Category Archives: Board of Directors

Women Religious Leaders of LUM Honored

LUM Member Churches – 11 Women Leaders

Indiana State Representative Sheila J. Klinker recently recognized the distinguished women leaders of the LUM member churches with a framed proclamation. Before the most recent LUM Board meeting, Representative Klinker offered remarks, praise and certificates to Dr. Karen Atcheson, Rev. Ashley Bonnes, Rev. Dr. Hilary Cooke, Rev. Lisa Hood, Rev. Pamela Jones-Horne, Rev. Tracey Leslie, Rev. Dr. Rachel Methany, Rev. Rosemary Morrison, Rev. Dr. Gladys Nwabah, Rev. Lucia Oerter, and Rev. Stephanie Smith. {Pictured L to R: Nwabah, Leslie, Cooke, Hood, Morrison & Bonnes.} To view more photos, click HERE.
LUM agrees with Representative Klinker that these religious leaders have been a vital part of the success of LUM governance, planning, outreach and leadership. Join us in recognizing these distinguished women religious & community leaders and ALL women leaders for their service to LUM and our community for the betterment of all.

Today, more than 25% of the LUM Member Churches are led by women. Compared to when LUM was incorporated in 1972, this is welcome change.



In the spirit of Women’s History Month (March) and Celebrating the Women of LUM, today we put a spotlight on 11 women who currently lead a local church or religious community that is also a member of the LUM Board of Directors. Women, like Doris Miner Hanstra (see story above), have been a vital part of the formation and growth of Lafayette Urban Ministry for more than 59 years. The difference today is that these women by virtue of their positions within their church have the authority to make decisions and initiate change in our community.

LUM is grateful for their knowledge, expertise, experience and insight; and is thrilled that they are a part of the LUM leadership team as well. Join us in honoring these women religious leaders and ALL of the other women who have leadership roles in LUM Member Churches, by saying their names:

  • Dr. Karen Atcheson,
  • Rev. Ashley Bonnes,
  • Rev. Dr. Hilary Cooke,
  • Rev. Lisa Hood,
  • Rev. Pamela Jones-Horne,
  • Rev. Tracey Leslie,
  • Rev. Dr. Rachel Methany,
  • Rev. Rosemary Morrison,
  • Rev. Dr. Gladys Nwabah,
  • Rev. Lucia Oerter, and
  • Rev. Stephanie Smith.

Women Leaders of LUM Member Churches

Celebrating the Women Religious Leaders

Today, more than 25% of the LUM Member Churches are led by women. Compared to when LUM was incorporated in 1972, this is welcome change.

In the spirit of Women’s History Month (March) and Celebrating the Women of LUM, today we put a spotlight on 11 women who currently lead a local church or religious community that is also a member of the LUM Board of Directors. Women, like Doris Miner Hanstra (see story above), have been a vital part of the formation and growth of Lafayette Urban Ministry for more than 59 years. The difference today is that these women by virtue of their positions within their church have the authority to make decisions and initiate change in our community.

LUM is grateful for their knowledge, expertise, experience and insight; and is thrilled that they are a part of the LUM leadership team as well. Join us in honoring these women religious leaders and ALL of the other women who have leadership roles in LUM Member Churches, by saying their names:

  • Dr. Karen Atcheson,
  • Rev. Ashley Bonnes,
  • Rev. Dr. Hilary Cooke,
  • Rev. Lisa Hood,
  • Rev. Pamela Jones-Horne,
  • Rev. Tracey Leslie,
  • Rev. Dr. Rachel Methany,
  • Rev. Rosemary Morrison,
  • Rev. Dr. Gladys Nwabah,
  • Rev. Lucia Oerter, and
  • Rev. Stephanie Smith.

