CLERGY Leadership

Rev.  Dr.  Dennis  Laffoon

Senior Pastor

Rev. Dr. Dennis Laffoon is native of Gary, Indiana. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design from Indiana University, Bloomington in 1993.After years of serving the church, he answered his call to preach in 1999, which led him to pursue higher education, earning his Masters of Divinity degree from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. Following ordination, he served as pastor of Bethel A.M.E Church in New Albany, Indiana for four years, Bethel A.M.E Church in Bloomington, Indiana for seven years and is now the proud pastor of Bethel A.M.E Church, in Saginaw, Michigan. He received his Doctorate of Ministry degree from Payne Theological Seminary in 2021.

Dr. Laffoon is a published writer with the African American Lectionary through Vanderbilt University Divinity School and is a distinguished fellow of the Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program, sponsored by the Lilly Endowment. He is husband to Rev. Rochelle Laffoon and together they have three wonderful children, Laurence Malik, Britanny Cherí (pronounced sher-ay), and Aubrey Xavier (pronounced Za-vee-er).With a love of the visual and performing arts, he brings a bevy of gifts and talents to his ministry and is committed to using them as a bridge to show the world God’s love. Rev. Laffoon loves his family, he loves his church, but more than anything; he loves the Lord.

Rev.  rochelle  Laffoon

Associate Pastor

Rev. Rochelle Laffoon is an Ordained Deacon in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  She is a native of Gary, Indiana and attended Indiana University where she received a Bachelor Degree in Journalism.  She currently serves as Christian Education Director of Bethel AME church where she oversees many ministries, including Bethel’s award-winning Free Homework Help program.
She is married to Rev. Dennis Laffoon who is the Pastor of Bethel AME Church, and together they have three wonderful children, Laurence Malik, Britanny Cheri (prounounced sheray) and Aubrey Xavier.  She has been pursuing the Call that God has on her life since 2006 and while she knows that God has greater plans for her, right now she is confident in her ministry of motherhood, where she welcomes the laughs, the challenges and the triumphs that come with it.
Rev. Rochelle knows the joy of a smile, the power of a touch, and the comfort of a kind word. But she desires the world to know God, the source of the love that makes it all possible. And she is hopeful that her life and words contribute to opening eyes and hearts to the saving grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ.

Rev.  thelma williams

associate Pastor

Thelma Ragland was born in Louisa County, Virginia on August 1, 1949, the fifth of eleven children. She graduated from A.G. Richardson High School in Louisa, Virginia. She had her first daughter, Sonya, after which she attended Norfolk University graduating with a B.S. degree in Special Education. She taught at Louisa County High School for three years. She also attended Central Michigan University and has been teaching in Saginaw, Michigan for 27 years.

Mrs. Thelma Hughes married Harold Williams and had two other children (Raven and Crystal) and three grandchildren (China, Calvin III and Anwar, Jr.).  Mrs. Williams answered her call to the ministry in November of 1999. She was admitted to the Michigan Conference in August of 2000. She was ordained Rev. Thelma Williams, Itinerant Deacon in August of 2002 at St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Detroit, Michigan, and became a Local Elder in 2019..

Rev. Williams currently serves as an Associate Minister.  She assists with the order of service, Communion, hospital visitations, funerals and other areas as needed. She is also an advisor to the youth usher board, a substitute teacher for the Christian Education Department, trainer/mentor for youth in the church and a volunteer for Vacation Bible School.

Rev. Williams’ favorite quotes are: “Kindness never hurts anyone, in fact, it just might save your life some day” ; and, “If I can help somebody as I travel along the way, my living will not be in vain”. Her favorite scriptures are Romans 8:37 – “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us and I Corinthians 13:13 – And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Rev. Williams’ greatest desire is that everyone would develop and keep a personal relationship with Christ….that none shall perish and everyone will be saved.