Trinity Lutheran Staff & Lay Leadership
Rev. Ali Rode - Pastor
Rev. Ali Rode’s passion is fostering spiritual health in individuals and communities through the development of Christian community within and outside the walls of the church building. She believes the church is the hope for the world, as it is empowered by the Holy Spirit to share the love of God and Jesus’ great commission to make disciples.
Rev. Ali was called into ministry as an teen during Confirmation class at her home church, Christ Church United Methodist in Kettering, Ohio. She continued following the call to ministry by studying Youth Ministry at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio in 2007 and received her Master of Divinity at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, IL in 2010.
Early adventures in ministry included internships in Christian education, camping, children, youth, and family ministry in rural and urban settings. Her interest in seminary was cross-cultural and multicultural ministry and she held ministry internships at First United Methodist Church Chicago Temple in Chicago’s downtown Loop and Cass Community United Methodist Church in Detroit, MI working with the Social Services of Cass whose motto is “Fighting Poverty, Creating Opportunity”
Since seminary, Pastor Ali has worked as a Pastor in the West Ohio of the United Methodist Church, first as a Provisional Deacon and now Full Member Elder, in Lima, Columbus, Brookville, and recently Felicity, Ohio. She retains her ordination in the United Methodist Church and connection to West Ohio as she is appointed in Extension Ministry and called to serve at Trinity Lutheran Brookville, a congregation of the ELCA. (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America)
Pastor Ali and her husband Brian were married in 2017 and love each other very much. They enjoy traveling, experiencing new cuisine, being creative, spending time with family and going to the movies. Brian is a woodworker and in his spare time he likes to build and repair things. Ali enjoys making art, organizing, and interior design.
Megan Hughes - Youth and Family Ministry Coordinator
Megan Hughes is the youth and family ministry coordinator. She plans and facilitates activities for the youth at Trinity. She loves that this job gives her the opportunity to get to know the kids and their families in a setting outside of the church service or Sunday school. She also loves to see the youth interacting with older members of the congregation at the various events. Megan grew up in Brookville, attending Trinity herself until college. She studied at Baldwin Wallace College in Cleveland as an English major and earned her teaching license. After college, she moved back to Brookville, began teaching high school English at Dixie High School, and eventually found her way back to her church family here! She is now married, and she and her husband, Benji, have three children—4-year-old twins (a boy and a girl) and their baby brother. They love camping, visiting the zoo, playing at the park, and craft projects.
Margaret Dill - Office Secretary, Choir Director, Organist
Margaret Dill wears several hats at Trinity: she is Trinity’s Office Administrator, Music Director, and one of Trinity’s two organists. Margaret manages Trinity’s office and directs the Vocal Choir and Hand Bell Choir. She has played organ at Trinity’s traditional worship service since 1987, a duty she currently shares with Julie Pratt. Margaret and Julie share organist responsibilities at Trinity and at St. John’s Lutheran in Vandalia, each of them playing two Sundays each month at each congregation. Margaret is a graduate of Sinclair Community College, Dayton, and Wittenberg University, Springfield, where she studied organ with Trudy Faber and conducting with John Williams. She also holds a certificate in advanced conducting with William Payne of Bucknell University, Pennsylvania. In addition to her responsibilities at Trinity, Margaret directs the Sinclair Community College Concert Handbell Choir and teaches private piano lessons. Margaret is a member of the American Guild of Organists, Handbell Musicians of America, and the American Choral Directors Association. Margaret is married to husband, Frank, and has three adult children.
Julie Pratt -Organist
Julie Pratt is one of Trinity’s two organists. She and Margaret Dill share organist responsibilities, each of them playing two Sundays each month at Trinity and two at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Vandalia. What she loves most about Trinity Lutheran Church is the people. Even though the congregation is small, they are mighty in their faith, and an excellent example of living out “God’s work, our hands”. Julie was born in Greenville, Ohio, moved to Trotwood in fifth grade, and graduated from Trotwood-Madison High School. She graduated from Wittenberg University with a degree in Elementary and Special Education, and a minor in Sacred Music. While at Wittenberg, she played flute in the band and sang in the Bach Chorale. She was also in Ivy Ring, the Junior Women’s Honorary. She studied organ with well-known composer, arranger, and choral director, Dr. Donald Busarow, for all of her four years at Wittenberg. Julie worked as a Special Education teacher of children with learning disabilities for 14 years, taught second grade for two years and third grade for 19, all in the Greenon Local School District. She retired in 2014 after 35 years of teaching. She is currently employed by Sinclair Community College and works at Vandalia-Butler HS as the Facilitator of the College and Career Resource Center. Julie has been married to husband Jeff for 35 years. They have two adult children and a granddaughter in preschool. Julie plays in the Sinclair Handbell Choir and teaches private piano and flute lessons.