Stop Asian Hate



The board and staff members of Lafayette Urban Ministry uphold that every human being is worthy of dignity, respect, and love. LUM stands in solidarity with Asian, Asian American & Pacific Islanders. LUM denounces xenophobia and racism, and strongly opposes the increasing acts of violence and attitudes of hatred toward Asian, Asian American & Pacific Islanders.  #StopAsianHate

Joan Low – Superstar LUM Leader & Servant

Appreciation for 16 Years of Leadership

Joan Foord Low, transitioned from being LUM board president as gracefully and humbly as she entered in 2005 as the newly selected representative from her church to the LUM Board of Directors. For the past 16 years, she led with passion and strength through some of the most significant milestones at LUM, including the search and hiring of the new LUM executive director last spring.

Due to COVID-19, Joan was given a Zoom send-off from her colleagues and was presented with a token of appreciation from the LUM board and staff members by Wes Tillett, LUM executive director. Pictured is Wes presenting Joan with a framed sketch of the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah with a plaque that reads, 

“With deep appreciation of Joan Low for her years of leadership and service at Lafayette Urban Ministry.”

Joan is one of an impressive group of women who have led and served LUM through the Board of Directors. She is an inspiration to all and a shining example of the contribution individuals can make in our community through the work of Lafayette Urban Ministry. Joan shared that she will still volunteer with the LUM youth programs and wherever else she is needed. THANK YOU, Joan!

Meet Cheryl Fowler – LUM Board President

Celebrating the Women of LUM in March

LUM is excited to introduce you to the president of the LUM Board of Directors, Cheryl Fowler.

Cheryl has been an active LUM volunteer for more than eight years when she was selected to represent her church, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tippecanoe County, on the LUM Board of Directors. In addition to serving on the LUM Executive Council for the past four years, Cheryl has served on the Hunger Hike Fundraising Committee for seven years and was the program director for the LUM Community Thanksgiving Feast in 2015 & 2016.

Cheryl grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, graduated from Finneytown High School, and earned a BS in marketing from Miami University, Ohio. Cheryl lives in West Lafayette with her husband of 36 years, Gary, and they have an adult daughter, son-in-law and seven-month old granddaughter. In addition to her family, she draws inspiration from music, especially this Carrie Newcomer song lyric,

“The greatest revolution is a simple change of heart.”

Cheryl shared that,

“Central to my faith is the inherent worth and
dignity of each person and my commitment to
justice, equity and compassion for all.”

This is what drew her to get involved with Hunger Hike and the new LUM Westside Food Pantry, opening this April.

“Creating awareness of food insecurity, raising money to fight hunger and providing food assistance to local families,”

is important to Cheryl. She is most proud of her work with the LUM Executive Council, stating that,

“Serving as the liaison for my church, working with the governance of LUM and witnessing firsthand the LUM volunteers & staff making a difference in people’s lives, gives me such a positive feeling. LUM truly is in the business of helping to restore human dignity and hope.”

Cheryl Fowler and Wes Tillett, LUM executive director

Following a long history of women serving with LUM, Cheryl is a humble and hardworking leader and volunteer. Over the years, she has stepped up and led when needed but has also rolled up her sleeves and participated in the day-to-day work at LUM.

“LUM helps me live out my values,”

Cheryl shared with pride and gratitude.

Cheryl also serves on the social justice team with her church and a racial justice group in the community. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, outdoor activities including camping, traveling, music and supporting the arts, and tap dancing, which she has done since she was four years old.

LUM and the children and families served by LUM are blessed to have someone like Cheryl as their leader, advocate, and servant.

LUM Board – Day Preference Survey

Message from the LUM President


Get Involved to Advance the Work of LUM


Dear Friend of LUM,

It is my honor to serve as President of the LUM Board of Directors. Each member of our Board represents their church partnering with LUM to tackle basic human needs and uplift people in Tippecanoe County. 

Lafayette Urban Ministrycreates a larger vehicle for making a difference in Greater Lafayette than an individual church can make by itself.

I am thankful for LUM staff, donors, volunteers and Board members who work together to restore the hope and the self respect which all people need and deserve.

