Dr. Stephen Lowell Swisher is the Senior Pastor of Epworth United Methodist Church, cited as one of the most influential mainline Churches in the Midwest. Dr. Swisher is known as one of our Denomination's most positive voices addressing our culture with an authentic and relevant message of hope. He is a fourth-generation United Methodist leader and has served all types of Churches from small, new Church start, County seat, and large Church appointments. These Churches have ranged in size from under 100 to more than 6,000 members.
Dr. Swisher serves on numerous Conference leadership teams and is a frequent resource person at Clergy retreats across the Country often focusing on the use of media in connecting with nonreligious and nominally religious people. He is the recipient of the Harry Denman Award for Excellence in Evangelism from the Foundation for Evangelism in Nashville, Tennessee, and the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church. He has also served as a Mentor and Adjunct Faculty member at United Theological Seminary in the areas of Preaching and Social Media. In 2013 he was named Outstanding Alumnus of this Seminary, his Alma Matre. Swisher also serves on the Leadership Team for the Maumee Watershed District of the United Methodist Church.
A master of explaining questions of faith in a down-to-earth fashion, his messages are heard weekly on WLMB Cable Channel 40, Local Channel 6 and affiliates across the Midwest. Swisher is often a featured writer in Christian periodicals and pens a popular weekly column in The Toledo Blade where he answers questions about life and God from the general public. He is the author of God’s Way to Good Health published by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Press. Dr. Swisher is the recipient of The Gabriel Award from the Religious Broadcasters of America. Dr. Swisher has 3 times been awarded a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International. For 65 years this award has spotlighted leaders for their public service and philanthropy in making the world a better place. He was selected by the U.S. Jaycees as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans awarded yearly to 10 Leading figures in their field, under 40, who epitomize “Service above self is the greatest work of life.” In the Fall of 2021 Dr. Swisher was named to Who’s Who in America.
In December 2021 Dr. Swisher was presented a Special Proclamation from the Ohio State Senate, co-sponsored by Sen. Teresa Fedor of Toledo and Sen. Kenny Yuko of Cleveland, honoring his 5 years of service as the Senate Chaplain. Dr. Swisher is a founding member of the Coalition for Peaceful Toledo Neighborhoods. Formed in mid 2022 this group is comprised of Civic leaders focused on eliminating Gun Violence across the City.