About Us

The Ohio Council of Churches (OCC) is a partnership of 17 Christian faith denominations throughout the state.

Established in 1919, Ohio is one of the oldest of the state ecumenical councils. Its seventeen denominations encompass some 4,000 congregations and 1 million members. The Council co-sponsors various events and activities with other organizations.

The Board is comprised of each bishop and executive leader of the 23 judicatories (governing bodies.) The Board meets twice a year.

The Foundation, Board of Trustees  is entrusted with fiduciary responsibilities of endowment and investment. It is comprised of representatives from the various 23 judicatories of the Council. 

We are an Ohio expression of the worldwide ecumenical movement. Ecumenism is the quest for unity and the collaborative effort of the churches to be one in their witness and service to the world. Our mandate is to respond to Jesus' prayer: "that they may all be one...so that the world may believe." (John 17:21)

Meeting dates:

October 10, 2018

2019 dates:
March 20
September 25

What We Do


The Ohio Council of Churches has voice and presence at the Ohio General Assembly through the office of Public Policy.  A network of individuals and organizations committed to social justice and public policy issues, connects concerned Ohioans. A monthly Legislative Brief informs constituents of current legislations and concerns. 


Orthodox, Protestant, historic

African American, and Peace

churches come together learning

about church agreements and

their impact, about one another’s

polity and traditions, and dialogue

with each other on current/critical issues. The ecumenical

table expands with four Related

Organizations and two Affiliate

Bodies. Christian unity and common

mission give direction as we

try to understand others

as we hope to be understood.”


We network with ecumenical and secular constituencies around the state and offer  support. We seek to create opportunities for common work and ministry  and reach out to secular structures in order to promote the well-being  of all people. One of the current emphases is environment, partnering  with the Ohio Interfaith Power & Light organization (OhIPL).  Others are civil discourse, peace efforts, immigration reform, health care, education, disaster response, the death penalty, and interfaith dialogue.


Bishop Marvin F. Thomas, President

 Bishop Marvin Frank Thomas, Sr. was elected the 62nd bishop of the  Christian Methodist Episcopal Church on July 1, 2014 at the 37th  Quadrennial Session & 38th General Conference in Baltimore,  Maryland.  

Rev. Vanessa E. B. Clark, Vice-President

 Rector, St. James Episcopal Church (2009- present) and Ecumenical Officer, Episcopal Church, Diocese of Ohio (2016.) 

Rev. Deb Oskin, Secretary

 Deb is ordained to Peace Ministry in the Church of the Brethren (one of  the historic peace churches), and has worked on an interfaith basis to  promote nonviolent methods of peacemaking since 2003.  

Rev. Adam Sornchai, Treasurer

 Pastor Sornchai was born and raised on Long Island, NY.  His  father is from Thailand and late mother was from Iowa, giving what he  has always felt to be the gift of a unique and diverse background.

Pastor  Adam Sornchai was ordained and installed as pastor of St. John on June  24th 2011.


Anne Barrs, Interim Director, abarss@ohcouncilchs.org

Anne has been an executive director for 30 years of both non-profit/faith based and county government in the social work field. Most recently she served 19 years as the Executive Director for Churches United of the Quad Cities Area (IL, IA)  She begins her work on July 1. Welcome Anne!

Public Policy

 Public Policy issues will be coordinated by: OhIPL, Ohio Interfaith Power and Light; Hunger Network in Ohio, Faith in Public Life, and Ohioans to Stop Executions. 

Cindy Ries, Bookkeeper, cries@ohcouncilchs.org

 Cindy began working with the Council in November 2013.   She is a solutions-oriented professional with over 15 years of  experience in accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll and human  resources record keeping with a broad range of clients in various  industries. She is a part of Kaiser Consulting. 

Public Policy


 Ohio Interfaith Power and Light (Ohio IPL) is the Ohio affiliate of the  national Interfaith Power and Light network and a 501c3 non profit. 

Faith in Public Life

 Faith  in Public Life Ohio brings a unique voice into the media stream by  combining faith leader advocacy with strategic planning at the  statehouse. 

Public Policy

Hunger Network in Ohio

 The Hunger Network in Ohio is a faith-based nonprofit advocacy organization focused on changing the forces which cause hunger. 

Ohioans to Stop Executions

 Our mission is simple: end the death penalty in Ohio



African Methodist Episcopal,

-Third Episcopal District

African Methodist Episcopal Zion,

-Mid Atlantic One Area

Alliance of Baptists,

Ohio Community

Christian Church in Ohio (Disciples of Christ)

Christian Methodist Episcopal Church,

-Second District

Christian Science

Committee on Publication for Ohio

Church of the Brethren,

-Northern Ohio District

-Southern Ohio District

Community Churches, Ohio Fellowship

Episcopal Church in the USA

-Diocese of Ohio

-Diocese of Southern Ohio

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

-Northeastern Ohio Synod

-Northwestern Ohio Synod

-Southern Ohio Synod

Greek Orthodox Church

-Detroit Metropolis

-Pittsburgh Metropolis

Moravian Church in America

Ohio Baptist General Convention

Presbyterian Church (USA)

Synod of the Covenant

Religious Society of Friends

Wilmington Yearly Meeting

United Church of Christ

-Ohio Conference

United Methodist Church

-East Ohio Conference

-West Ohio Conference

Web sites

African Methodist Episcopal Church

African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

Alliance of Baptists

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Ohio

Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

Christian Science

Church of the Brethren, Northern District


Church of the Brethren, Southern District

Community Churches - Ohio Fellowship

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Episcopal Church, Diocese of Ohio

Episcopal Church, Diocese of SO Ohio

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, NE Synod

Evangelical Lutheran Church, NW Synod


Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, SO Synod

Greek Orthodox Church, Metropolis of Detroit

Greek Orthodox Church, Metropolis of Pittsburg

Moravian Church, Northern Province

Ohio Baptist General Convention

Presbyterian Church (USA) - Synod of Covenant


Religious Society of Friends, Wilmington

United Church of Christ, OH Conference

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United Methodist Church, E OH

United Methodist Church, W OH

Observer/ Affiliate Bodies

St. Gregory of Narek Aremenian Orthodox Church

Ohio-Meadville District of the Unitarian Universalist Association

Trinity Community Church