We celebrate the arrival of new clergy in our North District churches. As you enjoy their introductory bios, lift each one in prayer. Relocating is filled with excitement and blessings, but also challenges and stresses. I am thankful for each one, in the gifts they bring to their ministry and the love of Christ they show in all they say and do. Our covenantal connection makes us strong as together we serve in Jesus Christ.
Eternal God, strengthen and sustain us in our ministry together, with our new pastors. Give them and us patience, courage, and wisdom so to care for one another and challenge one another that together we may follow Jesus Christ, living together in love, and offering our gifts and talents in your service; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (UMC Book of Worship, p. 596).
Rev. Dan Morley
North District Superintendent
Rev. Donald Hegeman
St John’s United Methodist Church
I grew up in the United Church of Christ and experienced Sundays as the “driest and boringest”(exact quote from my 11 year old self) day of the week. If that is what church is still like no wonder so many of my generation and younger are so turned off. We need to find a way to connect hearts and minds to Jesus. How did I get here from there? Ministry is a second career for me. After three years at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, I thought I would go out on the mini-tours in Florida as a golf professional. It took me awhile to realize I was not Jack Nicklaus, etc. I worked at Grenelefe Golf and Tennis Resort in central Florida and then in southern Arizona where I was the western representative for Precision Matched Shafts. While in southern Arizona, every day Fran and Tom Pritchard came through the golf shop and asked me if I would like to go to church with them on Sunday. For over a year I found wonderful excuses for dodging their invitations. But finally I ran out of excuses and said ok. I went to St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Tucson where I was immediately incorporated into a men’s group and the mission group. A couple years later I worked with the youth. Finally Pastors Jerry, Ellen and Phil all said, “Will you quit asking us questions and go to seminary already.”
After listening to my pastor, the Rev. Jerry Haas, and lay leadership at St. Mark’s, I headed off to Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO. After moving through seminary in fits and starts, (serving as a local pastor for 3 years on the Eastern Plains, 5 units of C.P.E. and two years as a hospital chaplain), I graduated Iliff and was ordained a Deacon in the Desert Southwest Annual Conference in 1999. Hearing from my Arizona D.S. that I had to find my own job, I did, at Billings Montana First United Methodist Church as the Associate Pastor, Rev. Howard Hunter was the senior pastor. My wife Gretchen began her Ph.D. residency in Integrative Medicine at Deaconess Billings Hospital. After two great years in Montana, we moved to New England where I grew up, to be closer to care for my dad. I served five years at Rockville UMC in Vernon, CT, three years at Winthrop UMC in Central Maine, two years at historic Cox Memorial UMC along the Kennebec River as a congregational restart, then five years at Wesley UMC in Framingham, MA. In 2005, I was ordained an Elder in the New England Annual Conference.
I am grateful to be the father of three great children and six wonderful grandchildren. And, I am also grateful for the opportunity to serve in St. John’s UMC in Kingman, AZ where the church and fellowship is no where near that ‘driest and boringest’ experience.
Rev. Terri Hubbard
University United Methodist Church
I grew up in a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the oldest of three children, and born to parents who were junior high school teachers. Our family was thrown a curve ball when my youngest brother was born. Stewie was born missing a chromosome and he unexpectedly survived until he was almost 17. His life drastically changed the direction of our lives. I became his protector at the tender age of about 5. Compassion and empathy began to bloom in my heart, even though my parents chose to place him in a care facility (it was called The Colony back then) when he was about 2. We spent at least 1 weekend a month, primarily Sundays, driving to Madison to visit him. As a child, these were long, painful days filled with silence, sadness and grief. I still struggle with Sundays being a day of joy. Our family’s faith tradition was Wisconsin Synod Lutheran which completely complicated any understanding I had of Divine Love or God’s presence in my life.
The weekends we weren’t at the Colony visiting Stewie were mostly spent in Rhinelander, which was where my parents grew up. It was there among the pine trees, the red oaks, the lakes and the mosquitoes that I discovered a spiritual connection with God. Those north woods still call to me, speaking their language of love through all of their seasons!
A long time ago, I received a BS from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Mike and I have been married for almost 30 years and have spent those years guiding, learning, and deepening our spiritual lives and our connection with God. We attended Red Mountain UMC, in Mesa, AZ and went from there to seminary at Iliff. Mike and I attended seminary together and served as associate pastors at First UMC, Grand Junction, Colorado and co-pastors at First UMC in Ogden, Utah, as part of the Rocky Mountain Conference. I served for a brief time doing research through the conference office in new-church development and then as an interim pastor in Northglenn, Colorado. I then served as Senior Pastor at First UMC in Castle Rock, Colorado. I also have completed DMin course work in Spirituality at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC. Mike has been an amazing, loving father to my two children and we totally enjoy watching our two granddaughters grow up (much too quickly) in Henderson, NV.
