About Us


Grace Church is a faith community in the heart of Dayton seeking to follow Christ’s examples of love, peace and justice. We are a diverse urban community of persons who value connecting to God and to one another. We believe that God is love and that all persons are valued in the family of God. We believe in Jesus Christ and we work to follow his example of radical, justice, and peace. We believe in the Holy Spirit as God’s constant presence and power in our lives. We believe that it is good to question and to seek. We may not always believe the same as one another, but the people of Grace Church believe in God’s love and in one another. Grace is for everyone!

Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.

Come, experience Grace.

Sherry-webSenior Pastor, Rev. Sherry L. Gale, Ph.D.

Pastor Sherry serves as pastor of Grace Church. She has served Grace Church since July 1, 2008. Prior to entering pastoral ministry in 2001, Pastor Sherry was a mathematics professor. Pastor Sherry received her Master of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary, a B.S. in Education from Ashland College, a M.S. degree in mathematics from Miami University, and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh.

Pastor Sherry is active in the city of Dayton and in Montgomery County through her participation in various Boards and events centered on non-violence, justice, and peace. Sherry enjoys good food, good music, walking, and spending time with her mostly-grown children.

Amelia BoomershineDeacon-in-Residence, Rev. Amelia Boomershine

Amelia is a clergy member of the West Ohio Annual Conference whose primary appointment is to GoTell Communications with a secondary appointment to Grace Church beginning in 2007. To her ministry of Word and Service Amelia brings gifts of biblical storytelling, teaching, and multimedia production. Her work involves helping people internalize stories of the biblical tradition to nurture their relationship with God through the way of Jesus Christ. In oral and digital storytelling she proclaims God’s radical good news of peace and justice to a broken and warring world.

Amelia has been a leader in the Network of Biblical Storytellers for fifteen years. She co-authored three sets of guidebooks accompanying The Storykeepers animated video series for children. She was a member of the worship resource design team for Lumicon Digital Productions, 2000-2004. She has participated in the design of a variety of web sites, including an early site on the book ofJoshua. In all these aspects of her ministry Amelia partners with her husband, Tom Boomershine.

Amelia holds degrees from the University of Colorado (B.S. in Elementary Education, 1972), theUniversity of Michigan (M.A. in Early Childhood Education, 1975) and United Theological Seminary(M.Div., 1991). In 2006 she earned a Certificate in Multimedia from Sinclair Community College.

Choir Director, Joe WhatleyJoe Whatley

Along with his position at Grace UMC, Mr. Whatley is the Director of Choirs at Winton Woods High School.  At Winton Woods, Mr. Whatley directs Varsity Ensemble, Men’s Chorus, and the pop a cappella group, Evolution.  He assists with Bella Voce, Intermezzo, and Women’s Chorale with his wonderful colleague, Mrs. Beth Miller.  He is also Director of The University of Dayton’s pop a cappella group, Remedy. He has been working in church music for the last fifteen years.

Mr. Whatley was raised in Dayton, Ohio and attended Chaminade Julienne High School.  He then completed his degree at Wright State University in vocal music education. Upon completion, he went back to Chaminade and became Director of Choirs, most notably director of the pop a cappella group Vega who in 2014 went to The National Finals for High School A cappella in NYC and received 2nd place.  With Mr. Whatley, Vega has released two studio albums, been included in national compilation CDs (Best of High School a cappella 2013 & 2015  and Voices Only  2014), and have been runners up for Contemporary A cappella Recording Awards.


Youth and Outreach Director, Sean Walton Sr.Sean

Sean L. Walton Sr., is our Youth and Outreach Director. He joined our ministry team in January of 2014. Sean’s past work with young people includes serving as Director of Youth Initiatives for Community Action Partnership (CAP) the Greater Dayton Area for nearly a decade. Sean, oversaw vital youth programs for this organization, one of which is the CAP Youth Empowerment Center, a winner of two Best-Practice awards.

Sean serves on various governing boards and advisory committees that benefit youth and families throughout Montgomery County. One of his favorite Bible verses is Jeremiah 29:11; because it offers hope. He believes that change comes easiest through truth, compassion, and strong relationships.

Marcia-webChildren’s Ministry Director, Marcia Byrd

I am a native Daytonian; I grew up in the Cornell Heights area, so I am familiar with the Grace community. I graduated from Belmont High and I have a Master’s from Central Michigan University.

I currently live in the Northridge area with my husband, Anthony, and our beautiful 3 year old daughter, Antenia, who will be with me on most Sundays. I am a full-time employee at United Theological Seminary as the Director of Financial Aid.

I am a proud mother and value the importance of children having a positive influence in their life. I volunteered with Girl Scouts of America from 2008 – 2010.

Worship Keyboardist, Joe SeverynMusic student, piano, severyn.3@wright.edu

Joe Severyn has played for a number of churches in the Dayton area, including Emmanuel, Holy Angels, St. Joseph, Normandy United Methodist, and Southminster Presbyterian. He studied organ with Richard Konzen, and piano with Charles Moore, Terri Konzen, and Jackson Leung. Joe has been a professional accompanist for over 16 years, playing for music majors, ensembles, choirs, and professionals. He has worked at Wright State University, the University of Dayton, Dixie High School, and Stivers School for the Arts. He has also produced and performed in multiple recitals, presenting complete chamber pieces and song cycles, including the Grand Duo Concertant by Weber, the Dichterliebe by Schumann, and the Songs of Travel by Vaughan Williams.
Joe holds a Master of Humanities (Emphasis in Music) from Wright State University, and a Bachelor of Music from Grove City College.


Lisa-webOffice Manager, Lisa Pelphrey

Lisa Pelphrey joined the staff at Grace in April of 2011. Prior to working at Grace, Lisa was a medical sales representative. She is a graduate of Miami University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.

Lisa is married to her husband of 27 years, Bruce. They have three children: Mary, Reed and Jimmy. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, and working on projects at her home.