Pastor Dennis Ticen

By: Karin Woodside Last Updated: March 4, 2010

Pastor Dennis Ticen grew up in central Indiana, in a small town called Sedalia (population about 150). He moved to Portage in 2005 when he was appointed as senior pastor of First United Methodist Church. At the church, he leads a staff of eight full- and part-time persons in addition to many volunteer leaders.

Dennis is a graduate of Rossville High School (1985), Ball State University (1989) and Asbury Theological Seminary (1993). He was ordained in the United Methodist Church in 1995 and has served churches in Muncie (High Street UMC) and Rensselaer (Brushwood UMC) before moving to Portage. He serves on the Indiana Conference Board of Ordained Ministry and has been active in church camping ministries over the past twenty years. Locally, Dennis is an active member of the Portage Rotary Club and the Portage Compassionate Ministries Coalition.

Dennis has been married to Cathy since 1989, and they have two children. Christopher is an 8th grader at Willowcreek Middle School, where he plays violin in the orchestra and is a member of the National Junior Honor Society. Rachel is a 4th grader at Jones Elementary School, and is a dancer at Toni's Dance Academy. Both kids have been involved in the Portage Parks' soccer league for several years. Cathy is a mental health counselor and the branch director of Wabash Valley Hospital Outpatient Clinic in Rensselaer. Since moving to Portage, they enjoy the many resources and opportunities that are present in northwest Indiana, including the new Lakeshore Park.

Dennis is passionate about the local church and its involvement with and transformation of the local community. In the five years he has served at First United Methodist Church, the church has continued to be involved in community ministries like ShareFest, Rebuilding Together and the Food Pantry. The church's mission is to become a community where all people encounter Jesus Christ, and they seek to do this by loving God, loving others and offering Jesus. This October, the church is preparing to celebrate its 175th anniversary with a weekend of festivities.

Dennis can be reached through the church, 219-762-3846 or