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Introducing Gwen Gibson, ESTHER's New President

Gwen was installed in January 2011 as President of ESTHER. She is the third person to serve in that capacity, following Rev. Joel Schlachtenhaufen and Rev. Maynard Beemer.  Gwen is recognized for her deep faith, courage, and strength in leadership.

Gwen was raised in Warrior, Alabama, at a time when African-Americans were segregated in schools and throughout the community. Familiar with facing injustices in her own life, she remembers as a middle-school student standing fast at the local library as the librarian proclaimed, “We don’t serve your kind in here.”

Gwen’s parents taught her to be proud of who she was and to speak out when she saw injustices. Her father was a United Methodist minister and became the first African-American to serve on the town’s city council.

Since childhood, Gwen has been active in her church community. She serves as a leader at her home congregation, Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Appleton, and is active in the work of the Wisconsin Conference of the United Methodist Church.

ESTHER’s founding in 2005 to bring people of faith together to work toward a more just community inspired Gwen to become a leader in the organization. She became active on the Treatment Instead of Prison task force, which she served as co-chair, and she represents WISDOM on the Treatment Alternatives and Diversion advisory committee of the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance.

Gwen and her husband, Bill, live in Appleton and have three daughters and one son. They are grandparents to two grandsons and one granddaughter.

Gwen has worked with enthusiasm and determination in her congregation, the community, and ESTHER. We are pleased to have her as our new president, and we look forward to benefiting from her leadership.

To contact Gwen, please send an email message to Join us in wishing her well and giving her the support she needs.

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