Asbury Theological Seminary welcomes four new members to the Board of Trustees, including Rurel Ausley, Dale Locke, Ken Werlein, and Helen Rhea Stumbo. The Board of Trustees serves Asbury Seminary by helping to shape and oversee its overarching policies.

“We are delighted to welcome these new members to the Board of Trustees,” Dr. Timothy Tennent, President of Asbury Seminary, said. “These new members will help to guide the direction of the Seminary as we continue to meet the goals in our 2023 strategic plan. We pray God’s wisdom and blessing on them as they assume this new role and responsibility.”

Rev. Rurel Ausley, Lead Pastor of Crosspoint United Methodist Church in Niceville, Fla., has seen his church grow from 1,000 in attendance to more than 3,800 in four locations in Northwest Florida. According to the latest UMC statistics, Crosspoint is currently the 10th largest UMC, by attendance, and in top ten of the fastest growing large UM churches. Rurel and Crosspoint are very involved in the Democratic Republic of Congo where Crosspoint has built over 50+ churches and several parsonages in the last five years. Rurel has made 9 trips to Africa in the last seven years, training pastors for leadership, dedicating churches, and helping them understand the dynamics of the denomination’s General Conference. Rurel received his B.A. degree in Sociology/Bible from Asbury College, and his Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky.

Dr. E. Dale Locke is the Founding and Lead Pastor of Community of Hope – a United Methodist Congregation. Community of Hope has been recognized for the last three years as one of the twenty-five fastest growing churches in the United Methodist Church. Presently, Community of Hope worships in five services in two locations, with an average attendance of 2000, and 1400 people meeting in weekly small groups. A third-generation Floridian, Dale enjoys running, reading, good jazz music, and rooting (often in vain) for the Florida Gators and the Atlanta Braves. Dale received both his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Asbury Seminary.

Dr. Ken Werlein is founding pastor of Faithbridge Church in Northwest Houston, Texas, and a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Asbury Theological Seminary. In 1998, the Lord called Ken to plant a church in Northwest Houston with the mission to make more and stronger disciples of Jesus Christ. Faithbridge began with a core group of seven people, which has grown to thousands of adults, students and children gathering to worship each weekend.  Today, Faithbridge is a vibrant, Gospel-centered church helping families, mending marriages, exalting Christ, and serving in practical ways to push back the darkness throughout the community and around the world. Ken also trains and helps to launch church planters through the multi-denominational Houston Church Planting Network (HCPN).

Helen Rhea Stumbo is a native of Fort Valley, Ga., where she attended and graduated from Peach County public schools. She attended Asbury College for two years, and graduated from Florida State University, with a B.A. in Housing and Design. She was the president of her national mail order catalogue company, Camellia and Main, Inc.; and the president of Bristol House Ltd., a publishing company that served the evangelical wing of the United Methodist Church.

Currently a member of First UMC Downtown in Lexington, Ky., she is a life-long, active member of the United Methodist Church, and has served in denominational leadership capacities at local, district, conference and national levels. A passion for reform and renewal in the UMC has led to activity and leadership with the evangelical United Methodist renewal movements for many years. She also has a deep love for the Salvation Army, chairing the Advisory Board for the Salvation Army of Central Georgia.

She is married to John Stumbo, former attorney, law professor and Mayor of Fort Valley, Ga.

“Our Board of Trustees has certainly been strengthened by the addition of these four new trustees!” Al Gwinn, retired bishop in the UMC and Chair of the Board of Trustees said. “Each of these new trustees is clearly gifted, committed, and visionary and their deep faith is clearly evident.”