Each Ashram has an Ashram Director, an Evangelist, and a Bible Teacher.
Gary Wheeler – Ashram Director
Rev. Gary Wheeler began attending Ashrams in Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina and Kansas as a teenager with his family. As Director, he guides the daily events during the Ashram as well as the Board of Twelve leadership team during the rest of the year. He is a United Methodist pastor who has served churches in Kentucky, Georgia and Ohio, and is currently serving Germantown United Methodist Church in Germantown, Ohio. His other activities include co-chairing the Miami Valley District Location and Building Committee in the West Ohio Conference. He is very involved in the Greater Dayton Walk to Emmaus Community, where he is a Community Spiritual Director and serves on the Board. He is a member of the Faith-Based subcommittee with the Valley View Drug-Free Coalition. He is also a member of Dayton Pilots’ Club and serves on its Board of Trustees as the Treasurer.
Gary is married to Myra, who is a social worker with Children’s Services. They have four adult aged sons: Marty, Kevin, Matt, and Greggie. His hobbies include flying (he has his Private Pilot’s License), watching sports, computers, and music.
2018 Evangelist – Richard Looney
Richard Looney was born in the Methodist parsonage at Hillsville, Virginia. He graduated from Emory and Henry College and Candler School of Theology, with additional study in the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Virginia.
A member of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church, Richard served churches in Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee. He was elected to the episcopacy in 1988 and oversaw the South Georgia Area until his retirement in 2000. He has continued to serve churches, stating, “I keep flunking retirement.”
He is the Episcopal Director Emeritus of the Foundation on Evangelism, Lake Junaluska, N.C. He was been an Evangelist or Bible Teacher for numerous ashrams, and is an honorary Board Member for the United Christian Ashrams.
He was married to Carolyn for 51 years until her death in 2009. They had three children: Teresa, David, and Jonathan; one granddaughter: Maria; and three grandsons: Logan, Joseph and Ian.
2018 Bible Teacher – Victor Hamilton
Victor Hamilton is married to Shirley (Armstrong), and they have been married 52 years. They have four adult children (Heather, Paul, Dawn and David), and thirteen grandchildren (nine granddaughters and four grandsons). Both Vic and Shirley were born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and they have dual citizenship. He has degrees from Houghton College, Asbury Seminary and Brandeis University.
Vic taught Old Testament in the department of Religion at Asbury College/University in Wilmore, KY for thirty-six years (from 1971-2007). In addition to teaching at the University he also wrote several commentaries: The New International Commentary on Genesis, Vol. 1 and 2, Handbook on the Pentateuch, Handbook on the Historical Books and an Exegetical Commentary on Exodus (which he wrote after he retired). For the last thirty-four years he has preached one Sunday a month (through an interpreter) at a local non-denominational Chinese Church. Vic has also had the privilege over the years to preach and teach at camp meetings, and most recently in Beijing China and Moscow.
Vic and Shirley’s hobbies and favorite things to do include: attending sports and school events of the grandchildren, going up to the University pool, doing a lot of walking together, visiting family in Toronto, and getting down to the ocean beach in South Carolina.