At its May 10, 2022 meeting, Presbytery of the Miami Valley elected Minister of Word and Sacrament Sarah Sparks-Franklin as Moderator and Ruling Elder Michael Seewer as Vice Moderator for 2022-23.
Sarah Sparks-Franklin is the Pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Springboro. She is married to Jonathan and they have two children, Cora (6) and Levi (2). Over the past 5 years, Sarah has served the presbytery in various capacities. She was a member of the Executive Presbyter Search Committee and was an Alternate Commissioner for the 224th General Assembly. Sarah currently serves on the Presbytery’s Committee on Nominations. In February of 2018, she went on a trip with other members of the PMV to visit Covenant’s sister church and our sister presbytery in Colombia.
Sarah went through the ordination process in the PMV, graduating from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2013. Upon graduation, she and Jonathan moved to Bloomington, Indiana where Sarah served as a full-time Director of Youth and Young Adults at First United Methodist Church. She was ordained and installed at Covenant on March 13, 2016.
In her spare time, Sarah serves as a board member of Young Clergy Women International, an organization that supports, empowers, and equips clergywomen under the age of 40. When she’s not running after her two small children, she enjoys trying new varieties of cold-brew coffee, Netflix binging, having nerdy theological discussions with her spouse, and spending time with her close-knit group of college friends.
Michael Seewer is originally from northern Ohio. The Seewer family settled in Fairborn because of its close proximity to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. My father’s work was in the military and the Federal Civil Service. Other than time in Germany with family and the college experience, I have lived in the surrounding area all my life. Having both enormous joy in reading and intellectual curiosity about the past led me to a thirty-one year career of teaching history and literature. In the process I acquired both a M.A. and Ph.D. degree in history. Sadly, I prematurely had to depart a position I loved and filled with care for my students because of my severe genetic hearing disability.
I have been a Presbyterian my entire life. Experiencing excellent role models in my mother with her Christian compassion for others, my father who was both a deacon and an elder, and significant pastor mentors. I have been a member of First Presbyterian Church of Fairborn for sixty-four years. Ordained as a Ruling Elder, I have served in this capacity for almost forty years. During this period, I have been a member of the session at Fairborn for eighteen years, chairing numerous committees, including Mission, Christian Education, Worship, Personnel, and others. I also chaired a Pastor Nominating Committee. Currently I am a member of the Nominations Committee at the local congregation.
At the Presbytery of the Miami Valley, I initially was a member of the Committee on Certified Christian Educators for six years, helping teachers reach their goals in the denomination. For the last fourteen years, I have been a member of, or working with, the Committee on Ministry. In this capacity, I have been a liaison to various congregations, including moderating sessions for periods of time when needed, assisting pastoral searches, and serving on two Administrative Commissions, providing a leadership role in one. I pray that, with God’s help, I can prove worthy of the position to which I have been presently called. I am indeed appreciative of those who feel I am qualified to serve the Presbytery of the Miami Valley as Vice Moderator. I shall strive to do my very best. God bless and watch over all the congregations of this fine presbytery.