Church Leadership

Richard A. Nussel – Pastor

Pastor Richard was ordained in 1986 and has served churches in Clearwater, Miami, Starke, Bradenton, Tampa and has been at Ruskin UMC since July of 2011.

Richard attended the University of Florida, B.S.B.A., a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, received his Master of Divinity from Oral Roberts University School of Theology, and completed his D.Min. courses at Asbury Theological Seminary.

Richard has served for eight years on the Florida Conference Finance and Administration Committee, served ten years on the Board of Directors for the Florida Conference Foundation and is currently serving another term on the Board.

Is a past President of the Starke Rotary Club, a Paul Harris Fellow, was honored as the Bradford County Citizen of the Year, and served on the City of Miami Affirmative Action Committee.

He has two children, Kelsie, a 2012 graduate of Auburn University who lives and works in Tampa, FL. His son Colton a 2017 {B.A.} & 2018 {M.B.A.} graduate of the University of Montevallo.

Richard is married to Debby Thompson of Clarkesburg, WV.

Mary Babinec, Administrative Assistant & Treasurer

Mary has 18 years experience working on a church staff. Prior to that she has worked in management and administrative capacities for a variety of corporations in Michigan and Indiana.  She has a bachelors degree in Business Administration from Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan.  A member of Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity.
She is married to Mike, since 1984. Has one child, Michael, a 2017 graduate of University of South Florida, B.A. Finance.

John Yoho, Director of Music Ministries

John is a long time member of Ruskin UMC, a gifted Celloist, operates his own independent Insurance Agency, is married to Angela.

Valerie Southwell, Organist

Valerie is a gifted organist and Ruskin UMC is blessed to have her. She also  directs our Hand Bell Choir Ministry.

Hal Jeffery, Visitation & Congregational Care Pastor

Hal has been with Ruskin UMC for many years.  Hal has been married to Cecilia ‘C’ for 30 years & between them have three children, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.  Before becoming the Visitation & Congregational Care Pastor Hal & C served for 9 years as Ruskin’s Youth Director. Prior to being Ruskin UMC members they both served at Forest Hills United Methodist Church in Tampa as Youth Directors for 13 years.  Hal was the first team Chaplain for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1975 to 1990, was with Baseball Chapel and one of the founders for FCA in the Tampa Bay area.

Michael Pichierri

Michael joined our staff in 2017 as our Facilities/Maintenance person.  Michael retired to Florida after working in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Emily Anderson, Youth Group Director

Emily is a college student that joined the church several years ago.  She has lead the youth group ministry for a few years.  And regularly does the children’s sermon on Sunday.

Renee Gausche,  Faith Community Nurse & Care Teams

Renee is a Registered Nurse (RN) with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree from the University of Tampa.  She is actively involved in the Baycare Health Care System Faith Community Nurse community.  She is married with two grown children.

Cecilia Jeffery, Media & Social Media Director

Cecilia ‘C’ has been with Ruskin UMC for many years in a variety of ministry leadership roles. Currently she is our web page, face book, Sunday sound board and videographer  for our COVID-19 worship services.  On Sunday mornings she guides our youth, grade 4 to 12, in Sunday school.  She also decorates our sanctuary during the  church seasons and holidays.  A very multi-talented person.

She has been married for over 30 years to Hal Jeffery & between them have three children, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Diane Stephens & Kyler Hazen-Stephens, Nursery Attendants

Diane is certified and CPR trained.  For many years she worked in our day care program.  Now she is retired and watches her grandchild during the week.

Kyler is a 2017 graduate of Lennard High School.