Our Merciful Savior Episcopal Church — the historic little green church with the red doors just off the square — in Kaufman, was pleased to welcome in January our new Vicar, the Rev. Todd H. Wetzel.
He was born and raised in Warren, Ohio. He graduated Summa cum laude, Phi Bet Kappa from Ohio University in 1968. He met and married his wife Cherie first in Shakespeare class and later in Confirmation Class at Church of the Good Shepherd, Athens, OH.
They married there in April 1968 and recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They have two sons, Todd and Andrew and three grandchildren.
Todd graduated with highest honors, Bexley Hall Seminary, Rochester, New York in 1971. He served his diaconate at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Cleveland, OH and was ordained to the priesthood there in May of 1972 by the Rt. Rev. John Harris Burt.
Three months later, he became the Vicar, Church of the Advent, Westlake, OH where he served for nearly 15 years, bringing the church into full parish status within the first two years.
An active participant in Episcopal renewal Ministries in Bath, OH, Fr. Todd became the editor of Acts 29: that ministry’s newsletter in 1976. For the next decade, he worked closely with the Revs. Chuck Irish and Terry Fullam. Episcopalians United for Revelation, Renewal and Reformation was formed at Trinity School for Ministry, Pittsburgh to counter revisionist trends in the Church.
In 1989, the Board named the Rev. Todd H. Wetzel as the new Executive Director. The first job was to finish full incorporation for EU and gain tax-exempt status; the second was cleaning nearly $100,000 in debt. In this capacity, he traveled extensively throughout the Anglican Communion and the United States, attended 8 general Conventions and two Lambeth Conferences, which is the international gathering of all Bishops in the Communion, held once a decade — in Canterbury, England.
Fr. Todd believes the parish is the cutting edge of evangelism and discipleship in the Church and always hoped of returning to parish ministry. In October, 2002, under the direction of Bishop James M. Stanton, Dallas he became the Interim and Rector, Church of the Good Shepherd, Cedar Hill TX, while continuing part-time with Anglicans United. He celebrated 24 years as the Director of Episcopalians United/Anglicans United in 2012 and 10 years as Rector, Good Shepherd and retired from parish ministry. Since then he has had an active role in supply and Interim work at several parishes across the Diocese, at Good Shepherd, Terrell, At. Paul’s Greenville and Church of the Savior, Allen.
Our Merciful Savior was organized as a mission in 1883 and built its building in 1909. The church has born continuous witness to the love and mercy of Christ Jesus to the community of Kaufman for over 135 years.
The vital history of this honored parish excites our new vicar. Father Todd is expectant that together, this parish can be re-energized and continue to maintain and increase their historic place in the community. Come and meet Father Todd and his lovely wife Cherie, and join us for worship at 10 a.m. each Sunday Morning at 500 S. Jackson St.