Leadership Team

Dale MillerLead Pastor – Dr. Dale Miller

The Rev. Dr. Dale M. Miller became our lead pastor on July 1, 2006. Dr. Miller received a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Illinois Wesleyan University, a Master of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Seminary, and a Church Business Administrator Certification from Candler School of Theology.

Dale has come to Nardin Park after serving six years as the Superintendent of the Detroit East District. Previous churches served include Waterford Central, Flint Central, Gladstone Memorial, Stony Creek and Plymouth First (Associate).

Primary Responsibilities: Preaching, Worship, Evangelism, Administration, Visioning, and Coaching

He is the husband to Susan (35 years) and the father of Walker, Kate, Sarah and Sam.

You can email Dr. Miller at .

Rev. Gary Dawes – Director of Care & Outreach Ministries

You can email Rev. Dawes at .

Maria Pajak – Director of Youth Ministry

Maria earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan, double-majoring in English and Brain, Behavioral, Cognitive Science. While completing her Master of Science degree in Clinical Psychology at Madonna University, she served as our church secretary. Now, with the opening of her private practice in Northville, Maria serves as our Director of Youth here at Nardin Park.

Maria is a founding member of New Beginnings United Methodist Church, where she previously served as Director of Youth, Director of Outreach, and was a Sunday School teacher.

Primary Responsibility: Youth Ministries (grades 7-12)

You can email Maria 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 5000 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 it’s 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 .