Boards and Committees

  • The Conference Board oversees the business of the conference, including conference committees, and does periodic strategic planning to ensure that the conference is maintaining alignment with its vision and following the lead of the Spirit into areas of growth and change.

    Ken Burkholder

    Moderator
    Congregation: Deep Run East
    Ken has been serving as lead pastor at Deep Run East Mennonite Church since 2005. Previously, Ken worked in a local insurance business for eleven years. He attended Eastern Mennonite Seminary, graduating in 2005 with a Masters of Divinity degree. Ken began serving on the FMC Board in 2017. He has been a member of the FMC Ministerial Committee since 2010, serving as chair since 2017. Additionally, Ken has been serving on the Living Branches Board of Directors since 2008, and as chair of the Board Development Committee. Ken is married to Karen (Frankenfield) Burkholder, and has two young adult children – Alyssa and Justin. Ken and Karen live in Dublin. Ken enjoys being with family, cheering for the Phillies, reading, running, and eating at a variety of restaurants.
     

    Gwen Groff

    Member-at-Large
    Congregation: Bethany
    Gwen Groff has served as pastor of Bethany Mennonite Church in Bridgewater Corners, Vermont since 1999. She grew up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and completed her undergraduate work at Eastern Mennonite College and Franklin & Marshall College. She later received a master’s degree in Theology and Pastoral Counseling from Lancaster Theological Seminary. While in seminary, Gwen interned with and then served part-time at Community Mennonite Church in Lancaster. Prior to pastoral ministry, Gwen held several roles with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), including working in peace education in the Akron, Pennsylvania office, and at the London Mennonite Center in the United Kingdom. She also served as MCC’s director of women’s concerns. Gwen is married to her husband Robert Buchan, and they have two children - Lilly and Andrew.
     

    Merlin Hartman

    Member-at-Large
    Congregation: Franconia
    Merlin Hartman lives in Harleysville, Pa, and has attended Franconia Mennonite Church since 1968, serving as a Sunday school teacher and superintendent, elder, youth sponsor, and congregational board chair. He was also a member of the Penn View Christian School board for 5 years. Merlin worked at Hatfield Quality Meats for 40 years, working with people from nine different countries in his department. He and his wife, Mary Ellen, are now retired and enjoy many hobbies, six grandchildren, and serving the Lord in different ways.
     

    Beny Krisbianto

    Intercultural Committee Chair
    Congregation: Nations Worship
    Beny was born in Indonesia, the country with the highest Muslim population in the world, but his parents were Christians. Aside from working for the Conference, Beny has also worked with the Nations Worship Centers in both Iowa and Philadelphia. To relax, Beny watches football and the highlights of soccer games. He came to the US by way of Iowa (go Hawkeyes!). Beny appreciated the support churches in the Conference gave his congregation in 2010 when many in his congregations lost their jobs. Conference groups jumped in to help the congregation. Christopher Dock collected rice and noodles and the Salford and Souderton congregations also helped. “I couldn’t imagine if the congregation had tried to do that by themselves,” he said. He loves that Mennonite community is based in faithfulness to Christ. “I love the vision of the conference that wants to embrace multicultural vision,” he said. “As an immigrant congregation, we feel welcomed to be a part of the conference.”
     

    Steve Kriss

    Executive Minister
    Congregation: Philadelphia Praise Center
    Stephen Kriss began working with Franconia Conference in 2005 when he focused on young leaders and new initiatives. Previously, he served as a pastor at Mennonite congregations in Somerset County, PA and Staten Island, NY. Steve's also worked in areas of communication, editing and public relations. He graduated from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA, Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and from seminary at Drew University in Madison, NJ. Steve lives in Northwest Philadelphia and is part of Philadelphia Praise Center. He works now with the Conference's credentialing processes, leadership development and serves as a leadership minister with a diverse array of congregations from South Philly to Vermont. Steve also teaches at Eastern Mennonite University at Lancaster and has taught at other colleges, universities and seminaries across Pennsylvania. Read Steve's profile here.
     