As you learn more about the programs of LUM, I hope you are inspired to get involved or increase your involvement to advance the important work of Lafayette Urban MinistryThank you for your interest and support.

Sincerely, 

Cheryl A. Fowler
President, Board of Directors

Annual Report 2020 – Lafayette Urban Ministry



Here is your personal copy of the 2020 Annual Report of Lafayette Urban Ministry, Inc. The pages detail the remarkable work that together WE have accomplished on behalf of low-income children and working families in our community during one of the most challenging years of our history.

How humbling it is for the LUM staff members, as well as the many LUM many volunteers, to see the generous financial investment from the LUM donors and to experience the ever-present encouragement and support of the LUM Board of Directors.

Feel free to share the LUM Annual Report with friends and family members to show the impact that YOU are having through your partnership with Lafayette Urban Ministry.

If you have any questions or comments, please be in touch. THANK YOU for all you continue to do for local children and families and your neighbors experiencing homelessness through the service & programs at Lafayette Urban Ministry — especially during this crisis.

  • To view the LUM 2020 Annual Report, click HERE.
  • To view all LUM reports including the Annual Report, click HERE.

In 2020
  • Lafayette Urban Ministry served 3,020 households
  • Thousands of individuals volunteered in a LUM program
  • 2,137 individuals, churches, civic organizations, foundations or local businesses contributed financially to the work at LUM

LUM Mission Statement

Poverty is the greatest thief.

More than depriving a neighbor of food or shelter or warmth, it steals away hope.
While other thieves may take away the past, poverty steals the future and self-respect.

Lafayette Urban Ministry is in the business of restoring human dignity. Through voluntary efforts and contributions we give back the hope, the future, and the self respect which all God’s people need and deserve.

Ours is a Christian ministry that welcomes congregations and people of all faiths.
We give witness to God’s saving love & prophetic power by loving neighbors, seeking justice, empowering the least among us, and renewing the Church’s social ministry.

Meet the New Officers of the LUM Board


Thanks to 2020 & Congrats to 2021 Leaders



Sincere thanks to the outgoing 2020 LUM Board of Directors & Executive Council members, who served valiantly during the transition of a new executive director and impact of the pandemic. Congratulations to the incoming 2021 Executive Council members (pictured above L to R), who are as follows:

  • President – Cheryl Fowler, Unitarian Universalist Church of Tippecanoe County
  • Vice President – Chuck Anderson, St. Thomas Aquinas Center
  • Treasurer – Tricia Sembroski, At Large
  • Secretary – Penny Glotzbach, Congress Street United Methodist Church
  • Facilities – Allen “Buz” Grady, Our Saviour Lutheran Church
  • Personnel – Nina Morgan, Grace Lutheran Church
  • Program, Planning & Evaluation – Deb Parent, At Large
  • Executive Director – Wes Tillett, Lafayette Urban Ministry

LUM is governed by a Board of Directors — made up of one representative from each Member Church plus a few appointed individuals from specific community groups. Led by the officers listed above, the board meets each month to oversee and direct policy decisions, fiscal matters, and programming issues, and to ensure that LUM fulfills its vital Mission. The board members are passionate, hard-working, talented — and are well-equipped to serve during this difficult time.


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Honoring LUM Staff – Celebrating Historic Year


Persistence | Passion | Love | Determination


This past Tuesday, the dedicated staff members of Lafayette Urban Ministry gathered at Lafayette Brewing Company for the annual LUM staff appreciation lunch to celebrate the wonderful accomplishments of 2020, a unique & historic year.

The success of LUM last year can, in part, be attributed to the Persistence, Passion, Love and Determination of each member of the LUM staff.


Thanks to Lafayette Brewing Company management and staff for creating a safe environment for our annual luncheon as well as for great food & service. 


Pictured L to R are Pablo Malavenda, Eileen Weiss, Wes Tillett, Nancy Emig, Gayle Koning, Briton Weise, Patrick Renfroe, Linda Hicks, Minnette Trent, and Nina Morgan.