Our Senior Pastor – Rev. Elder Dr. Candace R. Shultis
Candace grew up in Kingston, NY and Pittsfield, MA. She earned her baccalaureate degree from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), B.B.A., in 1973, her master’s and her doctorate at Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC, M.Div., 1980 and D. Min., 2004. From November 1973 through August 1976, she served as a disbursing officer in the United States Marine Corps. She first attended the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, DC in 1979. Candace served as the Associate Pastor of MCC Washington from 1983 until 1995 when she was elected Pastor.
Candace was called and elected to be the Pastor at King of Peace MCC in December 2007. Candace has a passion for preaching and very much enjoys working with the terrific staff and congregation of King of Peace! She and her partner of 25 years, Barbara, also enjoy the company of their two dachshunds: Mr. Redd and Sparky.
Our Associate Pastor, Rev. Gina R. Durbin
Gina grew up in the A.M.E. Zion Church where she developed her love and gift for music. She has been singing since she was a little girl and has continued to do so into adulthood. She studied vocal music education at the University of Missouri – St. Louis for 3 ½ years. God spent many years rekindling Gina’s passion for ministry. She sang with the praise & worship team and choir at MCC of Greater St. Louis for almost sixteen years. During this time, Gina was reminded of the call God placed on her life at the tender age of 16. Gina finally answered that call and entered seminary where she graduated with a Master of Divinity.
Gina completed her ministry internship with MCC of Greater St. Louis, as a Gap Pastor with MCC of Topeka, KS, and as a Chaplain with Shalom House (a homeless shelter for women with substance use and mental health issues). Gina was employed at MCC of Greater St. Louis as Pastor of Congregational Care for 2 years and then completed a Chaplain Residency with the Veterans Administration. Gina realized during her Chaplain Residency that her call is to serve the local church. She moved on to serve as Interim Pastor for Heartland MCC in Springfield, IL before relocating to Florida where she was the Interim Pastor for SunCoast Cathedral MCC in Venice, FL. Gina’s work with SunCoast, particularly the grief work they did together following the death of their founding Pastor, helped her to understand Pastoral Care is an essential piece of her calling. God has been preparing Gina to serve in this capacity for many years. Gina considers herself a #WYSIWYG Pastor (a what you see is what you get pastor). She is thrilled to bring this and her heart for ministry to serve as the Associate Pastor for Congregational Care with King of Peace MCC.
Our Director of Music, Jeremiah Cummings
Originally from Camden, OH, Jeremiah was raised in the Pentecostal tradition, where he served in both the Church of God (Cleveland, TN) and Assembly of God. In 2004, his whole world changed when he heard about Rev. Troy Perry and the ministry of MCC.
Jeremiah is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree with concentration in Vocal Performance in the studio of Dr. Patricia P. Fleitas. As a performer, he has been blessed to sing in Ireland and London, as well as sing backup vocals for country queen Dolly Parton and gospel artists Geron Davis, Karen Wheaton and Alvin Slaughter. Through his work in music ministry, he has helped create and lead worship at MCC’s General Conference, Young Adult Network Gatherings and has served as faculty for the Moderator’s Leadership Mentoring Retreat. In 2015, he was honored with MCC’s “Bob Crocker Award for Excellence in Music Ministry”.
Jeremiah shares his passion for music with his husband, Ricardo, and he is the oldest brother of two, uncle to two nephews, and father of Minnie, a wire-haired terrier mix. His Pentecostal pastor-grandmother is his hero and was the first one to encourage his musical gifts when he started singing in church at the age of three. When he isn’t working, he enjoys going to movies, amusement parks, musical theatre, and using his crock pot to cook dinner.