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Bishop Announces Two New District Superintendents

Posted: March 11 2019 at 01:43 PM

Rev. Brian Gilbert

Bishop Sally Dyck is pleased to announce the appointments of two new District Superintendents. She has named the Rev. Brian Gilbert as the new DeKalb District Superintendent and the Rev. Fabiola Grandon-Mayer as the new Rockford District Superintendent. Both appointments are effective July 1, 2019. Rev. Gilbert follows Rev. Young-Mee Park, who has been appointed to Hinsdale United Methodist Church; Rev. Grandon-Mayer follows Rev. Lisa Kruse-Safford, who has been appointed to First UMC in Crystal Lake. 

Bishop Dyck thanked both Rev. Young-Mee Park and Rev. Lisa Kruse-Safford for their years of service on the Northern Illinois cabinet since 2013. “Young-Mee has been invaluable to us over the last six years as she has pursued additional training in cultural competence and has utilized that passion and training within our annual conference,” said Bishop Dyck. “We have every hope that she will continue to share her gifts and passion with all of us even after assuming leadership in the Hinsdale Church.”

Dyck added her appreciation for the many gifts and talents Rev. Kruse-Safford has shared with the conference. “In addition to her responsibilities as a District Superintendent (DS), she has been a great asset to the Conference Committee on Finance and Administration (CCFA) and the Annual Conference worship committee along with other projects,” said Bishop Dyck.

Rev. Brian Gilbert named DeKalb DS

Rev. Gilbert is from a small Tennessee community population of 800. He has a teaching background and community service both before he went to seminary and after serving churches. He did his seminary training at Wesley Theological Seminary. He served several churches in the Tennessee Annual Conference before coming to Northern Illinois to serve as associate pastor at First UMC in DeKalb in 2010, and then First UMC in Princeton in 2015.

Gilbert is a self-described "Methodist nerd" and is proud of it, said Bishop Dyck. “He knows his history and polity but has a deep and abiding passion for both people and Scripture,” she added. “He worked for a short time at the Methodists for Social Action office in Washington, D.C., before going to seminary and therefore learned to appreciate the social holiness as well as personal holiness of our tradition.”

Gilbert said it is a deep honor and privilege to walk alongside the DeKalb District. “I really believe that, with God’s help, all things are possible and the potential for life-giving ministry is limitless,” said Gilbert, who added that over the past nine years  — while serving in various congregations and at events — he's seen examples of faithfulness through people being the hands and feet of Jesus. “The love among this District is powerful and God’s greatness is brightly reflected into many communities because of that love. I am excited to be a part of this dynamic district!”


Rev. Fabiola Grandon-Mayer

Rev. Fabiola Grandon-Mayer named Rockford DS

Rev. Grandon-Mayer was born and raised in Chile in the Methodist Church; her father is a Methodist pastor. For five years she coordinated a program called Youth in Mission for all Latin America and the Caribbean Methodist churches. She was the Director for Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the World Methodist Council. "As a result, Fabiola has experience and the perspective of worldwide Methodism," said Bishop Dyck. "It has also honed her administrative and leadership skills."

In addition to her previous experience with the global church, Bishop Dyck said Fabiola has been a tremendous asset in the revitalization, organization, and health of our Hispanic-Latinx ministries in the NIC. "She balances both a progressive and evangelical understanding of our Christian faith and ministry," Bishop Dyck added.

Fabiola is a graduate of Asbury Seminary in Lexington, Ky. Her first appointment in the NIC was to First UMC in Elgin in 2012, and then to Centennial UMC in Rockford, where she’s been since 2014. She and her husband, the Rev. Mario Mayer, pastor of Beth Eden UMC in Rockford, have 6-year-old twins, Pedro and Paulina. 

“I have been blessed to serve in the Rockford District as a pastor for the last six and a half years and I am excited to continue my pastoral ministry from another perspective along with a great group of clergy and laity committed to the mission that God has put in our hands," said Grandon-Mayer.

Opportunities for saying “thank you” to both Rev. Park and Rev. Kruse-Safford and “hello” to Rev. Gilbert and Rev. Grandon-Mayer will be publicized when details are made available.

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