    Cory Longacre

    Finance Committee Chair
    Congregation: Souderton
    Cory grew up at Swamp Mennonite Church, settling in after college at Souderton Mennonite Church with his wife Linda. He is a graduate of Dock Mennonite Academy, both the former Penn View Christian School and Christopher Dock Mennonite High School. He also received his Bachelors in Business Management from Eastern Mennonite University. Cory currently co-owns TNC Self Storage and is Fleet Operations Manager at Perkiomen Tours. Previously he spent 20 years with Farm & Home Oil Company where he started in sales, then after 4 years transitioned to management, moving his way to Vice President where he spent several years before ending his time with the company. Cory and Linda have three children: Olyvia, Davry and Zeke.
     

    Kiron Mateti

    Member-at-Large
    Congregation: Plains
    Kiron grew up in Ohio as the son of immigrants from India shaped by Hindu religious perspectives and the pursuit of the life, liberty and happiness in the USA. While a student at Penn State University, he made a commitment to following Christ, in the footsteps of his mom's conversion and ongoing prayers. While in State College, he met his now wife Rachel and began to attend University Mennonite Church. He was active in student ministry on campus as well. Kiron has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and works in robotics development. He and Rachel along with their two daughters and his mother attend Plains Mennonite Church. They currently live in Telford, Pennsylvania. Kiron is committed to both a personal relationship with Christ while engaging the world through perspectives that extend both justice and peace.
     

    Angela Moyer

    Assistant Moderator
    Congregation: Ripple
    Angela Moyer is one of five co-pastors at Ripple in Allentown, where her ministry focuses on serving children and women. She is bi-vocational also working at as an occupational therapist for Good Shepherd Rehabilitation. Angela has been working as an occupational therapist since graduating from Elizabethtown College and accepting a post at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). During that time she felt drawn to youth ministry and began working with the youth at her home church, Rockhill Mennonite, eventually serving as youth pastor. She completed her studies at Eastern Mennonite Seminary’s Pennsylvania campus in 2012 and then joined the team at Ripple. Angela enjoys living in Allentown in the intentional community Zumé, in a neighborhood full of people from varied backgrounds and experiences. She brings to the board the perspectives and needs of Lehigh Valley congregations as they continue to grow.
     

    Jim Musselman

    Member-at-Large
    Congregation: Zion
    Jim Musselman was raised in Souderton, attending Zion Mennonite Church and graduating from Souderton Area High School, followed by Penn State Harrisburg with a concentration in Literature and Philosophy. Jim worked for Musselman Builders, Inc. beginning in 1979 until his retirement, and served as Moderator of Eastern District Conference from 2016 to 2019. Jim’s wife, Barbara, is a Registered Nurse and a certified holistic nurse and works at Abington Hospital Lansdale. Together they have a son, Matt, a daughter Kate, and two grandsons, Liam and Gray. Jim volunteers with Zion’s Table of Plenty and Bean Bag Project, as well as the Mennonite Historians of Eastern PA, and enjoys genealogy, history and travelling and camping with Barbara in their tear-drop camper.
     

    Janet Panning

    Ministerial Committee Chair
    Congregation: Plains
    Janet Panning became a Christian at age 14 through an experience with Young Life Club, while attending an Episcopalian church. She met her husband Steve while both were studying at Michigan State University. Janet has a BS in Psychology and an MS in Counseling. After graduating from MSU, Janet was introduced to Mennonites through the Inter-Menno Program, spending a year in the Netherlands. Janet and Steve then spent much of the next 17 years working with MCC in Jamaica and Kentucky and raising two daughters, Megan and Molly. Janet is actively involved in Plains congregation (Hatfield, PA) where she serves as an elder. She is employed by Montgomery County’s Office of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health.
     

