When Moses led people to the promised land, he appointed a lay leader and his name was Greg Chapman. Greg led the people (with Joshua and the Israelites) into the glorious land we now call the Aurora District.
Ok, maybe my Scripture reading is a bit off, but it is true that Greg Chapman has served the Aurora District very well over the past (many) years. It is time, however, for new energy to come in and continue the work that he has done so well. Greg has committed to staying involved in the life of the district and will be engaging in some new and exciting connectional work to help boost churches in their vitality. He has done so much for all of us and I know God is saying, “well done good and faithful servant, well done.” I hope you will all send a note to him thanking him for his service and his love. He always reminds me that the reason he has put in so many hours and resources into the church is because he is in love with Jesus. Well, Greg that is easy to see!
The task of replacing Greg was not easy, but what drew me to our new District Lay Leader was his humble love of the church and his passion for small groups. He will help us to move in the directly of connection and grace as we strive to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Please give a special welcome to our new District Lay Leader, Ayodeji Sanyaolu (Deji).
Deji is in his third year as the chairperson for the Church Council at Bolingbrook: Friendship (FUMC). He has been a member of FUMC for more 20 years, and Madison: Sun Prairie for 7 years. Deji was born and baptized into the Methodist Church in Abeokuta, Nigeria, and came to the United States in 1975 to further his education. Deji is a widower and has two grown children and one grandchild.
He obtained a bachelor's in Aerospace Engineering from West Virginia University, an MBA in Operations Management from Governors State University, IL; and a master's in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech. For the past 30 years he has worked and served the United States Postal Service in various capacities, including Industrial Engineer, Operations Manager, and Plant Manager.
What Deji loves and appreciates most about the United Methodist Church is the love for our God and neighbors. In his experience, we are the voice for the voiceless and are called to provide greater outreach for the underprivileged and to practice inclusiveness for fellow human beings regardless of gender, race and wealth.
Please welcome Deji into our district leadership--we are blessed to have him!
Rev. Jeffry Bross, District Superintendent