Rev. Karen Oehl

Rev. Karen’s first Sunday with us was July 2, 2017.  She came to us after serving six years as the Mid– Ohio District Superintendent. Rev. Karen has previously served as pastor of Brecksville UMC, Apple Creek UMC, the Marshallville/Easton Charge, and as Associate Pastor at Wooster UMC.


Rev. Oehl’s husband, Chris is the assistant prosecuting attorney for Holmes county. Chris is passionate about bicycling and gardening. He and Karen have already been on our local bike path—even before being appointed here.


Some of you already know her parents, Bill and Judy McCartney. Her father, Rev. McCartney officiated at the wedding of John and Linda Kurella when he served at their church in Pennsylvania. Marshall and Marjorie Winkle and family also attended Bill’s church in Pennsylvania and can remember Karen when she was just a toddler.


Rev. McCartney also officiated at Bob and Fran Rodstrom’s wedding when he moved to Ohio and was serving at Epworth-Euclid UMC in Cleveland. A few of our retired pastors served with Rev. McCartney in the East Ohio Conference, too, and speak glowingly of both Bill and Judy. We are connected!!

Rev. Oehl’s vision and hope for her time with us at GSUMC is to deepen and broaden the connections that the mission statement describes—“the people of Gay Street UMC connect to God, to all people and to the world in ministry.”  Karen and Lauren are already leaning into ways to make discipleship deeper and the focus of our lives together in the church. Karen will be spending a lot of time in the first few months listening to people's stories of their lives, the life of the church, and the life of the community so that we can begin to look at that part of connecting in the community. Karen loved what the morning preacher at Lakeside, Bishop Michael McKee from North Texas, said in his continuous direction: Meet someone you do not know so that you can introduce them to the God who knows and loves them. 

To read more about Rev. Karen click here.