Our Clergy & Staff

The Rev. Samuel Nsengiyumva – Rector
Father Samuel became the Rector of Church of the Ascension on September 16, 2014. He previously served as the Rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin; and Priest-in-Charge of Holy Family Episcopal Church in Angola, Indiana.  As Rector, Father Samuel oversees and coordinates all activities related to the life and mission of Church of the Ascension.

Father Samuel was born in Rwanda, Africa, as the first born child of a first generation Christian couple who raised him to love the church and all it offered. In 1984, Father Samuel had a spiritual awakening that led him to a greater awareness of God’s love for humanity and the need to share that news with everyone who would listen. He soon became a free-lance evangelist and church planter leading many to the awareness of God’s love for them and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of their lives. In 1988, he felt and responded to a call to ordained ministry which led to his ordination to the deaconate in 1992 and the priesthood in 1996. He has since served churches in Rwanda, Kenya, and the United States.

Father Samuel holds a Bachelor’s degree in Bible, with minors in Christian Ministries and Community Development from Daystar University, Nairobi Kenya, and a Master’s degree from the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana, where he studied Theology and Ethics with an emphasis on Peace Studies. Beyond pastoral ministry, Father Samuel is interested in local and global issues such as poverty and conflict. He is the founder and president of Taraja Resource Network Inc., a small non-profit that is attempting to break the cycle of poverty in the African Great Lakes region through education, micro-enterprise, mentoring, and networking.

In his free time, Father Samuel loves to watch soccer. Having played the game from childhood, he is still able to kick a soccer ball around. He enjoyed coaching high school soccer during his time in Indiana and Wisconsin. Father Samuel is married to Marie Rose Nirere. They are blessed with four children, Amos, Emmanuel, Rachel, and Ruth, and a beautiful granddaughter, Keza and grandson, Elijah.

Ms. Mary Butler – Organist and Choir Director 
Mary Butler has been a church musician since she was a child. She plays piano and organ and loves playing all types of music: classical and contemporary. She feels called to use music to help people come closer to God in worship. She is a graduate of Loyola College and earned a Master’s degree from the University of Maryland. She is a retired teacher and enjoys living on a horse farm in Lineboro with ponies, horses and many cats.

Mrs. Kaily Cook – Parish Admininstrator
Kaily was born in Florida and spent her summers there as a child. She grew up in Frederick, MD before moving and completing school in Carroll County. In her free time she enjoys reading and writing. She has been married for three years and has two cats. She attends St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, and she recently joined the St. Vincent de Paul Society to serve her community.

Ms. Stephanie Schaffer – Community Engagement Coordinator
Stephanie will graduate with a degree in Communications from Carroll Community College in the fall of 2018. She has experience in marketing and has a Social Media Professional Certificate. She looks forward to faithfully serving and honoring God in her work at Church of the Ascension.

Children and Youth Minister – Open Position

Marie Grace Imanariyo – Digital Ministry Associate (Interim)
Grace is a credo Anglican who has been involved in church-life since her childhood, particularly in the areas of youth ministry and worship. She is an accomplished gospel artist who has written and produced several original songs. She is currently a member of the worship team at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Allentown, PA. She is a recent graduate of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA where she graduated with a degree in Computer Science with double minors in Mathematics and Entrepreneurship.

Ms. Suzanne Walter – Nursery Attendant
Suzanne has more than 30 years of working with children in Maryland and Iowa. She holds a certificate in Childcare from Howard Community College. She will attend to the children’s needs (ages 0-4) during the 9:15 am service and other times as needed.

Mrs. Lynn Lyon-Vaiden – Handbell Choir Director
Lynn Lyon-Vaiden began ringing handbells in 1979 when her church purchased five octaves of handbells. She has directed at schools and churches since 1983 and has attended many national and regional handbell festivals and directors’ seminars. Lynn has directed the Ascension Handbell Choir since 1997 and previously directed the Handbell Choir at St. Timothy’s School. (Stevenson, MD).

Mr. Donald Chepko – Sexton
Donald Chepko is the part-time sexton, helping us to keep our campus beautiful for all who worship with us or visit our church.