Betty Brazier - Cherub Choir Director
Betty Brazier is the Cherub Choir Director at Trinity, where she has helped our young people enjoy singing God’s praises for over 39 years. She especially enjoys teaching music to young people, hearing their stories and experiences, and helping them grow as children of God. She has been a member at Trinity her whole life and is a 4th-generation member! Betty grew up on a farm in Preble County and attended school at Twin Valley North for grades 2-12. She went to Wright State University, majoring in Business and Finance. Professionally, Betty worked in banking for 42 years, but also studied piano, voice, and saxophone for over 20 years. She has always felt at home at Trinity, where she has been involved in church music since she was 10 years old. Betty is married to husband, Gary. They have three adult children and seven grandchildren. She enjoys attending musicals and other theater productions, garden club, Bible study, grandchildren’s activities, and spending time with her family.
Jacki Burton - Nursery Attendant
Jacki Burton is Trinity’s nursery coordinator, and she loves working with children. She coordinates the nursery care for Sunday mornings during both worship services and Sunday school. She also coordinates the children’s activities and childcare for the weekday MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) meetings. Jacki grew up in Dayton and Beavercreek. She has a bachelor’s degree from Morehead State University and a M.Ed. degree In early childhood education from Wright State University. Jackie retired from 35 years of teaching primary school children at Newton Elementary School in Pleasant Hill, OH. Since retirement, Jacki has been a substitute teacher in the Brookville and Newton Local School districts, as well as a teacher at Community Preschool in Brookville. Jacki has been married to husband Ron for 47 years. They have lived in the Brookville area for 36 years, and have two daughters and three grandsons. Among Jacki’s hobbies are dance and fitness. She has taken dance lessons for many years at Miss Margaret’s in Brookville. Jacki also teaches water aerobics at Klepz YMCA, has conducted an aerobics class at Trinity for over twenty years, and participates with Total Praise Dance Ministry.
Matt Dill - Custodian
Lou James - “Keyboard Man”
Lou James is the Keyboard Man for Trinity’s Chicago Folk Service, where he plays piano and leads a jazz combo that also includes various Trinity members playing electric guitar, electric bass, and drums. Lou grew up in Cincinnati and attended Xavier University there on a band scholarship. Lou has been playing music professionally since 1960, and still plays gigs frequently, often as half of the duo “James and Moore”, with his wife, singer Pamela Moore. When playing a gig, Lou’s claim to fame is taking requests and usually being able to play any requested song from memory on the spot. If he can’t do it, the person who requested the song gets a crisp $2.00 bill. Lou loves playing music for the Lord and playing golf.
Jeff Studebaker - Vocal Leader, Worship and Music Ministry Team Chair
Jeff Studebaker (known as “Dr. Jeff” to many people) chairs the Worship & Music ministry team and provides vocal music leadership for both Sunday services. Jeff was involved in the establishment of the Chicago Folk Service in 1985, and still provides percussion for that service, including tambourine, bells, and drum set. As chair of the worship and music ministry team, Jeff also chooses the hymns for both worship services. He enjoys the challenge of choosing hymns and songs that are accessible to the average worshiper and which fit the scripture readings and the style of each worship service. Jeff works hard to do so, using more than six different hymnals to find the just the right music!
Jeff grew up in Preble County and has degrees in biochemistry and medicine from Ohio State University. He has practiced family medicine in Brookville for more than 35 years. Jeff spent one season in the OSU Marching Band and still participates in Alumni Band activities. Jeff’s wife, Vicki, joins Jeff in participating in the hand bell and vocal choirs at Trinity. They have one adult son.
Chicago Folk Service Jazz Combo - “The Band”
Trinity’s Chicago Folk Service is accompanied by Keyboard Man, Lou James; Vocal Leader, Jeff Studebaker; and a rotating crew of several talented musicians: Kevin McCloskey, drums; Doug Coppess, bass guitar; Dave Dill, guitar; and Jozy Hanos, electric guitar.