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Committee Members

photograph of Stephen Taylor

Stephen Taylor

Southeastern Jurisdiction
Stephen is a May 2017 graduate of Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Currently, he is seeking ordination on the deacon track in the North Georgia Conference. Stephen is the Director of Special Needs Ministry at Mount Pisgah UMC in Johns Creek, GA. He is hearing impaired with a severe to profound hearing loss.

Tim Vermande

Tim holds an M. Div. from United Theological Seminary and an M.A. (ABD) from the Graduate Program in Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University. He teaches at a college in Indianapolis. His field of research is the use of images and language drawn from disabilities in religious practice.

Tim is the webmaster of the United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities and the United Methodist Committee on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministries. He sits on the Indiana Conference committee on Disability Concerns. He is a member of The Garden UMC in Indianapolis, and has been a resident theologian at Preston Hollow United Methodist Church in Dallas.


Leo Yates Jr.

Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Liason
Favorite verses
Matthew 28:20: Remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Isaiah 41:10: So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.
Leo is from Severn, MD (south of Baltimore), where he works at the University of Maryland Medical Center as a professional counselor (clinician). He is the minister of outreach at Centennial United Methodist Church and the staff interpreter at Foundry UMC.
A kid at heart, Leo likes to collect super hero action figures. A second thing he likes to do is go on cruises.
One hope I have is to further the awareness of inclusiveness for deaf, hard-of-hearing, and deaf-blind individuals and families in our denomination, which includes more visibility, and educate conferences, districts, and local churches in how to improve communication access.