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Walther hired as new benefits director

The Michigan Conference announces the hiring of the Rev. Joel Walther as the new Director of Benefits and Coordinator of Human Resources.

Following an extensive search, the Board of Pensions and Health Benefits has announced the hiring of the Rev. Joel Walther as the new Director of Benefits and Coordinator of Human Resources for the Michigan Conference.

The board worked closely with the bishop’s office and the Committee on Human Resources in the search for a successor to the Rev. Don Emmert, who is retiring but will continue to assist in a part-time consulting role until the end of 2023. Walther will begin his new conference position later this summer.

Walther is an elder in full connection with the Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church, having pastored Goodrich UMC in the East Winds District since 2017. Previously, he served Petersburg UMC and La Salle: Zion UMC from 2011 to 2017.

From Minnesota, Walther graduated with a BA from Metropolitan State University (St. Paul, MN) in 2007 and received his MDiv from Wesley Theological Seminary (Washington, D.C.) in 2011.

Joel is the spouse of Rev. Megan Walther, Associate Pastor at Clarkston UMC, whom he met while studying at Wesley.

Since being appointed to serve in Michigan, Walther has been active on various boards and committees within the conference, including the Michigan Area United Methodist Camping Board of Directors (current), the Committee on Hispanic/Latino Ministries, and the East Winds District Committee on Ordained Ministry (current).

“I am delighted that the Rev. Joel Walther was chosen from a strong group of candidates for this position,” remarked Bishop David Bard. “Joel brings to this position a strong work ethic, a deep faith in Jesus Christ, a big pastoral heart, and a love for the church and its people. He is a learning leader who understands that there will be much to learn and is excited for the opportunity.”

The Michigan Conference