Leadership Team

Lead Pastor – Rev. Melanie Carey

Rev, Carey will be starting her appointment as Lead Pastor on July 1, 2016.

You can email Rev Carey at .

Rev. Gary Dawes – Director of Care & Outreach Ministriesdawes

Gary recently retired as Senior Pastor @ Adrian First UMC after 33 years in full time ministry.  Gary grew up in Detroit, graduating from Cody HIgh Shool, he recieved a B. A. in Theology from the University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario.  He attended seminary at the Methodist Theological Seminary in Ohio with a double masters; M. Div. and Master of Christian Education.  He has served: Chatham Charge (St. Louisville, Chatham, & Liberty Churches), Saginaw First UMC, Kochville, Ypsilanti St. Matthew’s, Berkley First and Adrian First where he was the host pastor for the Detroit Annual Conference.  He has served as Chair of Bd. of Outdoor and Retreat Ministry, Director of UN Washington Youth Seminar, and President of the Church Extension Fund.  Gary has been active in Habitat for Humanity since 1986, serving as affilitate president for four different affiliates, and now chairs the board for HFH Michigan.

He has been married for 41 years to Barbara, who serves as VP & COO of Hospice of Lenawee.  They have two children Cassie & Jason (Emily) and 5 wonderful grandchildren – Jackson, Edison, Sam, Tynne & Charlie.

Primary responsibilities – Missions, Church & Society, Outreach, Congreational Calling, and Worship Support

You can email Rev. Dawes at .

Rev. Beth Titus – Director of Youth MinistriesBTitus

Beth has had ministry experience is Christian Education, Youth Ministry and Pastoral Ministry. She has been on staff at Brighton First UMC and Hartland UMC. She graduated from Methodist Theological School in Ohio with a Master’s of Divinity in 2002. She has served as pastor at Denton:Faith UMC and Ann Arbor Calvary UMC. She is also very active in mission work in Haiti.

She has been married to Dale for 26 years. They have two children, Matt and Kristin.

Primary responsibility – Youth Ministries

You can email Rev. Titus at .

Rev. Karen Poole – Director of Children’s Ministries

Karen PooleThe Rev. Karen Poole has served in pastoral leadership in the United Methodist Church since 1983, receiving a Master of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 1985.  She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Central Michigan University with dual majors in Biology and Physical Education and certification in secondary education. She taught in Gary, Indiana and Grand Blanc, Michigan.  She was the Christian Education Director at Grand Blanc UMC.

Karen was an Associate Pastor at St. Paul’s, Monroe; Brighton First, and Nardin Park.  During those years she gave pastoral leadership in the areas of: Christian Education (all age levels), Youth Ministry (including A.S.P), Mission, Membership and Evangelism, and Stephen Ministry.  For five years she served as the Senior Pastor at Trenton First. During a years sabbatical she became trained as an Intentional Interim, and served her last two years before retirement as an Intentional Interim at Four Towns and Waterford Trinity UMC’s in Waterford, MI.

Primary responsibilities: Children’s Ministries Director

Karen is married to Gary and they have four children through a blended marriage.  They have six grandchildren.

You can email Karen at .

Rev. Dr. Wes Brun – Director of Stephen Ministry

Wes BrunThe Rev. Dr. Wes Brun served in the parish setting for ten years in Missouri. He then specialized his ministry in the area of Pastoral Counseling and served for twelve years as Associate Director and Director of Clinical Services at the Pastoral Counseling Center of Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois. In 1986, he and his family moved to Farmington Hills where he became the founding Executive Director of the Samaritan Counseling Center of Southeastern Michigan (which has its main offices here at Nardin Park). He retired, after twenty years in that position, in 2006. He joined the staff of Nardin Park as the (volunteer) Director of Stephen Ministry in 2008.

Dr. Brun is married to Beverly and they have two children (in addition to two sons of Dr. Brun’s by a previous marriage). They have five grandchildren.

You can email Dr. Brun at .

Director of Music – Melvin Rookus

Mel RookusMr. Rookus has been Organist/Director of Music at Nardin Park since 1977. A native of Bay City, Michigan, he has both B.M. and M.M. degrees from the University of Michigan, studying organ with Ray Ferguson and Robert Glasgow. He oversees a music program that includes six choirs, including an adult choir (Chancel Choir), a youth choir (New Generations), two children’s choirs (Wesley and Cherub), an adult hand bell choir, and a liturgical dance choir.

Under his direction the church now has a 48 rank, 3 manual Casavant organ, a Petrof concert grand piano, and a 3,000 square foot music facility with a music library of over 5,000 titles.

Nardin Park presents a Music Series that averages 16 concerts each year by artists from throughout the United States and abroad. Over 5,000 people hear these concerts each season. Mr. Rookus received the “2008 Distinguished Service to The Arts Award” presented by the Farmington Area Arts Commission, for the Concert Series and its impact for the people of Metro Detroit area. Mel has also composed numerous anthems sung by the Nardin Park choirs and has commissioned new anthems from respected composers in the field of sacred music.

You can email Mel at .