More than 15 years ago I was diagnosed with several auto-immune diseases which over time got the best of my health and I eventually stopped working. After many, long years (which include many years of helping my dad care for my mom – who had Alzheimer’s Disease) of intentional work toward my healing, including becoming a Reiki-Master, a Mind-Body, Life and Weight-Loss Coach and Spiritual Director, God opened a door that I never thought would be open to me again. I am blessed to be able to come off of medical leave to serve University UMC in Las Vegas, NV with Rev Susan Holden. It is my belief that we all can serve better if we serve from a place a health and wellness and I hope to offer pathways for intentional wellness for spiritual leaders, both lay and clergy, reconnecting ourselves to God paying special attention to mind, body, heart and soul interactions – in all that we do. It is my prayer that I will lead from a deeply spiritual place and with an authentic voice guiding others to their own true faith as they share the love of God in Christ with their world.
Pastor Robert Mayer
Community UMC, Caliente
I was blessed to grow up on Long Island, New York. It was a wonderful place to be at that time. The beach was only 20 minutes away, so I spent as much time as I could there. I joined several family members in the Steamfitters union in New York City, and retired after 35 years. My wife Robyne and I have been married 33 years and we have three children. I also have one daughter from a previous marriage. Robyne and I moved from Long Island to Pennsylvania and it was there that I was first introduced to Methodism. I became very active in the church and then began the ministry process. I received my first appointment in 2002. I was a part-time pastor while working as a steamfitter. Eventually, I became a full-time pastor. I completed the Course of Study at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C. and obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Christian Life & Ministry from Lancaster Bible College.
I originally thought I would come to Las Vegas to assist my parents, but apparently God had other plans. I am excited about serving Caliente Community UMC and look forward to where God is leading me!
Rev. Robyne Mayer
Journey United Methodist Church
I grew up in Bergen County New Jersey. I was the youngest of three children. My mother was a homemaker, and my father was the Superintendent of Oradell Elementary School. Since my dad had several weeks off during the summer – we camped. I feel very blessed to have seen most of United States, and have met the most amazing people. When we were not camping we went to church. My Dad considered the priesthood in his younger years, but his desire to have a family won out. We used to have the most amazing theological discussions, something I truly miss to this day. Moving into my own apartment shortly after finishing high school, my college plans were put on hold. When I married my husband Robert, I became a stepmom to Jessica. As the years flowed by, Robert and I had three children of our own, Shawn, Ryan and Kathryn.
When I was 35-years-old, I decided to fulfill my dream of a college degree. After obtaining an associate’s degree in Occupational therapy from Penn State, I thought I was done, but God wanted more. I would like to say, I let out a rousing “Here I am send me,” but that would be far from the truth. There were many days and nights on my knees in the church’s sanctuary. I would remind God all the things I was already doing, just in case he forgot. I was a licensed certified occupational therapy assistant working in my kid’s school district. I was active in my church, an advanced lay speaker, a coordinator for the lay speakers in the district. I fed and clothed the homeless, participated in a nursing home ministry, I was actively involved in Emmaus, plus I would need two more degrees and we didn’t have the money for either. Hoping my plea would produce the peace that surpasses all understanding inside me, I found it did not, the inner turmoil was still there. God wanted more of me. Then things began to happen, I knew without a doubt what was orchestrated could only come from God working in and through people. I found myself on my knees one more time saying, “Ok, let’s do this.” I obtained a bachelor of Science degree with a focus on psychology from Thomas Edison State University and a MDiv from Drew University. I’ve been a pastor for the past twelve years. This wondrous calling allows me to journey with people from all walks of life, to share with them their highs and their deepest lows, to let them know God loves them and has a purpose for their lives. What’s next? I’ll leave that up to God. I find his plans far surpass anything I could think up on my own.
Pastor Linda Stanley
Zion United Methodist Church
I grew up in Waco, Texas and my pathway to education has been varied as my family and I have lived all over the USA as well as Europe for three years: Licensing School and Course of Study, Claremont Theological Seminary, 2014 to present; Biblical Studies Valor College/World Harvest Bible College, 1990-1994; Business and Office Management, Northern Virginia Community College, 1979-1981; General Education, Central Texas College, 1978.
For twelve years, I was the Assistant Development Director of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, then I directed my focus to school full-time. Afterward, I ministered several years on the Navajo Nation Reservation three to six months a year from June 1999 to October 2004. When the call to minister full-time came, I moved to Farmington, NM and worked in the Christian Academy, K-12, and also served Word of Life Christian Center as minister of music and I had the privilege of creating a Bible college and its curriculum from 2004-2008.
