263 S Prospect St
Ravenna, Ohio 44266
Office: 330.297.7196
Fax: 330.297.5282​ 
Abundant Life Service
Worship: 10:10a

Meet The Team

  1. Norma Bates, Senior Pastor
    Pastor Norma lives in Mogadore and is a retired Elder in the East Ohio Conference, previously serving, Charlestown, Canton Christ, and Sebring United Methodist Church. Until just recently Pastor Norma was serving as Visitation Pastor at Westbrook Park UMC in Canton. She is a 1996 graduate from Kent State University and a 2001 graduate of Ashland Seminary. Norma retired in May of 2016 to care for her husband, Buddy at home. Buddy died in August of 2016 from complications due to Alzheimer’s. Buddy and Norma were married 45 years. They have two children, Jodie Holsing who lives in Clinton, Pennsylvania and Brian Bates who lives in Akron, Ohio. She is the grandmother to two, Conner and Rebecca Bates of Springfield Township. She is dog-mom to Emma, her husband’s Golden Retriever and two wild cats, Miss Kitty and Sticky. Norma enjoys reading, eating Mexican food, hanging with friends, and gardening. Her favorite place to vacation is Tucson, Arizona. She enjoys preaching and teaching and holds a special place in her heart for kids of all ages.
  2. Zelma Riddle, Office Manager
    Zelma began working at First UMC in 1996 and feels it has been a blessing to work with and learn to know and love the parishioners of the church. She and her husband Reg raised their children in this church and both continue to be active within the life of the church. Email Zelma: zelma@fumcofravenna.org Call Zelma: 330.297.7196 ext. 302
  3. Kristen Bellar, Director of Communications & Treasurer
    Kristen lives in Ravenna with her husband (Mike) and son (Brock). She received her BS in Advertising from Kent State University in 2007 and worked in the advertising field for 7 years. In February 2017, Kristen made a life change to focus on her family and joined the staff at First UMC, while Brock began daycare at Tots Learning Center. It has been a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Kristen enjoys anything creative, family fun days with her husband and son, cooking, and spending quality time with her two cats. Email Kristen: kristen@fumcofravenna.org Call Kirsten: 330.297.7196 ext. 301
  4. Karen Ross, Choir Director
    Karen has been serving in the music ministry of First UMC since 2005 and has been the Choir Director since 2017. Her background in worship music started in her preschool years when she began singing in churches with her two sisters and parents. In addition to singing, she enjoys playing her flute & saxophone. In her spare time, Karen enjoys time with family & friends, riding her bicycle, and enjoying nature. She also likes crossword puzzles and reading. She works as the Head of Circulation at Reed Memorial Library in Ravenna. She's been blessed with three children: Liz, Alex & Nathaniel; a son-in-law Matt and a beagle, Theo. Karen is passionate about music ministry because praise music draws people into a deeper connection with Jesus. Her focus is to encourage others in their daily walk with Him.
  5. Sheryl Reynolds, Treasurer
    Call Sheryl: 330.297.7196 ext. 304