SENIOR PASTOR | Rev. Kevin Eccles
Quick Facts: Ordained Minister in the Free Methodist Church. Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Northeastern Seminary.Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Spring Arbor University. Loves thought-provoking discussions, data spreadsheets, political science fiction, Tiger’s Baseball, strategic board games and Chinese food.
ASSOCIATE PASTOR | Melanie Eccles
Quick Facts: Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy & Religion from Spring Arbor University. Student in the Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Leadership. Conference Ministerial Candidate in the Free Methodist Church (on track for 2019 ordination).
Loves acoustic worship music, crisp running weather, yoga, conversations over coffee, bread baking, and typographic design.
Kevin and Melanie met at Spring Arbor University and were married on May 24, 2008, a week after graduating with their Bachelor degrees. Kevin began his PhD program in biophysics at Wayne State and Melanie was called upon to be the youth pastor at Monroe Free Methodist Church. After a few years in ministry together, Kevin felt God calling him into full time pastoral ministry.
They moved to Albion, New York in June of 2011. Kevin pursued his Master’s in Theology at Northeastern Seminary and worked as Assistant Pastor at Albion Free Methodist Church. Melanie stayed busy with youth and worship ministry and also built a piano studio of 30+ students in their small village. They had a wonderful community of friends and were truly loving life in Western New York.
About the time Kevin would be completing his Master’s and being ordained in the Free Methodist Church, the Southern Michigan Conference called about a senior pastor position in Monroe. Was God really calling them back to the same church where they’d served as youth leaders?
June 29, 2014, Kevin preached his first sermon as senior pastor of the Monroe Free Methodist Church and Melanie led worship for the first time as director. The two have a beautiful chemistry in ministry, partnering in a way only God could ordain.
After many months of worship leading and working as Office Manager, Melanie finally submitted to God’s calling on her life. She, too, would be a pastor. It took many years of God’s leading, of hearing the advice of professors and pastors and congregations to be convinced that she – a woman – was to be called “pastor.” (check out what the Free Methodist Church teaches about women in ministry.)
In June 2016, Melanie became a Conference Ministerial Candidate and was appointed as Assistant Pastor to MFMC (by the Southern Michigan Conference Ministerial Appointments Committee). She is working on her Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Leadership through Spring Arbor University and hopes to be ordained as an Elder in 2019.
The Eccles welcomed their first child – Kirsten Grace – into their arms on December 26, 2015 (yes, after laboring during the Christmas Eve service!) They waited and prayed through five years of infertility prior to the birth of this little girl. She is well-loved and brings the Eccles and their congregation great joy. Their second child is due to be born in June 2017.