    Yvonne Platts

    Member-at-Large
    Congregation: Norristown New Life
    Yvonne Platts was baptized at an early age in the Mennonite church and has grown up at Nueva Vida Norristown New Life. Yvonne serves within her congregation on the Enlarging Our Place in Gods World Leadership Team. Her primary work is with Family Services of Montgomery County as a Community Outreach Worker with the Norristown Violence Prevention Initiative, and she is also a member of Roots of Justice Inc. Yvonne is a graduate of The Center for Urban Theological Studies and holds a Master of Science in Restorative Practices and Youth and Family Counseling from The International Institute of Restorative Practices. She has a deep drive for peace and justice and brings her dedication to social justice to her work with Franconia Conference.
     

    Rodger Schmell

    Member-at-Large
    Congregation: Deep Run West
    Rodger Schmell is the pastor of Deep Run West Mennonite Church - the congregation in which he grew up. After High School, Rodger served with Youth With A Mission in several countries in Central America and the island of Grenada. Rodger also served three years at Crossroads Community Center in North Philadelphia and several summers at Camp Men-O-Lan. Rodger, and his wife Diana, served together with Youth With A Mission in Miami, Florida before coming to Deep Run West. Rodger worked for six years as the youth director before being called as the pastor. Rodger received an Associates degree from Eastern Mennonite University through the S.T.E.P. program at the EMU satellite campus in Lancaster. Rodger and Diana have three children and an unofficially adopted son. Rodger enjoys puzzles, cutting firewood and anything that makes him laugh.
     

    Kris Wint

    Member-at-Large
    Congregation: Finland
    Kris Wint is lead pastor at Finland Mennonite Church in Pennsburg, PA where he has been attending since 2001 and a member since 2003. Kris was raised with a blend of Methodist and Baptist perspectives but after living a lifestyle of what he calls “practical atheism,” believing in God but acting as if God didn’t exist, Kris reports being transformed by God’s love in an Anabaptist context. Kris was licensed toward ordination with Franconia Conference in 2012 while still a student at Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, PA. Kris also holds a degree in Business Management with a focus in Human Resources from Pennsylvania State University. He and his wife Ginger have four children and they enjoy playing with their “kiddos,” tending to their chickens and goat, being outside, playing sports, and listening to music.
     

  • The Executive Committee works on behalf of the Board between meetings, and also reviews and grants approval for Missional Opportunity Grant proposals.

    Ken Burkholder

    Moderator
    Congregation: Deep Run East
     

    Merlin Hartman

    Member-at-Large
    Congregation: Franconia
     

    Steve Kriss

    Executive Minister
    Congregation: Philadelphia Praise Center
     

    Cory Longacre

    Finance Committee Chair
    Congregation: Souderton
     

    Angela Moyer

    Assistant Moderator
    Congregation: Ripple
     

  • The Finance Committee provides leadership on fiscal matters and develops the budget based upon the vision of the Conference.

    John Goshow

    Congregation: Blooming Glen
     

    Cory Longacre

    Finance Committee Chair
    Congregation: Souderton
     

    Conrad Martin

    Director of Finance/FMC Properties Board Chief Operating Officer
    Congregation: Blooming Glen
     

    Richard Moyer

    Congregation: Perkiomenville
     

    Barb Rice

    Congregation: Deep Run East
     

    Sid Ruth

    Congregation: Souderton
     

  • The Ministerial Committee makes decisions on ministry credentials, and policies that promote support, health, and training for credentialed leaders and safe church practices for congregations.

    Sherri Brokopp Binder

    Ministerial Committee
    Congregation: Ripple
     

    Marlene Frankenfield

    Ministerial Committee
    Congregation: Salford
     

    Tamira Good

    Credentials Committee, Ministerial Committee
    Congregation: Swamp
     

    Joshua Meyer

    Leadership Minister, Ministerial Committee
    Congregation: Franconia
     

    Christian Nickels

    Ministerial Committee
    Congregation: Spring Mount
     

    Mary Nitzsche

    Associate Executive Minister
    Congregation: Perkasie
     

    Janet Panning

    Ministerial Committee Chair
    Congregation: Plains
     

    Beth Rauschenberger

    Ministerial Committee
    Congregation: Zion
     

    Angelia Susanto

    Ministerial Committee
    Congregation: Nations Worship Center
     

    KrisAnne Swartley

    Credentials Committee Chair
    Congregation: Doylestown
     

  • The Credentials Committee interviews and recommends individuals for credentialing.

