Recent Pastors (2010-2021)

Earlier Pastors

Linda T. Pevey (2016-2021)

A native of Hockessin, Delaware, Rev. Pevey received a Master of Science from Rutgers University in 1983, and a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary in 2014. Before entering the ministry, from 1989 to 2005, she ran her own agronomy business, Tower Crop Service. From 2007 to 2010 she served as the Director of Adult Discipleship at Gethesemane UMC at Reliance, and as Associate Pastor at Christ UMC in Salisbury from 2011 to 2015. She joined Bethesda in July 2016 and during her tenure oversaw the expansion of many church ministries, as well as much-needed improvements to the church building. One of her most influential accomplishments was the establishment of a 9:00 contemporary service, which opened its doors on Easter Sunday 2018.

E. Martin Wiley, Jr. (2015-2016)

Born in Wilmington, Delaware, Rev. Wiley graduated from Brandywine High School in 1967. He joined the Navy in 1968, serving on submarines and teaching in Charleston, South Carolina for a decade. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Carolina in 1980. From 1978 to 2002 he owned and operated a manufacturing business in Wilmington, before entering the ministry in 2003. He received a Master of Divinity degree from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2005. As a full-time pastor since 2003, he served Summit UMC, in Middletown, Delaware (2003-2005); Wesley UMC, in Elkton, MD (2005-2009); and Union UMC, in Bear, Delaware (2009-2011). After retiring in 2011, Wiley served as interim pastor on the Harmony-Ames circuit (2011-2012), before moving to St. Michaels (2012-2015), and then Bethesda. Wiley and his wife, Caroline have four children – Abbigail, Allison, Ben, and Jake – and six grandchildren.

Karen R. Handy (2012-2015)

Rev. Handy was born and raised in Seaford, Delaware and grew up in St. John’s United Methodist Church. She received a B.S. in Nursing from Temple University in 1991, and graduated in May 2012 with an M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Before following the call to ministry, Rev. Handy worked as a registered nurse for Delaware Hospice, Inc. She also worked at St. John’s UMC as both a Youth Director and Worship Team Leader. She and husband Chris have four children: Christian, Collin, Chase, and Carolyn.

William Cruikshank (2010-2012)

Rev. Cruikshank (1938-2013) was born January 30, 1938, in Schenectady, New York. He attended Drew University, in Madison, New Jersey, and Union Theological Seminary, in New York City. Upon graduating in 1963, he spent three years as the pastor of an English-language congregation in Antwerp, Belgium. When he returned to the United States, he was assigned to Bridgeport, New York, where he met and married his wife of over forty years, Joy. Cruikshank was a pastor in many churches in central New York, including Syracuse, Watertown, Oswego, Utica, and Ithaca. In 2000 the Cruikshanks moved to the Eastern Shore, where Rev. Cruikshank served as a part-time minister throughout the Easton District. His final appointment was at Bethesda. He retired in 2012 and moved to Blacksburg, Virginia, where he passed away in 2013.

Earlier Pastors