Southwest Conference Staff
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Rev. Dr. Bill Lyons was ordained on October 13, 1985 and has more than 30 years of pastoral experience in local church, state prison, and hospital settings. He was called as the settled conference minster in May, 2017 after serving a designated term for one year and four months.
Dr. Lyons serves on the Arizona Attorney General's Clergy Council and is a member of that group's committee on the opioid crisis. He is a board member for Arizona Faith Network and the New Mexico Conference of Churches. He offers workshops on managing transition, creating cultures of generosity, strategic planning and other topics purposed to equip clergy and local congregations for excellent ministry.
He is a graduate of Kentucky Christian University (BA, '86), The University of St. Joseph (MA, '93), Cincinnati Christian Seminar (MDiv, '98), and McCormick Theological Seminary (DMin, '13). His most recent article, Bringing Jesus' Compassion to an Evil Situation, was published in Sojourners in June, 2018. He has also written articles on gun violence and prison ministry.
Bill enjoys reading mystery and magical fantasy. He is the father of three children, and dotes over his three grandchildren. He and his partner of 17 years, Ron, enjoy cooking, hiking, camping, and biking.
Acting Associate Conference Minister: Rev. Dr. Barbara Doerrer-Peacock
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Rev. Dr. Barbara Doerrer-Peacock has been in the Southwest Conference since 1994. She and her husband Rich served as co-pastors at the Chino Valley Community Church and South Mountain Community Church. She served as intentional interim at Scottsdale Congregational UCC, and most recently at Desert Heritage Church. She also served associate pastor at Velda Rose United Methodist Church in Mesa. Between 1998 and 2008, she was one of the adjunct staff of the Southwest Conference serving in various capacities including stewardship, church renewal, and five years as camp director. She was ordained in the Wisconsin Conference in 1985. She and Rich have three grown children, one granddaughter, and a strong-willed terrier.
Assistant to the Conference Minister: Eli Johnson
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A graduate from the University of Arizona, Eli has grown up in the UCC, working with conference-wide events as well as active involvement with his local church in Tucson, AZ. Eli’s background has included work with local and federal political campaigns, as well as general community development within Pima county and greater Arizona. He joined the Conference staff as the Relational Communications & Administrative Assistant in March of 2016 and will be training over the next few months under Holly as she approaches her retirement this summer.
Relational Communications Coordinator: Wende Gonzales
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Telecommuting from Tucson, Wende has helped spiritual communities with their online presence since 2014, after 21 years as accountant/office manager for a mechanical contractor. She is active at Saguaro Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) as a member of the postmodern worship team, the Sol Team, a band vocalist, elder, and church camp director.