Meet The Coaches


Rev. Tim Fangmeier

Coaching professional church workers in creating their sabbatical experience is one of the most rewarding things I do. My coaching training was through Valwood Certified Coaches (2002-2008). George Bullard, Jane Creswell, and Linda Miller, along with other coaches, conducted this training. In addition to coaching pastors in planning sabbaticals, I also coach church workers who are in transition or conflict situations.  

My journey in ministry is an interesting one. In college, I studied Advertising and Sales Management at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. During my summers in college, I sold Electrolux vacuum cleaners door to door, which was also an educational experience.  

The influence of my campus pastor led me to consider seminary training and I graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary in Springfield, Ill., in 1971. My first call was to begin a mission congregation in Fort Myers, Fla. I pastored there until 1979 and assisted in two building campaigns and self-support status for the congregation.  

From 1979 to 1985, I served as senior pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church and School in Delray Beach, Fla., and from 1986 to 1993, I was senior pastor at Ascension Lutheran Church and School in Charlotte, N.C. 

In 1993, I joined the staff of the Southeastern District of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod as a Mission and Ministry Facilitator deployed to work with congregations in North and South Carolina. I helped direct mission partnerships and served as a conflict consultant to the District President.  

Since 2002, I have continued ministry as a consultant to congregations and pastors. I participate in conflict intervention, peacemaking and coaching professional church workers in times of change and conflict. As a Staff Associate for Wheat Ridge Ministries (now We Raise Foundation), I managed its Sabbatical Resource Center, which became this website in 2018.


Rev. Arthur M. Umbach

Art was born and reared in Saginaw, Mich. Following his graduation from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo., in 1969 (MDiv), he was called to plant a new congregation in Aurora, Ohio. In 1975 he was called to Redeemer Lutheran Church in Richmond, Virginia. Since April 15, 1993, he has served as Mission and Ministry Facilitator of the Southeastern District, The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod. 

During his 50 years of ministry, Art continued his training through courses and seminars in administration, planning, counseling, Coaching (CCLC Certificate) and spiritual formation. He has served as a seminar leader, planning consultant, Barnabus facilitator, chairman of the Southeastern Spiritual Life Team and Board for Professional Care Services. Art studied “family systems” with Rabbi Edwin Friedman, applied it in his work with congregations, and served for nine years on the “Healthy Congregations” Advisory Board with Dr. Peter Steinke. He facilitates prayer workshops and retreats and is a certified Spiritual Director. Art has experienced four three-month long sabbaticals during his ministry. He served the Synod as a member of the Church Worker Health and Wellness Task Force. 

In his spare time, Art enjoys woodworking, traveling, biking, kayaking, and hiking.