The Rev. Dr. Richard H. Gentzler, Jr. (Rick) is the director of ENCORE Ministries, a ministry funded by the Golden Cross Foundation of the Tennessee Conference of The United Methodist Church. He is retired as a clergy member from the Susquehanna Annual Conference and is the former director of the Center on Aging and Older-Adult Ministries for the General Board of Discipleship (now called Discipleship Ministries) of The United Methodist Church. Dr. Gentzler is an internationally recognized leader in the field of aging, midlife and older-adult ministries. In 2013, he was selected by Governor Haslam to serve on the Governor's Task Force on Aging for the state of Tennessee. He was a keynote presenter for Conferences on Aging and Older Adult Ministries in Australia and New Zealand in 2013; a recipient of the "Outstanding Leadership in Older Adult Ministries Award" from the United Methodist Committee on Older Adult Ministries in 2012; a recipient of the "Spirituality and Aging Award" from the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and National Interfaith Coalition on Aging (NICA) in 2003; and in 2002 served as a presenter on spirituality and aging at the United Nations Second World Assembly on Ageing in Madrid, Spain. In 2005 he produced the award-winning video on aging titled, New Beginnings: The Gifts of Aging. Dr. Gentzler is a member of the board of directors for the Council on Aging of Middle Tennessee and serves as the board president. He is a resource consultant for both the Golden Cross Foundation of the Tennessee Conference and the Tennessee Conference Committee on Adult/Older-Adult Ministries. Dr. Gentzler has been in ministry for more than forty-five years. He pastored churches in Pennsylvania and Maryland and taught classes at Lycoming College (Williamsport, PA), Wesley Theological Seminary (Washington, DC), Asbury Theological Seminary (Wilmore, KY), Union Presbyterian Seminary (Richmond, VA), and Lipscomb University (Nashville, TN). Dr. Gentzler is author and co-author of numerous books on aging, midlife and older adults including:
- Aging & Ministry in the 21st Century
- Aging: God's Challenge to Church and Synagogue
- The Graying of the Church
- Designing an Older Adult Ministry
- Gen2Gen: Sharing Jesus with All Generations
- Forty-Sixty: A Guide for Midlife Adults Who Want to Make a Difference
Dr. Gentzler holds the following degrees: Bachelor of Science in Social Science/Secondary Education from Shippensburg University (Shippensburg, PA), Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary (Washington, DC), Doctor of Ministry from Boston University School of Theology (Boston, MA), and a Certificate in Aging Studies from Boston University Institute for Geriatric Social Work. He is married to the former Marilyn Ann Hozyash. They have two married children, Dr. Richard Henry III (Emily) and Elizabeth, Esq. (Jennifer) and two grandchildren, Katherine and Richard Henry IV.
Rev. Joy Thornburg Melton, J.D., is the chief resource officer of The United Methodist Property and Casualty Trust. She is the author of the ""Safe Sanctuaries"" series of books and resources published by Discipleship Resources. Rev. Melton is a recognized national leader in the area of development of ministry protection and abuse prevention policies. A graduate of Pfeiffer University, Scarritt College, and Emory University School of Law, she is uniquely qualified to understand both the legal and ecclesial issues involved with cases of abuse within the church.