Rev. Dr. Douglas Ross, our minister of visitation, now also our Minister Emeritus, was born in Wainwright, Alberta. He studied at Queen’s University and Queen’s Theological School, Kingston, and was ordained in 1957. His first pastoral charge was in a mining community in Labrador. In 1960 he became minister of Bells Corners United near Ottawa, and in 1974 came to Wesley-Knox, serving as senior minister for ten years. He received his PhD in 1982 and his DD in 1984. In 1984 he became Executive Secretary of United Church London Conference. Upon retirement in 1992, he embarked on eight years of interim ministry. In 2000, he returned to Wesley-Knox to serve as Minister of Visitation. Doug and his wife, Helen, have three daughters: Jennifer, Mary-Janet and Elizabeth, and four grandchildren.
Karen Schuessler, our director of music, studied at Michigan State University and at the University of Michigan where she received a Master of Music in Organ Performance. Since moving to Canada in 1981, she has conducted Cantorion Cymraeg Canada, directed music for shows mounted by London Musical Theatre, directed Les Choristes at University of Western Ontario, and served as director of music at Centennial United Church. She is founder and conductor of the 48-voice community choir, the Karen Schuessler Singers, and since 1992, has been Director of Music at Wesley-Knox where she conducts the senior, junior and youth choirs and plays the organ. She teaches piano, organ and voice, examines for Conservatory Canada, and is much in demand as a music festival adjudicator and choral clinician.
Kim Stark is the Director of Child and Youth Ministry. While her main focus will be the Sunday School, Kim has also agreed to coordinate a monthly Junior Youth Group and organize a family activity once each quarter. Kim brings a joyous outlook and a wealth of skills and experience—both in education and in the arts—to her job.
Mary Bee Haworth, assistant to Karen Schuessler, holds degrees in music education and music therapy, and has taught and practiced in many school, health–related, and community settings. Currently, she works for L’Arche London. Mary Bee, husband Tony, and children Miryam, Christian and Hannah, all Wesley–Knox choristers, also live in Old South London.
Arlene Roberts is our Office Administrator. She was born and raised in Ajax, Ontario where her faith community was St. Paul’s United Church. She was also a member of CGIT. After many years in retail and merchandising, Arlene returned to post-secondary education, where she graduated with a Diploma in Executive Office Administration from Georgian College in Owen Sound, with Honours. Previous to Wesley-Knox UC, Arlene was the Church Administrator at Port Elgin UC, in Port Elgin, Ontario, with a similar size building and congregation to that of WKUC. After 15 years of living in Bruce County (north along the Lake Huron shoreline), she, her husband Michael, and their dog, Daphne, moved to London in 2018. They also have two daughters, the oldest is finished post-secondary education and pursuing a career in welding, and the youngest is finishing school for Millwright. Arlene is also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star.
We welcome Bill Jacklin as our full-time custodian at Wesley-Knox. Bill has led a very interesting life over the past few years, including teaching in Taiwan for a lengthy time. He’d love to discuss this with you. Bill considers London to be home and has wasted no time jumping into Senior Choir in the tenor section. Bill is currently in school to train as a PSW and will mostly be working afternoon and evenings, along with hours on Sunday. Welcome aboard Bill!