Rev. Dr. M. Merritt Worthen Newly Called as Senior Pastor

Pastor Worthen is the daughter of Rev. Johnny Merritt and Mrs. Wanda Merritt. Upon graduating from John H. Patterson Cooperative High School, Dayton, she attended Ohio State University. Pastor Worthen ultimately earned a B.S. Degree in Business Mgmt. from Franklin University, and later earned an MBA from Wright State University with a concentration in Project Management. She worked in various management positions including: Acquisitions and Project Management for over 10 years first with Banc One Leasing Corporation (Columbus), and later The Reynolds and Reynolds Co (Dayton). She has three lovely daughters; Dominique, Indigo, and Brooklyn.

After receiving her call to ministry, Pastor Worthen earned a Master of Divinity Degree from United Theological Seminary. During seminary she served as Associate Pastor at Grace UMC on Salem Ave. & Trinity Presbyterian Church on Lakeview. Upon graduation, following in her father’s footsteps she was ordained as an Elder in the Presbyterian Church USA. She later joined the staff of United Theological Seminary serving as the Director of Student Services, where she oversaw: the International Student Program, the Intercultural Program, Introduction to Theological Education, served as Adjunct Faculty & managed the Student Services staff and programming until her appointment to McKinley UMC in July 2010.

After having faithfully served McKinley UMC for six and one half years, in November 2016
Pastor Worthen was moved to New Vision UMC and Calvary Hilltop UMC as part of a co-pastor team of these two churches. In March of 2017, Pastor Worthen was appointed as the sole Senior Pastor of New Vision UMC where she served until July of 2018 when she took a sabbatical to complete her PhD at Union Institute and University. Also, during this time, Pastor Worthen joined the Clergy Community Coalition (CCC) which fought against the closure of Good Samaritan Hospital. She is now the Vice President of the CCC which continues to fight the good fight, and is demanding the construction of a new hospital in place of the now demolished Good Samaritan.

In June 2020, Pastor Worthen earned her PhD in Ethical and Creative Leadership with a
specialization in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. legacy studies. These studies have focused on
examining the impact of religion and leadership on social and economic change and development in an effort to implement positive change, social justice and growth initiatives in areas and communities suffering from prejudice, racism, violence, poverty and other systems of inequity and oppression. The title of her dissertation: Showing Faith through Work(s): Examining How Christian-Based Businesses are Practicing Faith in a Materialistic Society.

Pastor Worthen is humbled, yet excited, to join College Hill as their new Senior Pastor and
work alongside so many faithful and dedicated servants of God and the community. She believes that the Lord has prepared her over the years for a time such as this. She is excited and honored to be a part of the divine movement and work of God in and through the church and surrounding communities. Putting Faith into practice is the divine goal which has been set forth for those who are willing to accept this challenge.

Rev. Dr. Charles C. Williams, Minister of Ecumenical Representation

Marcus Johnson – Christian Educator

Rev. Dr. Carolyn Peters – Spiritual Counselor/Educator

Dr. Carolyn Peters serves as a Spiritual Counselor and Educator at College Hill Church. Carolyn offers spiritual counseling (by appointment) to anyone who needs it. She also provides referrals for those in need to community resources that can help with food, utilities, and other forms of material assistance and support.  You can reach Rev. Dr. Peters at dr.carolyn.peters@gmail.com

Dr. Peters, retired MSW,LSW was appointed to the commission by Governor John Kasich on May 11, 2018 by Governor John Kasich to a term expiring July 28, 2021.

Commissioner Peters received her Bachelor’s of Science from Central State University, her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Lexington University and a Doctorate Degree in Theology from Tabernacle Bible Institute. She is a licensed social worker and notary public.

Professionally, Commissioner Peters spent many years as a social worker in schools and medical centers and has received numerous accolades and awards for her accomplishments as a social worker. Commissioner Peters is also an advocate and leader in the faith and disability communities. In addition to her work with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, Commissioner Peters is serving her second term as appointed Chair of the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Council. She also serves on the board of the National Federation of the Blind, Miami Valley Chapter. Commissioner Peters has also served on the board of Disability Rights Ohio and in leadership for the National Association of Social Workers.