First United Methodist Church of London, Ohio Staff & Leaders

  • Gail Baker
    Executive Assistant

    Gail was born in Cincinnati and was baptized and confirmed at Wilke Memorial Methodist Church. That is also where she married Randy Baker in 1970 – the final wedding performed by the pastor in the old chapel. Gail and Randy relocated to Misawa Air Base in northern Japan where they lived for 5 years and where their son, Christopher, was born. Randy was active duty Air Force, and Gail worked first in Special Services, then as military club manager. Upon their return from Japan in 1976, Randy was stationed at Rickenbacker AFB, and Gail was employed first as office manager then as manager of the Consolidated Open Mess (NCO and Officer’s clubs combined). They resided on the base until April 1,1978, when they moved to London. In 1982 Gail accepted a position as Food & Beverage Manager at Fawcett Center at OSU. In 1984, she accepted a position as Director of Sales/Event Planner at Villa Milano where she was elected first to the Board of Trustees and then as president of the Central Ohio Restaurant Association. In 1996 Gail became the Executive Director of the Central Ohio Restaurant Association, and in 2002 after attending for several years, she and Randy became members of our church. Her beloved Randy died from a brain tumor caused by melanoma – Gail is quick to ask family and friends to pay attention to their skin by having regular skin checks and by avoiding sunburns. Gail always felt she would end up in service to the church in some capacity. For years she and Randy thought that would mean missions. In October, 2012, SPRC offered Gail the position of Executive Assistant at our church, which she gladly accepted.

  • Steve Rath
    Pastor

    Reverend Steve Rath, was born and raised in Pataskala, Ohio, where his family has called that community home since 1970. Steve has grown up a life-long Methodist, first at Pataskala and then Etna UMC in southwest Licking County. After graduating from Watkins Memorial High School in 1988, Steve received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Capital University in 1992 where he studied jazz piano, performed in student ensembles, and accompanied student vocal and instrumental recitals. Steve received a call to ministry in 1996 and completed a Master of Divinity degree at Asbury Theological Seminary in 1999. Following his seminary studies, Steve served as Associate Pastor at Faith Community United Methodist Church in suburban Cincinnati. While there, he specialized in developing and expanding their worship ministries in addition to traditional pastoral care responsibilities. In February 2004, he was appointed to Calvary United Methodist Church in Marion, Ohio. Subsequently, in June 2004, and he was ordained an Elder in the West Ohio Area of the United Methodist Church. While in Marion, he served with the pastoral team of the newly formed Crosswood United Methodist Church, a church merged from three former Marion United Methodist Churches, which began in February of 2006. In summer 2008, Steve began his appointment as pastor of the Waterville United Methodist Church in northwest Ohio. Since July of 2013, Steve has enjoyed a homecoming of sorts being most recently appointed as Executive Pastor and later Lead Pastor at First United Methodist Church in Newark. Beyond his parish responsibilities, Steve currently serves on the District Committee on Ordained Ministry and Board of Directors for the Capital Area South District as well as being a member of the West Ohio Conference Annual Conference Planning Team. He also is an occasional speaker for the Walk to Emmaus and Chrysalis renewal weekends, and has served as a clergy on spiritual retreats for Toledo Correctional Institution. Steve also has been an active member in Rotary International both in Waterville and in Newark. When not pastoring, Steve enjoys reading, traveling, playing the piano, and watching NFL football and college basketball