Phill and Susie Michael

We are thrilled that God has led a local husband and wife to be our leadership team. Phill Michael is now serving as Director while his wife, Susie, holds the newly created position of Ministry Coordinator.

They are both retired from distinguished careers. Phill retired in 2013 from the military, with the rank of Colonel, while Susie retired with over 35 years of service with Washington County Public Schools. They have been married for 40+ years and have 3 children and a growing number of grandchildren.

Maranatha Brethren Church, in Hagerstown, has been their home church for 20 years. After retiring early, they felt God’s strong tug to devote their time to ministry.
Over the last few months, the Holy Spirit’s leading was clearly evident in the search process that culminated in the enthusiastic endorsement of Phill and Susie as Northwest Maryland leaders, by the Northwest Maryland and State of Maryland CEF Boards.

Phill and Susie proved themselves skilled, thorough and highly professional during their careers. They also garnered a reputation of being committed, godly leaders in their home and in service for Christ. God has now led them to offer themselves as a vessel for Christ’s service, and they are excited to see how they might be used within the CEF ministry. We believe that God will use them to reach new heights of impact for Christ through our local ministry.

CEF is God’s ministry and its mission is following Christ’s “Great Commission” found in Matthew 28:18-20. The local CEF Board views their role as faithful stewards of this great ministry. The Board strives to remain consistent with CEF’s great history of over 80 years by staying focused on CEF’s scripturally commanded mission to evangelize, disciple and establish children in local churches. We believe the Michaels are especially equipped and prepared to expand our ministry while keeping NW MD CEF true to our purpose and roots.

CEF’s ongoing ministry is accomplished via the consistent devotion of time and talents by many godly volunteers. They are truly God’s hands and feet used to bring the Gospel to area children. The Board believes the primary purpose of those in leadership is to equip ministry volunteers and provide encouragement.

Phill’s Background:

Phill has long been an active volunteer and exhibited a “servant’s heart” while finding ways to have an impact on lives for Christ. Some of Phill’s service roles are as follows: children’s ministry leader and van driver, VBS group leader and coordinator of the “Care Ministry” at Maranatha. He has also served as a basketball coach for Grace Academy.

Phill applied the same personal characteristics that helped him succeed in his professional career to his Christian service roles. Those are his love for a challenge and his problem solving ability. In the Care Ministry role, he has coordinated a team to meet the physical needs of numerous people. He excelled in this role, but as is his nature, he did so “behind the scenes” without fanfare. Phill succinctly described his outlook in his resume, by stating “seeking to begin the next phase of my life supporting the Great Commission.”

Phill retired in January 2013 as the Maintenance Group Commander at the West Virginia Air National Guard in Martinsburg WV. In that position, Phill led over 430 aircraft maintenance personnel. During Phill’s distinguished military service, he also served as a Navigator Instructor. He gained a reputation as a quiet leader whose high character qualities and “lead by example” style earned much respect and loyalty from those he commanded.

Phill earned a Bachelor of Science in Business and Computer Sciences from Shepherd University in 1985. He earned a Masters in Strategic Studies from the Army War College in 2003.

We believe that God has assigned Phill to this new “mission.” Therefore, we are sure that God will leverage Phill’s personal traits, skills and training to God’s glory and enable Northwest Maryland CEF to reach even more children for Christ in the four counties of our region.

Susie’s Background:

Susie was introduced to CEF at a very young age when her mother served as secretary for a local CEF chapter. Susie’s prior interest in children is evident in her volunteer service. She has worked with children at Maranatha in Sunday School, Children’s Ministry, and VBS. She volunteered with the Hagerstown Pregnancy Center, and served on the Grace Academy school board.

Susie’s early passion for working with children led to a fulfilling career in education. She worked for over 35 years in Washington County Public Schools in a variety of positions, in many school communities and at different grade levels. A common thread throughout her career was “collaboration with teachers, administrators, parents and students.” As a teacher, school counselor and student services administrator, she strived to meet the educational, social/emotional and even physical needs of children. After retirement, she served in several part time positions including Juvenile Court Liaison, Special Permission Hearing Officer, and Home Teaching Reviewer for the local school system. Now, through this new position with Northwest Maryland CEF, she looks forward to helping children fulfill their most important need; a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

One of Susie’s strengths, observed by the CEF Boards, is her excellent communication skills, both oral and written. One of many examples of her use of these skills is that she developed student character education workshops and presented them to faculties, administrators, civic groups and parents. These skills will be put to good use in her role as Ministry Coordinator. She will be training the CEF Good News Club volunteers, and will work closely with them to meet the needs of each club. She wants to maintain communication so she can be a help and encouragement to our volunteers and the school Good News clubs.

How can YOU help this great local ministry?

  1. Please pray for this wonderful couple as they have stepped out in faith and have much to do to prepare for the
    start of Fall Good News Clubs.
  2. Consider being a Good News Club volunteer! Please Call Phill or Susie Michael at 240-513-5858 or email them at You can play a key part in reaching local unsaved children.
  3. Encourage a church partnership with GNCs to:
    • Assist with the Great Commission
    • Support the spread of the Good News to children in your community
    • Help establish families in local churches.

Mark J Barnett,
Chairman, CEF of Northwest Maryland Board