Don Perks serves as Senior Pastor at the Willoughby United Methodist Church in beautiful downtown Willoughby, Ohio.
Don graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky in 1985 and started serving in the United Methodist Church July 1, 1985 in Barnesville, Ohio. This year, 2016-17, marks the thirty second year of ministry for him.
Don grew up in Canton, Ohio where he met his lovely wife Donna in a High School Sunday School Class. They just celebrated their fortieth wedding anniversary in July, and they have four adult children and ten amazing grandchildren.
Pastor Don loves being a pastor and identifies very strongly with the Biblical image of being a shepherd for the flock that God has called him to care for. When he is not at the church he enjoys playing the guitar and working in his workshop. But most of all he loves to be with his family watching them as they participate in baseball, softball, football, dance recitals or just spending time together.
Pastor Hazel is an ordained member of the clergy in the Order of Deacon. Before retirement, she served at Willoughby Hills United Methodist Church for thirteen years, and is now on the WUMC staff as the part-time Congregational Care Pastor. She has been in full time Christian service since 1980. She has been a certified teacher and has taught in public schools, Christian Schools, worked extensively with home-schoolers and served for ten years teaching at a Maternity Home. Her degrees include a Bachelor of Science in Biology, a Master of Arts in Counseling, a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling and a Doctor of Ministry in Counseling.
Pastor Hazel was the first person in our district to go through the candidacy process and be ordained as a Deacon. She has served as the East Ohio Conference Chair for the Order of Deacons. She has also been on the Western Reserve District Committee on Ordained Ministry and the East Ohio Conference Board of Ordained Ministry to help other candidates clarify their call to ministry.
Much of her work at WUMC involves visitation, performing weddings and funerals, offering premarital training and serving in any way she can to assist Pastor Don. She feels especially called to minister to emotionally wounded women. In her spare time she enjoys writing curriculum for small groups that helps individuals discover their unique identity in Christ.
Hazel was raised on a small dairy farm in upstate New York Milking cows before and after school was a normal part of her life when she was growing up. There was a little Methodist church just down the road, where she began a close walk with Jesus at an early age. Dave and Hazel were high school sweethearts and married in 1965 after he graduated from The University of Buffalo. They have numerous grandchildren from their many children (by birth, foreign adoption, foster care, and others who have found a home with them at critical times in their lives).
Favorite Scriptures: Isaiah 26:3 and Philippians 3:10.