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Our Staff

36 Madison Ave.
Madison, NJ 07940
Location and Information

Ashley Boggan Dreff, General Secretary

Michelle Merkel-Brunskill, Executive Assistant

Jay Rollins, Director of Communications

Mark Shenise, Associate Archivist

Frances Lyons, Reference Archivist

TBA, Head of Special Collections & University Archives and Methodist Librarian

Charles Yrigoyen, Jr., General Secretary Emeritus

Robert J. Williams, General Secretary, retired

Alfred T. Day III, General Secretary, retired


    Ashley Boggan Dreff, PhD

    General Secretary


Dr. Ashley Boggan Dreff is the General Secretary of the General Commission on Archives and History. In this role, she ensures that the UMC understands its past in order to envision a more equitable future for all Methodists. Dreff earned her PhD from Drew Theological School’s Graduate Division of Religion, specializing in both Methodist/Wesleyan Studies and Women’s/Gender Studies. She earned an M.A. from the University of Chicago’s Divinity School, specializing in American Religious History. She has previously worked as staff at the General Commission on Archives and History (2012-2014) and the Connectional Table of The United Methodist Church (2014-2016). She was the Director of United Methodist Studies and Assistant Professor Christian History at Hood Theological Seminary (Salisbury, NC), an AME Zion Seminary, from 2017-2019 and was the Director of Women’s and Gender Studies and Assistant Professor of Religion at High Point University (High Point, NC) from 2019-2020. Dreff is a lay member of the Arkansas Annual Conference and the daughter of two ordained United Methodist ministers. Her Methodist lineage dates beyond this, back to the early 19th century when her great-great-great grandfathers were Methodist circuit-riders.


Michelle Merkel-Brunskill

Michelle Merkel-Brunskill

Executive Assistant


Graduate studies, Drew University
B.A., Aurora University, 1996


Michelle has been with GCAH since 2000. She provides administrative support for the Commission's General Secretary. Michelle is the public's contact at the Archives to answer questions about general information, subscribing to Methodist History, Historic and Heritage Landmark applications, purchasing GCAH publications, and updating the GCAH directory.


Jay Rollins

Director of Communications

Jay Rollins has more than fifteen years of experience in various capacities in communications, development, public relations, and marketing roles, with extensive work in more than 20 developing countries.

With the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), he was responsible for the brand and messaging of an organization with a staff of almost 500 in more than 80 countries. He was responsible for training staff in basic communications functions, brand promise/awareness, social media and crisis communication. He ensured that these concepts were translated into the country-appropriate language and cultural context. He has been called a pioneer in social media for non-profit organizations and quoted in several books including Elizabeth Drescher’s Click 2 Save.

Additionally, he has extensively traveled and reported around the world. From the border of Syria to the emerging nation of South Sudan, he has served as producer, photographer, reporter, videographer, grip, and editor.


Mark SheniseMark Shenise

Associate Archivist


D. Litt. Candidate, Drew University
M.T.S., Drew Theological School, 1985
B.A., Olivet Nazarene University, 1981

Mark is the Associate Archivist. His major responsibilities are processing agencies and personal papers, handling reference requests, working on museum displays, overseeing basic conservation needs, working with computers and databases, and preserving/cataloging the artifacts collection. Mark first worked for the archives in 1983 as a Student Assistant. After graduating from Drew Theological Seminary in 1985 and serving as an Associate Pastor in High Mountain Church of the Nazarene, Mark came back to work full-time for the archives in the Fall of 1986. He is a member of the Mendham United Methodist Church.  Mark is also a member of the Greater New Jersey Commission on Archives and History.


Frances Lyons-BristolFrances Lyons

Reference Archivist

973- 408-3196

Certified Archivist since 1996
Higher Diploma in Archival Studies UCD
BA (History) University College Dublin

Frances joined the staff of the Commission as Reference Archivist in March 2008.  She previously managed the Archives and Special Properties Collection at American International Group, Inc. in New York City. Prior to working at AIG she was the archivist for The McGraw-Hill Companies.



Head of Special Collections & University Archives and Methodist Librarian, Drew University





Charles Yrigoyen, Jr.

General Secretary, Emeritus

D.D., Albright College, 1987
Ph.D., Temple University, 1973
Th.M., Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1964
B.D., Lancaster Theological Seminary, 1962
B.S. in Economics, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 1959

Chuck was the GCAH General Secretary from 1982-2005. He is an ordained clergy member of the Eastern Pennsylvanian Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. He lives in retirement, with his wife Jean, in Lancaster, Pennsylvannia.



Robert J. Williams

Robert J. Williams

General Secretary, Retired

Ph.D., Drew University, 1983
M.Div., Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1973
B.A., M.S., University of Pennsylvania, 1970


Bob was the General Secretary from 2006 through June of 2014. He is an elder in the Greater New Jersey Conference and lives with his wife, Renee, in Ocean City, NJ. He currently serves as treasurer of the Charles Wesley Society and staff to the World Methodist Historical Society.


Alfred T. Day III

General Secretary, Retired

Graduate studies, Drew University and Temple University
M. Div. Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, 1975
B.S., Houghton College, Houghton NY, 1972

Fred was General Secretary from 2014-2020. He is a clergy member of the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference and lives with his wife, Linda, in Cape May Point, NJ.