Nelson Head, D.D. (1844-1846) was one of several early preachers from Leesburg, home of the first Methodists in Virginia. He was a member of the Baltimore Conference for 14 years before he joined the jVirginia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1848. He transferred back to the Baltimore Conference in 1868. In each Conference, Dr. Head was a Presiding Elder and was elected delegate to a General Conference. He had a great library, and compiled a 782-page volume entitled Daily Walk with Wise Men; or, Religious Exercises for Every Day in the Year. Nelson Head died in 1902 at the age of 91.

William T. D. Clemm (1846-1847), like his predecessor, served the Rockville Circuit near the beginning of a long career. He subsequently served churches in Baltimore, Annapolis, Ellicott City, Alexandria, and Washington. After the Civil War, he was Presiding Elder of the Winchester District. Unlike his predecessor in the Rockville Circuit, Nelson Head, he was a strong supporter of the Northern Church. Both Northern and Southern sympathizers characterized him as a unique personality, whose wit and humor made him a formidable antagonist in debate. He died in 1895 at the age of 80.

David Thomas, D.D. (1847-1849) was a scholar of ancient Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. He joined the Baltimore Conference in 1833, and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at the 1866 Alexandria Conference. He was a Conference Missionary in 1867, and helped strengthen the church on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. In 1871, he was Presiding Elder of the Moorefield District, where his yearly salary of $800 was said to be the lowest of any Presiding Elder in the Conference. He was an appointed agent for Randolph-Macon College, from which he received his Doctorate of Divinity. Dr. Thomas died in 1895, at the age of 86.

Richard Brown (1849-1851) was a former merchant who used his capacity for business as a Conference steward from 1843 to 1859. For twelve years, he was chairman of the Board of Stewards, and was said to have “read out claims and disbursements on the Conference floor in his clear, resonant yet musical voice.” He was also said to be an excellent manager of camp meetings. Among his many appointments was the Montgomery Circuit from 1839 to 1841. Richard Brown died in 1859 at the age of 60, the only Rockville Circuit preacher who died before the Baltimore Conference split into the Methodist Episcopal Church and Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1866.

William Prettyman (1851-1853) was married to Eliza Barratt, whose grandfather built “Barratt’s Chapel” in Frederica, Delaware. This was the location of the first meeting of Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury. Rev. Prettyman was appointed to the Rockville Circuit three separate times, the first in 1851. Ten years later, at the age of 69, he was appointed as an assistant to Rev. Morgan during the first year of the Civil War. Finally, after the Circuit split in 1866, Rev. Prettyman was appointed by the Methodist Episcopal Church to minister to the remaining Northern sympathizers among the Rockville Circuit churches. All of Rev. Prettyman’s three sons became Methodist Episcopal preachers. He died at age 82 in 1875.

Thomas Sewall, D.D. (1853-1855) was a graduate of Wesleyan Seminary in Readfield, Maine. He joined the Baltimore Conference in 1838 but resigned because of ill health. He subsequently worked in the State Department under Daniel Webster. In 1853, he resumed his pastoral work on the Rockville Circuit. He was a delegate to the 1860 General Conference that added the New Chapter on Slavery to The Discipline and was himself a vocal opponent of slavery. In 1863, he co-sponsored and delivered to Abraham Lincoln a resolution from the Baltimore Conference to request that the President appoint a day of prayer and fasting to help end the war. Dr. Sewall, plagued much of his life with ill health, died in 1870, age 52.

John Summerfield Deale, D.D. (1855-1856) was first appointed to the Rockville Circuit as junior preacher in 1850, and returned five years later as Preacher-in-Charge. Subsequently, he served churches in both Baltimore Washington, and was appointed twice as Presiding Elder. He was a graduate of Dickinson College and awarded his Doctorate of Divinity from Allegheny College in 1872. That year, he was elected as one of the Baltimore Conference’s delegates to the quadrennial General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Dr. Deale suffered from poor health, and died in 1885, age 59, a month after his appointment to the Caroline Street church in Baltimore.

