Clawson United Methodist Church
Celebrates its 101 Year Anniversary in 2017
Michael R. Perez, Jr.
CUMC is pleased to welcome Pastor Mike Perez. Pastor Mike was raised in Eastpointe and attended Church at Grosse Pointe United Methodist Church. Originally a Catholic Pastor Mike enrolled in classes at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. However he felt after much discernment that God was calling him to serve elsewhere. Pastor Mike has many years of experience in ministry including serving as a jail minister at the Macomb County Sheriff's Office. These responsibilities included leading worship services for inmates and being there for inmates in times of need. In addition Pastor Mike has served on Liturgy and Worship Committies, served as a liturgist, and communion server. Pastor Mike has a background in law enforcement serving as a Parking Enforcement Officer, and Police Service Aide for the Royal Oak Police Department. He also worked for the Wayne County Sheriff's Office.
Director of Christian Education and Community Outreach
Benjamin Walker, born in Kentucky into a family of Methodist ministers, studied music education in Michigan and started his teaching career in the Flint Public Schools and came to the Detroit area to teach choir at Lincoln High School in Warren. In 1980, Ben was given the opportunity to teach choral music at Grosse Pointe North High School and developed one of the state’s largest choral music programs. By the mid 90’s over 400 students were enrolled in one of the schools many choral programs. Under his direction, the Concert Choir sang at both Carnegie Hall and at The Lincoln Center in New York City.
In 1999, Ben was invited to be part of the administrative staff at Grosse Pointe South High School and became principal in 1992. At that time, South was chosen as one of the best 25 high schools in the nation by US News and World Report.
Ben’s many awards include Newsweek –WDIV National Teacher of the Year and, later, the finalist in the State of Michigan’s Administrator of the year. In 1996, he founded the Arts Academy in the Woods, a performing arts high school.
Ben has always had a deep and abiding interest in religion and studied at the Unity School of Christianity in Missouri for two years. He is delighted to bring together his love of children and teenagers with his interest in and love of the value of a spirit centered life.
At Clawson UMC Ben is in charge of the Messy Church program and had done a large number of community events.
Minister of Music
Mark was raised in the Clawson area, attending Clawson United Methodist church and was in the choir, bells and an acolyte at the church throughout his youth. Mark joined the Navy immediately after High school and later settled in the Southern California area until moving back to Michigan in 2007 to be closer to family.
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