Our staff includes ministry specialists who work in the areas of diagnostics, leadership systems, administration, and other types of support functions. They help support the overall revitalization ministry of VitalChurch.
Before joining the VitalChurch team, Garry Abbott served for almost 14 years in a variety of executive level pastoral roles at Summit Church (a multi-site church located in Orlando, Florida). Garry and his family now live in Southern Indiana and are a part of a local church in their downtown community. Garry and his wife, Abbie, have been married since 2001 and have three children. Garry cares deeply about helping people take next steps in following Jesus and seeing the Church impact the world through displaying the character of Christ.
Director, Intentional Interim Pastor Division
Dave Miles is the founder of VitalChurch Ministry. Dave loves the church and enjoys the challenge of working with churches in transition. It has been something he’s done, to one degree or another, since 1994. He is particularly passionate about helping churches understand what Christianity is and why it makes sense. He has pastored churches in New York, California, Hawaii, Washington, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Minnesota. He likes to surf, run marathons, play golf, and read books. Dave has a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. Dave and his wife, Jan, have been married since June 1980. Together they have three daughters and seven grandchildren.Continue Reading
Chief Financial Officer/ Director, Diagnostic Division
Mike Merwin manages the finance side of VitalChurch Ministry. Mike retired from the BIC Corporation after a 33-year career that allowed him to use his skills in business development in both the USA and overseas. He and his wife, Bev, have been married since 1982. They have three adult sons, three beautiful daughters-in-law, and have been blessed with several grandchildren. He enjoys golf, the beach, spending time with family, and watching his favorite soccer team (Arsenal) on TV.
Chief Operating Officer
Laurel Schumacher leads many of the day-to-day operations for VitalChurch Ministry. Laurel has a background in education and has worked in various roles in the non-profit sector since 2007. She holds two Master’s degrees—one in Education from Adelphi University and one in Literature from Long Island University-Brooklyn. Laurel and her husband, Noah, have been married since 2006 and have two amazing daughters who keep them entertained! Together they strive to teach their children how to live authentic, grace-filled, and Christ-centered lives. In her spare time, Laurel can be found curled up with a book or walking and talking with a friend.
Chet's passion is to figure out why things are the way they are. He works closely with the diagnostic division on all church diagnostics and report writing, as well as on materials development. Chet has a B.A. in Psychology, an M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a D.Min. in Church Growth. He pastored three churches in the Southern California/Arizona area. For eight years, he was an Associate Church Consultant for the Charles E. Fuller Institute of Evangelism and Church Growth. He retired in 2008 as a Social Service Practitioner from the San Bernardino County Department of Children’s Services, where he did family reunification services. Other ministry interests include doing individual coaching and team building in a variety of settings. Chet is a Senior Birkman Consultant and Grip-Birkman trainer. He is often involved in helping churches make appropriate pastoral choices.
Rochelle is a retired elementary and special education teacher with an M.A. in Education. She has Advanced Birkman Certification and is also a Grip-Birkman trainer. She does individual coaching and team building with her husband.
Besides keeping up with their children and grandchildren, Chet and Rochelle enjoy fishing and working on their little farm.
Bob Samsel has served with the VitalChurch team since 2014, helping with church diagnostics and report writing. His passion is to help churches establish healthy patterns that will glorify God and grow the Kingdom. Bob has a B.S. in Business Administration, an M.Div. from Bethel Theological Seminary, and a D.Min. in Family and Marriage Counseling from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He has worked with churches in a variety of roles for over 20 years. Bob also is a private therapist, working with individuals and families dealing with a variety of behavioral and emotional issues. Bob and his wife, Dawn, have two adult children and several grandchildren.
Mike Winson has served churches, in both staff and volunteer roles, for over 25 years in the areas of leadership, worship, and youth and children’s ministries. Mike studied Business at Gordon College, and then went on to work for Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary for 12 years overseeing the audio, video and technology for their Charlotte campus. Mike has a passion for helping people succeed and enjoys putting that into practice here at VitalChurch Ministry. Mike and his wife Chrissy currently live in Charlotte, NC, with their daughter Rachel.
Skylar Krajewski is excited to be serving as the diagnostic coordinator. She has a passion to build up and edify the body of Christ. Skylar has a B.S. in Non-profit Leadership and Intercultural Studies from University of Northwestern St. Paul. In her free time, Skylar enjoys playing volleyball, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.
Brianna Ray is from Minneapolis, MN and is a lifelong believer in Jesus. Her husband, Craig, is an interim pastor with VitalChurch, and together they have three rambunctious sons. She has a B.A. in Ancient and Classical Languages from Northwestern University, St. Paul, MN. She has also been a church ministry volunteer most of her life. Although Brianna originally pursued linguistics and Bible translation, the Lord guided her to church planting, revitalization, and ultimately to VitalChurch as she partners with Craig in ministry. Brianna loves to hike, kayak, garden, landscape, and cook for her growing boys.