William George Eggleston, D.D. (1856-1858) spent much of his early ministry serving Baltimore Conference churches in Virginia. He was the first preacher of McKendree Church in Washington, D.C. and the Presiding Elder of the Winchester District between 1858 and 1866. In 1861, he was a prominent figure in the Staunton Conference that declared the Baltimore Conference to be independent of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. At the time the history of the old Baltimore Conference was published in 1907, Dr. Eggleston was the its oldest surviving member. He died in the following year, age 92.

Samuel Regester, D.D. (1858-1860) was also a prominent leader at the Staunton Conference and a strong supporter of the Southern position. Between 1860 and 1869, he was Presiding Elder of the Roanoke and Baltimore Districts, and in 1869 he was elected president of the Maryland Agricultural College (now the University of Maryland). His religiosity and elimination of much of the technical farm training led the trustees to request his resignation. In 1873, he resumed his work with the Baltimore Conference. He was elected delegate to the M. E. Church, South, General Conferences of 1866, 1870, 1874, and 1878. He died in 1881, age 63, and many former colleagues from the Methodist Episcopal Church were present at his funeral.

Tillotson A. Morgan (1860-1862), whose father, son, and two brothers were also Methodist Episcopal preachers, was the first of three Northern sympathizers to serve the Rockville Circuit during the Civil War. The Centenary Biblical Institute, organized in 1867 to train black preachers for the new Washington Conference, was renamed Morgan State College in honor of Littleton Morgan, one of Tillotson Morgan’s brothers. He was known for his powerful sermons, especially at camp meetings, at “which his power to stir human hearts and consciences, to thrill believers and alarm the wicked, was most marked.” Rev. Tillotson Morgan died in 1887, at the age of 71.

Francis Stansbury Cassady (1862-1864) joined the Baltimore Conference in 1850 and served 13 appointments in just 22 years. He remained with the Northern church. The notes he left in the Rockville Circuit records suggest the disagreements between the Northern and Southern sympathizers of that charge may not have been as bitter as one might imagine. When he was transferred from that largely pro-South congregation, he wrote of the people “from whom I am now most regretfully to take my leave!” At his last charge, South Baltimore, he became incapacitated with tuberculosis, but was so well liked by the congregation that they asked for and received his re-appointment for a third year. Francis Cassady died in 1872, age 45.

Samuel Vanderlip Leech, D.D. (1864-1865) attended Sunday School at Foundry Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. He served the Rockville Circuit during the last year of the Civil War. He later left the Baltimore Conference and served churches in Indiana, Kansas, New York, and West Virginia. In New York, he was President of the New York State Temperance Society, and was a friend of Theodore Roosevelt. Two of the books he wrote are in the Library of Congress: The Three Inebriates: A Poem (80 pages, 1886), and The Raid of John Brown at Harper’s Ferry as I Saw It (24 pages, 1909). Dr. Leech died in West Virginia in 1916, age 79.

John Larkin Gilbert (1865-1867) had the distinction of being appointed to the Rockville Circuit in 1865 by the Baltimore Conference that was affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and reappointed the next year by the newly-formed rival Baltimore Conference that was affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In 1866, he appointed a committee to buy land for what would become the new Forest Oak Church in Gaithersburg, and he helped oversee its construction until he was moved in 1867. After leaving the divided Rockville Circuit, Rev. Gilbert was appointed Presiding Elder of the Lexington, Virginia, and Lewisburg, West Virginia, Districts. He died in 1880 at the age of 61.

James Edward Armstrong, D.D. (1867-1870) was the first preacher to serve the Forest Oak Church. At that time, he was the Assistant Conference Secretary, a post he held for 30 years, and he was the Conference Secretary for another 20 years. Between 1872 and 1906, he was selected Presiding Elder of four districts. Dr. Armstrong was twice elected to be a delegate to the General Conference of the M. E. Church, South. Shortly before his death in 1908 at the age of 77, he published a comprehensive history of the old Baltimore Conference (before the East Baltimore Conference was split off in 1857).


Dabney Ball, D.D. (1870-1871) was a Confederate Army chaplain on the staff of General J. E. B. Stuart. Robert Trout, General Stuart’s biographer, indicated that the chaplain was a fearless soldier who earned the nickname, “The Fighting Parson.” Before coming to the Rockville Circuit, he helped organize the Bond Street Church in Baltimore and was Presiding Elder of the Roanoke District. While in Rockville, his health deteriorated, and he was transferred to San Francisco before the end of his second year. By the fall of 1872, his health improved, and he was returned to the Baltimore Conference. His last appointment was Presiding Elder of the Baltimore District. He died in 1878, age 57.