    Rose Bender Cook

    Credentials Committee
    Congregation: Whitehall
     

    Tamira Good

    Credentials Committee, Ministerial Committee
    Congregation: Swamp
     

    Mary Nitzsche

    Associate Executive Minister
    Congregation: Perkasie
     

    Aldo Siahaan

    Leadership Minister, Credentials Committee
    Congregation: Philadelphia Praise Center
     

    KrisAnne Swartley

    Credentials Committee Chair
    Congregation: Doylestown
     

  • The purpose of the Properties Board is to manage real estate on behalf of the Conference and to contribute excess funds to support the ministry of the conference. 

    John Goshow

    Congregation: Blooming Glen
     

    Bryan Hunsberger

    Properties Board Secretary/Treasurer
    Congregation: Souderton
     

    Henry Longacre

    Properties Board Vice President
    Congregation: Swamp
     

    Conrad Martin

    Director of Finance/FMC Properties Board Chief Operating Officer
    Congregation: Blooming Glen
     

    Glen Nemath

    Properties Board President
    Congregation: Blooming Glen
     

  • The Faith and Life Commission plans times for credentialed leaders within the Conference to study scripture with one another. The gatherings are held for the purpose of establishing and supporting relationships among credentialed leaders and building ties of friendship and support.

    Nathan Good

    Congregation: Swamp
     

    Maria Hosler Byler

    Congregation: Salford
     

    Joshua Meyer

    Leadership Minister, Ministerial Committee
    Congregation: Franconia
     

    Penny Naugle

    Chair, Faith & Life Commission
    Congregation: Plains
     

    Mary Nitzsche

    Associate Executive Minister
    Congregation: Perkasie
     

    Franco Salvatori

    Congregation: Rocky Ridge
     

  • The Nominating Committee is responsible for vetting and discerning potential new Conference Board members and Committee members. This includes ensuring that the Conference Board and Committees are balanced in terms of the gender, racial, cultural, geographic, and historic diversity of the Conference, reflect the diverse giftings represented in the Conference, and exhibit a high level of intercultural capacity.

    Marco Güete

    Leadership Minister
    Congregation: Covenant Mennonite Fellowship
     

    Beny Krisbianto

    Intercultural Committee Chair
    Congregation: Nations Worship
     

    Angela Moyer

    Assistant Moderator
    Congregation: Ripple
     

    Mary Nitzsche

    Associate Executive Minister
    Congregation: Perkasie
     

    Janet Panning

    Ministerial Committee Chair
    Congregation: Plains
     

    Lisa Stenger

    Member-at-Large
    Congregation: Deep Run West
     

  • The Sistering Committee’s mission is to provide gatherings for women to share about their lives and to sister one another — then to spread what they’ve learned to others.  The term “sistering” refers to a practice in carpentry in which structural repairs are made by attaching new wood beams to weak (sagging, cracked or twisted) joists to make the original stronger. All of us are strong at times and can help those who are weak; all of us find it difficult to make it on our own at times and need others to support us. Sistering is a gift that we embody as God’s women as we follow Jesus into the Church and the world.  The Sistering Committee is a local ministry of Mennonite Women USA, for women of Eastern District & Franconia Conference.

    Marta Castillo

    Leadership Minister of Intercultural Formation
    Congregation: Wellspring
     

    Leticia Cortes

    Congregation: Centro de Alabanza
     

    Lisa Quinones

    Congregation: Garden Chapel
     

    Charlene Smalls

    Congregation: Ripple
     

    Angelia Susanto

    Ministerial Committee
    Congregation: Nations Worship Center