Bishop Kenneth Price of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio has appointed Rev. Derrick Fetz to a three-year contract as part-time priest-in-charge of the Northern Miami Valley Episcopal Cluster (NMVEC).
The Cluster includes the Urbana Church of the Epiphany and the Mechanicsburg Church of Our Saviour. Rev. Fetz is scheduled to begin Sept. 15, maintaining the regular Sunday worship services: 9:15 a.m. at Our Saviour and 11 a.m. at Epiphany.
Rev. Fetz comes to the position from Buffalo, New York, where he has been Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral since 2018. He replaces Rev. Charles Wilson of Columbus who has been Cluster interim priest since September of 2020.
A native of Urbana, Rev. Fetz is a graduate of Otterbein College with a Master of Divinity degree from Seabury Western Theological Seminary in Chicago. He was ordained in the Diocese of Southern Ohio. He and his wife, Jamie, were married at Epiphany. They have an eight-year-old daughter, Mari, who will enter second grade this fall.
When Rev. Fetz was his daughter’s age, he visualized a career in the Christian ministry. At St. Mary School he participated in the daily Mass and was profoundly moved by the liturgical, sacramental form of worship.
He tells that when other kids were playing fireman or airplane pilot or imitating sports heroes, he set up a little altar in his room and acted out the role of the clergy that he witnessed every day at St. Mary. That little improvised altar of childhood became real and Rev. Fetz is now an exemplar of that youthful vision of Christian love and service.
His experience is varied in role and location. He first served in the Diocese of Southern Ohio at St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church near Cincinnati and as rector of the East Central Ohio Cluster, three parishes in the Appalachian foothills.
From there he answered a call from St. Matthew’s Church in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, where he served as rector for eight years. Rev. Fetz is also a professed member of the Third Order Society of St. Francis, a religious order within the Episcopal Church and wider Anglican Communion.
The Fetz family will live in Urbana. Jamie and Mari share husband’s and father’s calling and interests. Jamie, a native of Englewood, Ohio, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Otterbein. She is especially involved in Christian youth formation, music, social justice and outreach ministries to the hungry. She is also certified in massage therapy.
Daughter Mari attends Sunday School, participated in St. Paul’s food outreach and is learning to assist with the worship service. Perhaps remembering his own joy in childhood worship, Rev. Fetz has endeavored to incorporate children into the full life of the church.
Rev. Fetz will also work part-time as Director of Operations for Fetz Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, an Urbana firm owned and operated by his parents, Sheila and Robert Fetz.