Peter Harrison Whisner, D.D. (1871-1875) was the Preacher-in-Charge of the Blacksburg, Virginia, church when in 1868 he reopened the Preston and Olin Institute (now Virginia Polytechnic Institute), which had been closed during the Civil War. He served as its principal for three years, but resigned that position to take over the Rockville Circuit from the ailing Dabney Ball. Dr. Whisner was the recipient of many honors, including appointment as Presiding Elder of five districts in 18 years and election as delegate to five General Conferences. He died in 1906, age 69, and was buried in the Forest Oak Cemetery. A biography of Peter Whisner is published in Volume 16 of the Smithfield Review (2015).

John Cunningham Dice (1875-1879) was the son of a farmer who also represented his district in the Virginia State Legislature. At age 16, he was “born again” at a Methodist camp meeting. His appointment to the Rockville Circuit was both preceded and followed by appointments as Presiding Elder of districts in Virginia. Rev. Dice was apparently better suited to be Presiding Elder, because his sermons were “frequently diffuse, and the impression was made upon the hearer that better preparation would have given better results.” Still, his preaching converted hundreds to Christ. He died in 1892 at the age of 71.

George Thomas Tyler (1879-1883) had seven sons, five of whom became preachers. One of them, Frank A. Tyler, was assigned to Grace Church in the 1930s. George Tyler spent twelve years as Presiding Elder of three Virginia districts. He was the Statistical Secretary of the Baltimore Conference for 36 years, and was also known for compulsively keeping track of his own financial records. A month before he died in 1919 at the age of 75, he recorded one of the last entries in his diary: “Since my fifteenth year I have kept an accurate account of all receipts and expenditures. Can no longer do so, save to see that my tithe is paid.”

Beverly Waugh Bond, D.D. (1883-1887) was named for Methodist Episcopal Bishop Beverly Waugh, to whom he was said to have been introduced at a camp meeting as a child. He was a Confederate solder in General J. E. B. Stuart’s cavalry. After the War, he became a lawyer, but soon felt the call to the ministry. He received a license to preach at the age of 27. At his first appointment as junior preacher on the Rockville Circuit, he was reunited with Dabney Ball, who had been General Stuart’s chaplain. Dr. Bond served a total of 19 years as Presiding Elder of several districts. He died in 1920 at the age of 76.

Jefferson Davis Martin (1887-1891) was named for Jefferson Davis, who at the time (1859) was a staunchly pro-slavery senator from Mississippi. Rev. Martin was only 28 years old when he became the first preacher appointed to the new Gaithersburg Circuit. While he was here, he attended a college of elocution and oratory in Washington, D.C. Well-liked and respected, he was described as an insightful and powerful preacher with a genial and sunny disposition. In 1896, he became Presiding Elder of the Lewisburg, West Virginia, District, where in 1899 he died at the age of only 40 years.

Edward H. Henry (1891-1895) could trace his roots back to Colonial Virginia. His great-grandfather, James Henry, was a member of the Continental Congress, and his grandfather’s first wife was the daughter of the American patriot, Patrick Henry. Edward Henry earned a Master of Arts degree from the College of William and Mary and taught high school for five years. At the age of 25, he was converted at a revival meeting and spent the next six years teaching and preaching in Georgia. An earlier reference was made to his daughter’s recollections of their days in the Forest Oak parsonage. He died in 1900, age 67.

Louis L. Lloyd (1895-1899) was born in Ireland, the son of a preacher who immigrated to Carroll County, Maryland. One of his earlier Baltimore Conference appointments was Greene Memorial Church in Roanoke, Virginia, an emerging industrial city characterized by increasing lawlessness. Rev. Lloyd was appointed chairman of a vigilance committee. He served with such courage that he was presented a watch inscribed with an expression of the city’s gratitude for his service. Immediately before coming to Gaithersburg, he served the Rockville Circuit. He died in 1929, age 78.


