The Rev. Dr. Brian K. Wilbert, a native of Elyria, Ohio, is a graduate of Kenyon College and Bexley Hall, now part of the Bexley Seabury Federation in Chicago, Illinois. In 2002 he earned a Doctor of Ministry degree in Congregational Development from the Seabury Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. Ordained in 1985, he served as Curate of St. Michael’s Church in Toledo Ohio (1985-1988) and Rector of Grace Church in Ravenna, Ohio (1988-1996) before his call to be Rector of Christ Church, Oberlin.
In addition to parish responsibilities, he shares leadership in the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio.
He has served two terms on Diocesan Council, two terms on the Standing Committee and was President of the Standing Committee during 2017. From 1981 – 2011 he helped plan “the Kenyon Summer Conference,” a week long summer formation program for all ages held on the campus of Kenyon College. He has served the wider church as alternate deputy to the 2000 and 2012 General Conventions and as deputy to the 2009 and 2015 General Conventions. He will serve again as alternate deputy to the 2018 General Convention meeting in Austin, Texas.
In 2013 Fr. Brian was appointed Diocesan Archivist, a role which has him spending one day a week at the diocesan headquarters (Trinity Commons) in Cleveland. At the 2015 General Convention Fr. Brian was appointed to a six year term on the Board of the Archives of the Episcopal Church where he was elected to the executive committee as secretary. Much of his recent work in the Diocesan Archives has centered around preparing for the Bicentennial Celebrations of the Diocese: 2017 (organization), 2018 (admittance to the Episcopal Church by General Convention) and 2019 (Consecration of the first Bishop of Ohio, Philander Chase). For his work as “Chief Bicentennial Squirrel” Brian was one of ten recipients of the Bishop’s Bicentennial Medal at the 201st Diocesan Convention in November of 2017.
Since 2015 he has served as the Affiliate Chaplain to the LGBTQ community at Oberlin College through the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL). A main focus of his ministry there is working with the Multi-Cultural Resource Center with an emphasis on living out one’s faith as a member of the LGBTQ community. He keeps regular office hours at Wilder Hall on the campus of Oberlin College and participates in the gathering of ORSL affiliates and the Protestant Cooperative.
He is also an active member of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship and a member of Integrity (the Episcopal LGBTQ Advocate Ministry). Fr. Brian is particularly interested in spiritual formation, worship, liturgy, and music and has been a violinist and church musician since he was a child. Other interests include occasionally teaching an Introduction to World Religion Course at Lorain County Community College, genealogy, history, and tinkering with a 1923 Model T. Ford.
The “Rector of all Oberlin and parts adjacent” lives at the church rectory in Oberlin along with his spouse Yorki Encalada, a Ph.D. candidate in Hispanic Studies from the University of Kentucky, and their Jack Russell Terrier, “Sancho.”
The Rev. Jane Trager, has a Master’s Degree in Tudor/Stuart History from the University of Buffalo in Buffalo, N.Y., and has been at Christ Church since the mid-1980’s. For many years she was a reporter with The Chronicle-Telegram; and is in her 14th year with the Lorain/Medina Community Based Correctional Facility as a Program Specialist working with drug addicts and alcoholics. Deacon Jane was ordained to the diaconate in 2010 thanks to the support of the Rev. Brian Wilbert and the congregation of Christ Church.
Jane loves her Kindle, books on ships and the sea, mysteries, and novels written by young and not so young Indian authors. She has lived for many years in Elyria with her dearest friend Amy, and is now joined by Amy’s brother, David, and Amy’s youngest daughter (and Jane’s youngest goddaughter) Mona, and Mona’s husband, Erik. Mona has recently returned from the Peace Corps, having been stationed in Guatemala where she met Erik, and is now working at as economic development officer for Lorain County.