Trevor Bechtel began as Shalom’s pastor in 2018, having attended Shalom since 2009. His most significant Christian formation has been in relatively small urban churches including Chicago Community Mennonite Church (CCMC) and Shalom. He has degrees in Religion from Canadian Mennonite Bible College and Loyola University Chicago, earning his Ph.D. in 2008. He was ordained at CCMC in 2012. He served as Associate Pastor at Charleswood Mennonite Church in Winnipeg from 1991-1993 and taught theology for 20 years. He is the creative director of the Anabaptist Bestiary Project, a band who sing songs about how animals reveal God’s will for human life (anabaptistbestiaryproject.com). He also authored The Gift of Ethics (Cascade, 2014) and edited Encountering Earth (Cascade, 2018). His pastoral interests include creative worship, in addition to the church’s role of proclaiming God’s justice, especially around the issues of restorative justice, racism, and the stewardship of creation. Trevor also manages Washtenaw County Initiatives at Poverty Solution at the University of Michigan where he teaches occasionally in the School of Social Work. He is married to Susan Hunsberger, and they live with Neko the Cat in Ann Arbor, where he pursues his other interests of good food and drink, urban agriculture, and contemporary music.
Hillary Watson pastored at Shalom from 2018 to 2021 while also managing facilities at the NEW Center. She grew up at Seattle Mennonite Church in a new-to-Mennonites family. A graduate of Goshen College in Bible, Religion, & Philosophy and Emory University with the Master’s in Divinity, she pastored at Lombard Mennonite from 2013-2018, where she was ordained in 2018. Her church writing appeared on her blog Gathering the Stones and regularly in the Mennonite Weekly Review. In her spare time, she writes poetry under the name Hillary Kobernick, which has appeared in The Christian Century, decomP, Powder Keg, and Button Poetry’s YouTube channel.
Steve Thomas was Shalom’s transitional pastor from September 2016 – March 2018. He has 30 years of pastoral experience, most recently serving as transitional pastor at First Mennonite Church of Indianapolis. Steve’s mission is to explore, discover, and present God’s abundant life of freedom, love, and peace. His passions include tending trees, managing his family’s woods, bioscaping, travel, men’s work, and peace education.
Nathan Ruah-Bieri served as pastoral associate from 2015-2017.
Previously, Paul Versluis served as Shalom’s minister from 2000 until his retirement in June 2016. While minister, Paul served on the steering committee of the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, the Interfaith and Life Sciences Life Ethics Forum, the Interfaith Round Table of Washtenaw Country, and the Ecumenical Center and International Residence.
Shalom’s first pastor was Kathy Neufeld-Dunn, now Associate Conference Minister for the Western District Conference of the Mennonite Church USA