William Alexander McDonald (1899-1902) taught school before entering the ministry. He became a local preacher under the direction of Samuel Regester, a former Rockville Circuit preacher. He was ordained deacon at the 1866 Alexandria Conference that established the formal connection with the M. E. Church, South. In his early ministry, Rev. McDonald was appointed Chaplain to the Maryland State Senate on three occasions. Shortly after the 1902 Conference, where he was reappointed to the Gaithersburg Circuit for a fourth year, he died at the age of 63. The new Quince Orchard church that he helped organize was named McDonald Chapel in his memory.

David Harris (1902-1903) entered the Baltimore Conference before the Civil War, but retired from the active ministry after only ten years to run a mercantile business in Middletown, Virginia. He continued as a local preacher, and his services were in such demand that he preached about as often as he had before he retired. After the death of William McDonald, he was called on to supply the Gaithersburg Circuit until after the 1903 Conference. His Memoir stated  “How faithfully he performed this duty was amply attested to by the high esteem in which the good people of that charge held him.” Later, he supplied the Berkeley Circuit following the death of another preacher. In 1906, he died suddenly from a stroke at 70 years of age.

Thomas Jackson Lambert (1903-1907) was named for Confederate General Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson, the general having died in battle just two weeks before Rev. Lambert was born. During his active ministry, he served four terms as Presiding Elder. Because of his reputation as a wise builder of churches, he was appointed to Gaithersburg, which was planning a new building to replace the Forest Oak church. In his Conference Memoir, it was said that his outstanding building enterprise was our church, “a beautiful building and a lovely location.” He spent 12 years as a retired preacher in Baltimore, where he died in 1945, age 82.

Harry William Burruss (1907-1909) was the second of our preachers in just seven years to die while on the job. His last sermon was on Easter, 1909. The following Saturday, he had a chill, which rapidly developed into pneumonia. Ironically, he had just made a plea for the church to more properly maintain the Forest Oak Cemetery, and within three weeks, he was buried there himself. He lived only 37 years, but left lasting impressions. A memorial tribute from his earlier congregation at Aberdeen, Maryland, described him as “gifted to the highest degree with those qualities that made him a blessing and a benediction to the people he served.”

James Harry Smith (1909-1913) was transferred from the church he was serving in Berryville, Virginia, following the death of Harry Burruss. He had been a member of the Baltimore Conference since 1893; most of his appointments were to churches in Virginia, and included Front Royal, Salem, Lexington, and Blacksburg. After retiring in 1938, he served for several years as supply pastor for the Locust Grove church. He was married to Martha Burruss, sister of his predecessor, Harry Burruss. Rev. Smith died in 1943 at the age of 78.


Henry Phelps Hamill, D.D. (1913-1915) was the son of Patrick Hamill, a local Methodist Episcopal Church elder and a former United States Congressman. Henry Hamill first served Gaithersburg as a junior preacher on the Rockville Circuit between 1883 and 1887 under Beverly Bond. Among his honors were two appointments as Presiding Elder, and election as delegate to four General Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Throughout his career, Rev. Hamill held several non-ministerial positions, including President of Wesleyan Female Institute and Secretary-Treasurer of Randolph-Macon Women’s College Rev. Hamill died in 1931, age 78, and was buried in the Monocacy Cemetery near Beallsville.

Marvin Hindman Keen (1915-1918) was the son of John S. Keen, a Methodist preacher under whose training Marvin did his first preaching at the age of 16. He moved to the Baltimore Conference from the Louisville, Kentucky, Conference, where he had received his license to preach in 1897. Among other area churches he served were those in Poolesville, Maryland, and Middletown, Virginia. After he left Middletown in 1920, he transferred to the Southwest Texas Conference, where he served nine churches before his retirement. Rev. Keen died in Port Lavaca, Texas, in 1963 at the age of 86.


Josiah Judson Ringer, D.D. (1918-1921) was the Grace Church preacher when Owen Hall was excavated. While serving in his next pastorate at St. Paul’s Church in Washington, D.C., he was active in the Conference’s efforts to open a home for the aged in Gaithersburg. Dr. Ringer was the first Superintendent of what would become Asbury Methodist Village. While there, he helped run the Home’s dairy farm. In 1928, he was appointed to the Chesapeake, Maryland, Circuit. He retired from the Conference in 1933 and purchased a farm in Friendship, Maryland, where he ran a store. He was also the president of the bank at Owens Station. Dr. Ringer died in 1946, age 72, and was buried in Bridgewater, Virginia.

