Lexington Theological Seminary President Dr. Charisse Gillett announces several new appointments.

Rev. Dr. Lon Oliver will join the LTS community on June 1 as the Coordinator of the Mentored Ministry Program and Chaplain as Rev. Jan Ehrmantraut retires. Lon serves as the Executive Director of Appalachian Ministries Educational Resource Center (AMERC) and as the Administrator of Disciples Appalachian Scholarship Ministry. In addition, Lon serves on the Executive Committee of the Rural Network in the United States and Canada and is the Vice President of the Board of Human Economic Appalachian Development, a nonprofit microbusiness and leadership council. He is the pastor of Nicholasville Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Nicholasville, Ky. Lon’s special interests include religion and music in Central Appalachian and the retelling of history from the perspective of America’s multicultural society. He earned both his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Lexington Theological Seminary and will receive a graduate certificate in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State this May. Lon enjoys nature photography. He is married to Rev. Maria Oliver, and they are the parents of an adult child, David.


Dr. Jon Barnes will join the LTS staff as the Director of the Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative. The Pathways Initiative is funded by a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. LTS has received an Economic Challenges Facing Ministry grant, a Thriving in Ministry grant, and a Thriving Congregations grant. The Pathways grant will help the Seminary develop programs to support African American, Latinx, and Catholic students in addition to working to enhance our relationships with congregations.

Dr. Barnes will begin his work at LTS on June 1, 2022. He currently serves as Director of Higher Education and Communications for Higher Education and Leadership Ministries (HELM) of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). In addition, he serves as adjunct faculty at Lexington Theological Seminary and the University of Indianapolis. Barnes has over a decade of international experience, serving Global Ministries as mission personnel in South Africa and Mozambique and in the Indianapolis office as Executive of Mission Education. He has also served as Country Representative for the Mennonite Central Committee in South Africa, Lesotho, and eSwatini (formerly Swaziland). Barnes received a BA from Gardner-Webb University, an MDiv from Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, and a PhD from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. He is the author of Power and Partnership: A History of the Protestant Mission Movement (Pickwick, 2013) and co-editor of Restoring Dignity, Nourishing Hope: Developing Mutuality in Mission (Pilgrim Press, 2016). An ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Dr. Barnes lives in Indianapolis, Ind., with his wife, Dawn, and two children, Khaya and Alyson.

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Rev. Dr. Doris Garcia Rivera joins the LTS community as the Academic Coordinator for the Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative at LTS. Rev. Dr. Garcia Rivera began her work with LTS Feb. 1, 2022.

Dr. Garcia Rivera is presently the Interim Executive Director of Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America (BPFNA). BPFNA-Bautistas por la Paz is a network of thousands of peacemakers from four-member nations – Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the United States, sustaining a variety of national and international peacemaking initiatives. As part of the broader Hispanic biblical scholars active in higher education, Christian missions, and social justice, Dr. Garcia Rivera spent 23 years of missionary service with International Ministries of the American Baptist Churches (1990-2013) in Central America as a Hebrew Bible professor, learning and integrating intercultural frameworks in her teaching. Following this time, Dr. Garcia Rivera became the first woman to preside over the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico (2014-2019), bringing the seminary back to life after Hurricane Maria with the collaboration of multiple relief organizations, partner churches, seminaries, and volunteers. She promoted continuing education and improved the Seminary’s information technology infrastructure.

Dr. Garcia Rivera’s commitments have taken her throughout the United States, Central America, and Latin America as a missionary, teacher, conference speaker, workshop leader, founder, and director of theological schools and programs. Since 2016, she has collaborated as a Board member of theological education accrediting and supporting institutions. A fruitful writer, Dr. Garcia Rivera has effectively shared for over 20 years valuable educational, theological, and biblical materials in a variety of books, journals, and denominational digital spaces. She has a PhD in Biblical Studies from Boston University Theological School, an MAR in Cross-cultural Evangelism from Andover Theological School, an MSc in Microbiology from the Medical School-University of Puerto Rico, and a BS in Biology. Dr. Garcia Rivera enjoys reading science fiction, writing, and hearing an eclectic mix of ethnic and contemporary music. She is a proud Puerto Rican woman and mother of three young adults.

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Rev. Stephanie Moon will begin her role as Interim Director of Admissions on June 1, 2022. Rev. Moon is currently serving as pastor of North Middletown Christian Church. She is a 2009 MDiv graduate of Lexington Theological Seminary.

Rev. Moon has served churches in Georgia and Kentucky. Prior to answering the call to full-time ministry, she was a music educator, a reading specialist for children with language-based learning disorders, and a part-time youth minister. She loves preaching and teaching the ancient texts for modern ears. Rev. Moon is especially passionate about the Christian’s call to justice in ministries of Creation care and equality of all people and increasing access to nutritious food. She is currently working on her Doctor of Ministry at Lexington Theological Seminary. Her project is “Helping the Small Rural Church Find Its Power and Create Hope in the Community.” She enjoys singing with the Lexington Singers and spending time with her family – husband Steven, son Chris, and her dogs.