’77) on the death of Mary Anne, his wife of 58 years, on March 27, 2012.

MDiv - John L. Vance

Congratulations to John L. Vance (MDiv ’72), who celebrates 40 years of pastoral ministry and is currently serving at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Rock Tavern, NY.

MDiv - Ross Graham

Rev. Ross Graham (MDiv ’72) was honored at the 2012 General Assembly of the OPC. Ross has been serving as the general secretary for the assembly. The resolution honoring him read: “A glance at his labors helps us to appreciate the work of the broader church. Rev. Graham has served as general secretary of the Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension since 1990 and has worked tirelessly to strengthen the relationship between the Committee and the presbyteries. The church-planting efforts of the OPC grew from twenty home mission fields in 1990 to forty-six in 2011. During this time, the total number of churches and mission works grew from 195 to 326, the total membership from 18,137 to 30,274, the number of ministers from 325 to 509, and the number of presbyteries from 12 to 17.” Ross and his wife Nicole live in Marlton, NJ.

MDiv - Richard Aeschliman

Condolences to Richard Aeschliman (MDiv ’64) on the death of his wife of 29 years, Sandra (MDiv ’72), on January 3, 2012.