Daniel Mason Brown (1921-1923) was born in West Virginia, and spent six years there as a school teacher. He decided to become a preacher, and in the next four years completed the prescribed course of study for traveling preachers in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. During his 46 years in the ministry, he was assigned churches in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. At the last Baltimore Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1939, he received the Superannuate relation (retirement status). Rev. Brown died in 1960 at 90 years of age.

Arthur Elmer Owens (1923-1926) was our first preacher to live in the new parsonage at 1 Walker Avenue. He decided at age 24 to enter the ministry, and attended Randolph-Macon College in Virginia. Among the area churches he served were Potomac, Poolesville, Salem Church in Annapolis, Marvin Church in Washington, D.C., and Frederick Avenue Church in Baltimore. Rev. Owens was remembered as a student of local and world events who enjoyed lively political discussions. He died in 1954, age 74.


William Stevens
(1926-1929) was born in Frostburg, Maryland, of British parentage. His father came from England and his mother from Wales. Like his predecessor, he was a graduate of Randolph-Macon College. His active ministry in the Baltimore Conference spanned a period of 42 years. His daughter, Lucille Stevens, remained a member of Grace Church until her death in 1992. The sermons delivered by Rev. Stevens were characterized as having independence of thought and originality but subject to misunderstanding. He died in 1935 at the age of 71, and his colleague and former Grace Church preacher, Daniel Brown, conducted the funeral services.

Denny Lewis Fringer
(1929-1932) was the son of George Fringer, a member of the Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He was the third successive Grace Church preacher to graduate from Randolph-Macon College. He also attended the Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia. While he was in Gaithersburg, two of his infant children were baptized by their grandfather, George Fringer. He was known for his powerful sermons, and during his pastorate at Huntington Court Methodist Church in Roanoke, he organized and preached at several successful revival services. He died in 1952, age 57.

Frank Ames Tyler, D.D. (1932-1937) was one of five sons of George T. Tyler, a former Forest Oak preacher, who became ministers. His academic background included Randolph-Macon College, Emory and Henry College, and theological training at Vanderbilt University. The Doctor of Divinity degree was conferred by Randolph-Macon. Dr. Tyler made his retirement home in Rockville, where he had served before coming to Grace. His considerable service to the Rockville Church during his retirement included leading a women’s Sunday School class. He died in 1953 at the age of 78.


William Daniel King (1937-1938) served only one year in Gaithersburg, after which he returned to his hometown church in Buchanan, Virginia. He studied for the ministry at Johns Hopkins University and Vanderbilt University’s Theological Seminary. One of his early appointments was to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, on Tilghman Island in the Chesapeake Bay. Upon retirement, he requested that he be appointed Associate Pastor of the South Roanoke Methodist Church. He remained there for 15 successful years. He died in 1960 at the age of 82.

William James Elliott
(1938-1944) was a veteran of World War I. He tried a variety of occupations, including police officer, machinist, and the automobile business. In 1922, at the age of 29, he felt the call to the ministry and entered Emory University. He served nine Baltimore Conference appointments in 32 years. It was during his tenure in Gaithersburg that the Northern and Southern Methodists were finally reunited, so he was the last of our Methodist Episcopal Church, South, ministers. Rev. Elliott died in Glen Burnie, Maryland, in 1958, age 64.


Karl Gilliam Newell (1944-1951) was born in Washington, D.C., and was the younger brother of another member of the Baltimore Conference. His academic credentials included degrees from both Ohio Wesleyan University and Boston University School of Theology. He was well liked by our congregation and after leaving Gaithersburg, he often returned to fill the pulpit. He retired in 1965, but continued in the ministry as an Associate Pastor of the Catonsville and Northwood Appold Churches and supply pastor of the Providence United Methodist Church for three years. Rev. Newell died in 1984 at the age of 84.

