INDIANAPOLIS – Bishop Michael J. Coyner of the Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church is pleased to announce the appointment of the Rev. Steve K. Beutler of Evansville, Ind., as the Southwest District Superintendent of the Indiana Conference beginning July 1, upon the retirement of the Rev. Dr. George Purnell, who retires June 30. Beutler currently serves as the senior pastor of Temple UMC in Evansville. 

Coyner stated, "I have known Steve since I was his mentor as he came into ministry. He is highly respected in the SW district and throughout the entire Conference as a person of the highest integrity who is passionate about the mission and ministry of our UMC." He continued, "He will be a caring DS and an effective member of the Cabinet."

As Superintendent of the Southwest District, Beutler will work with churches as a missional strategist to guide and cast visions for vibrant ministries, as well as encourage clergy and lay people to find new ways to support the Conference mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. He will also work with Coyner and the Extended Cabinet to foster and supply new leaders for churches and communities across Indiana.

"It has not taken long to observe that the people on the Extended Cabinet model servant leadership in the work they do under Bishop Coyner's guidance," stated Beutler. "George Purnell has built a strong district with the team that he has led in the Southwest District.  I want to do my best to build upon that in the coming years."   

Beutler holds a Bachelor of Arts from Bethel College in Mishawaka, Ind. He studied for his Master's Degree at the Institute of Holy Land Studies (now known as Jerusalem University College) in Jerusalem, Israel with an emphasis in Old Testament, historical geography, and archeology.  Following his studies in Israel, he attended L'Abri in Hemouz, Switzerland where Francis Schaeffer and Oz Guinness lectured.  Steve Beutler finished his Master of Divinity degree at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY. He is an enthusiast of Notre Dame football and Indianapolis open-wheel motorsports.  His hobbies include traveling with his wife, performing magic tricks and United States Mint stamp collecting. 

Beutler and his wife, Jayna, have been married for 39 years. They have three grown children: Jason, who lives in Carmel, Ind. with his family; Sara, who lives in Chesapeake, Va. with her family; and Stephanie, who resides in Pasadena, Calif. with her husband and children. The couple enjoys spending time playing with their seven grandchildren whenever they can be with them.