Our Mission

Love God

through meaningful worship, scriptural study, powerful prayer, and intentional discipleship.

Love People

through personal connection of meeting others where they are to demonstrate the love of Christ.

Serve the World

through the sharing of our unique gifts and talents in local and global ministries to spread the love of Christ.

Our Leaders

Meet our wonderful and caring staff that makes it a joy to walk in the doors!


Buck Cueni-Smith

Senior Pastor
Buck has a heart for creating relevant experiences that bridge God to people. He has two major convictions:

1) God is the glue that holds relationships together, and

2) God answers prayer through presence and through people.

Buck was born in Temple, Texas. He is a graduate of Lon Morris College (A.A.), Texas Wesleyan University (B.S.) and St. Paul School of Theology (M.Div.). He has served in a variety of ministry settings including youth ministry, church planting, and serving as Circuit Minister in the British Methodist Church, in England. Buck met his wife, Colleen, while in college, and they were married in 1994. Colleen is a Physical Therapist.

Buck and Colleen have three children, Annie and Libby, and Benjamin.

Email Buck at: Buck@ChillicotheUMC.org


Mike Tipton

Pastor of Discipleship 
Mike is the Pastor of Discipleship with an emphasis in Children at CUMC.  Trained as a teacher, it was his involvement with youth ministry through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes that finally led to his surrender to the call of ministry.  He  serves as a local licensed pastor.  Mike received his B.S. in Secondary Education/Social Sciences from Northwest Missouri State University and his M.S. in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment from Walden University. He is currently taking Course of Study classes through St. Paul School of Theology. Mike is married to Melanie, and they have two children: their daughter, Mady and their son, Maddox.

Email Mike at: MTipton@ChillicotheUMC.org

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Jim King

Associate/Student Minister 

Jim King is our Youth and College-aged Minister until June 30th, 2021.  Jim will be full-time to help coordinate and plan the ministry until we hire a more permanent Director of Youth and College-aged Ministries. With his wife, Amy, they are truly blessed with three wonderful children: Eli (almost 14), Norah (8), and Anna (4). We originally come from St. Charles, Missouri, where both of our families still reside. He will graduate from Asbury Theological Seminary in May of 2021 with a Masters in Divinity. Jim enjoys being involved with his children, camping, fishing, kayaking, and playing Animal Crossing together.

Email Jim at jimking@chillicotheumc.org


Dale Thomas

CUMC Building Superintendent
Dale is a long time member of Chillicothe UMC and has served as our Building Superintendent since 2008. He and his wife Sherry have three grown children: LeDawn (Scott), Adam, & Andrew (Cherokee). They also have one grandson named Bentley.

Email Dale at: DaleThomas@ChillicotheUMC.org


Jennifer Potter

Church secretary
Jennifer began working at the Chillicothe UMC as church secretary in November 2003. Jennifer is a graduate of the Grand River Technical School where she earned a Office Business Degree. Jennifer has lived in Chillicothe all of her life and has been a member of the Church of Christ since 1969. Jennifer is married to Gaylen. They have two sons, Greg and Scott, and two grandchildren, Austin and Emma Kate.

Email Jennifer at: JenniferP@ChillicotheUMC.org


Lori Lyon

Missions/Financial Secretary 

Lori Lyon is our Financial Secretary. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and was a Certified Public Accountant until moving to Chillicothe in 1999. Lori and her husband Wes became members of CUMC in 2005. They have two grown children, Taylor and Katie. Lori has been active with both the Finance Committee and Missions Committee since joining CUMC, as well as participating in 10 mission trips to Montrouis, Haiti.

Email Lori at: lorilyon@chillicotheumc.org


Sarah Cavanah

Choral Director
Sarah is the Director of our choir. She has a Music Education degree from Central Methodist University. She is also the band director for the Chillicothe School District. Sarah is married to Brad. She grew up attending CUMC. They are the parents of two children: Macy and Lauren.

Email Sarah at: scavanah@chillicotheschools.org


Debbie Willard

CUMC Preschool Director
Debbie Willard is Director of the UMC Preschool. She has a BS in Elementary Education, a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Ed., and certification as a Library-Media Specialist. She recently retired from 30 years of teaching. Debbie and her husband, Phil have attended CUMC for 25 years together (and Phil grew up in this church as well!) They have two teenagers: Alexandria & Jack.

Email Debbie at umcpreschool@chillicotheumc.org

Loving God. Loving People. Serving the World.

Our Beliefs

  • We believe in and proclaim both the mystery that is God, whom we partly know and partly do not know, and the human need for communion with God.
  • We believe in and proclaim the person of Jesus Christ who distinctively reveals the nature of God and the meaning and purpose of life, and who calls us to follow him through the death of the cross to the place of Resurrection.
  • We trust in the Holy Spirit who prompts liberty, beauty, truth , love, and joy against the waywardness of human nature.
  • We are committed to using the Bible in a way that takes account of all truth, revealed and discovered, and relates it to the real experiences, both good and bad, that people have of life.
  • We are committed to an inclusiveness that is open, accepting, supportive, and enabling for all persons who would participate in the life of the Church, the community, and the world; and which denies every semblance of discrimination.
  • We are committed to the Kingdom of God as both a present and future reality, and to making valid connections between what we profess and the way in which we live and work.
  • We draw inspiration from the founder of the Methodist movement, John Wesley, who required that we look both at the resource we create and possess, and the way it can be shared.
  • We are committed to taking all people seriously wherever they might be at their particular point of understanding, while at the same time sharing with them whatever insights may have been gained by our relationship with God.
  • We acknowledge the destructive power of human sinfulness, and we welcome gratefully the forgiveness that God offers to those who are prepared to turn to the truth.
  • We are committed to identifying and affirming what is good and identifying and opposing what is evil, and living as best we can in the mess in the middle.

Want to worship with us?

8:45: Contemporary worship in the Christian Life Center
9:45: Traditional worship in our newly renovated sanctuary

10:45: Unplugged Family Worship in the Christian Life Center