Dernard Newell named Director of Diversity and Belonging

The West Ohio Conference welcomes Rev. Dernard D. Newell as the new Director of Diversity and Belonging. With nearly a decade of professional experience as a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) professional, he will join the staff on July 18.

“I am encouraged and inspired that the Rev. Newell will be coming among us to continue, support and deepen our work as a community of disciples of Jesus Christ who are doing the work required to deconstruct our isms in order to build beloved community,” said Bishop Gregory Palmer.

Dernard has pastored congregations for over 15 years, served as University Chaplin and Adjunct Professor at DePaul University and practiced law as an Assistant State Attorney in Chicago. He earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, a Juris Doctorate from the Howard University School of Law, a Master of Public Administration from the George Washington University and Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Miami University in Oxford Ohio.

“I am committed to continuing to foster an atmosphere where people feel that they belong and can carry out the call that God has placed on their lives,” Dernard said.

Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging is part of the Connectional Ministries department. “Dernard brings energy, enthusiasm, deep faith, and vast expertise to this role. His work alongside West Ohio congregations and leaders will help us see, hear and authentically welcome diverse neighbors into a faith journey where all are transformed.” said Rev. Dee Stickley-Miner, Director of Connectional Ministry.