Rev. Cara Stultz Costello


Rev. Cara Stultz Costello was appointed by Bishop Tracy S. Malone to serve as Tuscarawas District superintendent effective July 1, 2020.

Cara has served in the Tuscarawas District since 2009 as co-pastor of North Canton Faith UMC with her husband the Rev. Steve Stultz Costello. Her first appointment in the East Ohio Conference was as pastor of Spencer UMC (Firelands District), a church she served from 2001 until her appointment to Faith UMC.

She has previously served East Ohio and the Church in several leadership positions during her ministry including chairperson of the Board of Ministry, chairperson of the Annual Conference Worship Committee, as a compass group leader, and as a member of both the Firelands District Committee on Ministry and the Pastoral Care and Counseling Committee. She also served as a General Board of Global Ministry US2 missionary in McKenzie, AL and as a chaplain with Hospice of Northern Virginia.

Stultz Costello earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a double major in sociology and music with a concentration in vocal performance from Albion College in Michigan, and a Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

She and her husband Rev. Steve are the proud parents of two young adult sons.

My Family

My Family

On the surface, my family of origin looks pretty monolithic. My predecessors worked hard to promote an outward appearance of “all is well”. Under that shine, was brokenness including mental illness and addiction. I am grateful that my parents raised my siblings and I to claim our family story as a way to move toward redemption and help others claim their own redemptive stories

As a pioneer woman pastor, my mother pushed the boundaries of convention while maintaining a commitment to connection. My father never met a stranger and told stories with joyful abandon. I am indeed my mother and father’s daughter.

When Steve and I met we had both decided not to be in partnering relationships for a while. I had just untangled myself from an abusive relationship and was grateful for time in seminary to live a cloistered life with God. Steve had decided not to sing in the Wesley Chapel Choir in the year 1997. He says that he fell in love with ‘the girl with the curly hair in the soprano section’ and joined the next day. We have been partners in all things – love, ministry and parenting – for 24 years.

We love to spend time with our boys! Arthur Elijah “Eli” is serving in the US Army Reserves as a combat medic – he has always been a healer. His unit is currently on a humanitarian mission in Honduras. Atticus William “Atty” has begun his senior year at Hoover High School. He has a beautiful deep mind which is informed by his heart for all who would be cast aside for their distinctiveness. Steve and I have said since before they were even born, “They are raising us to be good parents.” We try and when we stumble, they love us anyway.

Gifts and Graces

“I praise you, God, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know them full well.”

Psalm 139: 14

The gifts of God are being revealed in and through me. I delight to use what God has given me for the sake of love, transforming the world in light of God’s kin-dom of God. My strength is in the service of others.

My highest value is to live a life with integrity. The gifts I have been given I hold gently to share them in service to God. I engage worship leadership, preaching, the celebration of the sacraments, mission strategizing, evangelism, and administration as a catalyst for solution-minded and resource-driven redemption in the name of Jesus Christ.

A Creative Strategist: an Artist

During a particularly difficult season I handed my grief to God and God handed back to me paints and brushes—and I love the challenge of looking for God’s beauty and leaning into the call to co-create with God on canvas.

Unity With Integrity

Unity with Integrity

July 2022

Chicken Self


March 2021

Some Children See Him June 2021

Some Children See Him

June 2021

Artist’s note: “This painting is the first in a series of icons. It is inspired by the song, Some Children See Him (by Wihla Hutson and Alfred Burt 1951). In the song, each child is seen as a mirror image of Christ and Christ is in their physical likeness. In this painting, Jesus is depicted as a person from the First Nations. I dedicate this painting to the native children whose bodies are being recovered in mass graves in Canada and the U.S at church-run boarding schools. May we turn our hearts toward their grieving families. May we see the image of Jesus in all.”

Some Children See Him August 2021

Some Children See Him

August 2021

Diptych 1 “Fettered”

Diptych #1 – Fettered

March 2021

Diptych 2 “Unfettered”

Diptych #2 – Unfettered

March 2021

Some Children See Him July 2021

Some Children See Him

July 2021

Some Children See Him September 2021

Some Children See Him

September 2021

The Golden Thread

Written and Illustrated by Cara Stultz Costello