Watson Ely Holley (1951-1954) was raised in the Congregational Church and in his early years spent time in the Marine Corps and as a traveling salesman. He decided to enter the ministry and studied at Emory University and Vanderbilt Theological Seminary. He was admitted into the Baltimore Conference in 1918. Over the next 44 years, he served a dozen appointments in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. Rev. Holley is remembered for his interest in Methodist history, and he organized several historical tours of the area. After retirement, he moved to Miami and started a new church in Leisure City, Florida, but soon moved back to Maryland. The last three years of his life were spent in the Asbury Home. He died in 1977, age 87.

Paul Kinsey Cummins, Jr. (1954-1955) was a Westminster Theological Seminary classmate of Edwin G. Reter, who was our minister of visitation. During his pastorate, McDonald Chapel was reassigned to the Washington Grove Circuit and Grace Church became a one-church appointment) Rev. Cummins retired from the ministry in 1955, shortly after his appointment to Grace Church for a second year. He then began a new career in sales work in Edgewater, Maryland. In 1972, he resumed his ministry as pastor of the Woodland Beach Community Church, and served in that capacity until 1989. Rev. Cummins died in 1999, age 78.

Henry John Muller (1955-1960) was born in New York and joined the Air Force at age 17. While stationed at Bolling Air Field in Washington, he was active in programs of the Anacostia Methodist Church and decided to study for the ministry. He graduated from American University and Westminster Theological Seminary, and later earned a master’s degree in theology. Rev. Muller served seven Baltimore Conference appointments in 43 years before retiring and settling in Leesburg, Florida. There he was active in the Morrison Memorial United Methodist Church and honored with the title of “Pastor Emeritus.” He died in 1977, age 74.

Richard Lee Irvin (1960-1961) transferred to the Baltimore Conference in 1956 from the North Texas Conference. He was known for his very entertaining sermons, and he was in great demand as a speaker for all kinds of gatherings. Although he was reappointed to Grace Church for a second year in 1961, he resigned from the Baltimore Conference that year and returned to Texas. He served several appointments in the Texas Conference before retiring in 1985. Rev. Irvin was then called back into the ministry to serve as Associate Pastor at Park Place Church in Houston, where he continued to serve until his death in 1987 at the age of 72.

Andrew Leigh Gunn (1961-1976) was ordained deacon in the Baltimore Conference in 1953 and elder in 1955. A highlight of his 15-year ministry at Grace Church was a month-long celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Forest Oak Church. For three years after leaving Grace Church, Rev. Gunn was the Executive Director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. He resumed the active ministry in 1979 at the John Wesley United Methodist Church in Hagerstown, after which he was pastor of Mt. Vernon Place United Methodist Church and St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, both in Washington, D.C. He retired in 2000 and died in 2015, age 84.

Robert Kenneth Rodeffer (1976-1990) is a graduate of the University of Maryland and Wesley Theological Seminary. Before coming to Grace Church, he served churches in Seat Pleasant, Prince Frederick, Washington, D.C., and Lanham. He has held several Conference offices, including president of the Conference Board of Evangelism and president of the West River Methodist Camp Board of Directors. After 14 years at Grace Church, Rev. Rodeffer was selected to be District Superintendent of the Baltimore Conference’s Washington East District. He is currently retired and living in Silver Spring.

William Louis Piel, D. Min. (1990-2006) was raised in the Evangelical United Brethren Church. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, a Master of Divinity from Duke University, and the Doctor of Ministry from Lancaster Theological Seminary. Before coming to Grace, Rev. Piel served churches in Cumberland, Owings Mills, and Baltimore (Arbutus). Among his many District and Conference positions was president of the Baltimore-Washington Conference Historical Society. Since Dr. Piel officially retired in 2006, has continued to serve churches in the Conference. He is currently pastor of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Finksburg, MD, and lives with his wife Judy in Westminster.

Mark Alan Derby (2006-2014) is a graduate of the University of Delaware and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. During his 40 years of pastoral ministry he served Bowie, Montgomery, Faith, and Grace United Methodist Churches.  He was a delegate to the 2000, 2004, and 2008 General and Jurisdictional Conferences and served as District Superintendent of the Baltimore-Harford and Washington West Districts (2000-2007). Rev. Derby retired in 2014 and currently serves as a Ministry Representative with Ambassadors for Christ International, an organization that supports indigenous missionaries in 22 countries. He has led seminars for pastors and lay leaders in Africa and the Pacific Islands. He and his wife Joyce live in Olney