In 2008, God led me to Page, AZ as an associate pastor at Faith Covenant Christian Center, working as minister of music, church administrator and while there I also developed a Bible school program. I became the Director of the Soup Kitchen for the Circle of Page at the Page Community UMC where I met Pastor Evelyn Roberts who introduced me to Methodism. I also was a Catholic Charities PATH Counselor and was blessed to serve the community. In 2011, the call came to serve as clergy in the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church and I was appointed to serve Huachuca UMC, San Pedro Valley UMC, and as a visitation pastor for Sierra Vista UMC in Arizona.
I’ve always been willing to obey the call of God, being committed to the task at hand with tenacity and attention to detail, operating with ethics and strength in working with others and going above and beyond to bring success. In 2015, I was asked to serve on the Board of Directors for The Legacy Foundation of Southeast AZ, a philanthropic organization, giving away millions of dollars. I served in this position up until I received my new appointment.
Now this journey has led me to pastor Zion UMC in North Las Vegas, Nevada. As you all may know, Zion burned and in spite of that, we’re excited to say that we’re rising from the ashes like the ‘Phoenix’.
The rest is yet to be told as we march on in Jesus name.
Rev. James Wallasky
Green Valley United Methodist Church
“To share the Love of God, proclaim the Good News of Christ Jesus our Lord, and encourage fellowship in the Holy Spirit” has been my motto and direction for over 40 years of ministry.
My faith journey began at First German Congregational Church in Lincoln, NE. where I was baptized and confirmed. I became a United Methodist while attending Nebraska Wesleyan University. Wesleyan theology and the gifts it brings to the Christian world resonated with my soul. Graduating from Iliff School of Theology, in Denver, Co. and receiving my Doctorate from Drew University, Madison, New Jersey continues to impact my life.
My family is an integral part of my ministry. Lynn has been my partner in ministry for over 40+ years and our two sons, Jayson (Des Moines, Iowa) and Jeremy (Lincoln, NE) joined us during our early years. Lindsay (Jeremy’s wife) has brought a wonderful sparkle to our family in the past 10 years. My father and his wife, Donna live in Englewood, FL, while my mother-in-law lives in Nebraska. Brothers, sisters and in-laws are all over the nation. They all humble and guide me appropriately, as families do.
My ministry has been based around, We are ALL welcome, All children of God and all One in Christ Jesus. I have had the privilege of serving nine United Methodist Churches in Nebraska, ranging from rural to multi-staff urban churches in the Nebraska Annual Conference, most recently, the United Methodist Church in Green Valley, AZ. in the Desert Southwest Conference. Each community provided lessons and gifts that have enhanced my ministry to share the love of Jesus Christ. Leadership roles such as chair of Board of Ordained Ministry and chair of Methodist Federation for Social Action, taught me tenacity and boldness for God’s people. I’m honored to serve the Green Valley United Methodist Church in Henderson, NV. I’m recognizing that this church is committed to missions, sharing the Gospel and is a spirit filled church. I am blessed to serve as their pastor.
My personal life, having been born on April 1st has set me up for a life of humor. Bad jokes, punsters and comedic routines are part of my JOY. I can become a Clergy Gathering/Covenant Group junky. Listening and learning is one of my strong attributes. I veg out on Star Trek, Star Wars and love to find the connection between the fictional and the counter culture world that I would love to create or recreate. I am picky when it comes to the fictional genre, the Good must win, otherwise I’m not a happy camper. As YODA so wisely states, “Do or do not, there is no try!” I continue to DO!!! and love Doing it in the Desert Southwest Conference.
Rev. Eve Williams
Advent United Methodist Church
I was born in San Francisco, but grew up in Las Vegas. I grew up in a family with deep Methodist roots and attended University UMC, but didn’t get involved in the church until high school when I joined the choir. By the time I left for college at the University of Redlands, I had a sense that God was calling me to do more, but I did what many college students do and completely fell away from the church.
After graduation and an adventure in New York City, I returned to Las Vegas and felt God’s call intensify. I was a little frightened at how much and what God was calling me to do, so I returned to the choir at UUMC, thinking that would be enough. It wasn’t. Before long I was working full-time for the church as a lay person, thinking that would be enough. It wasn’t. In the meantime, I got married and had a son.
Unfortunately, both my marriage and my job at the church came to an end. My life felt unsteady and unsure, but God’s call never wavered. In fact, it intensified even more. After spending some time in the “belly of the whale”, I finally gave in and committed my life to the ordained ministry that I had always known God was calling me to. My son and I headed to Atlanta where I attended Candler School of Theology at Emory University.
After seminary, I was appointed to First Gilbert UMC for three years and Paradise Valley UMC for four. This year I was appointed to Advent UMC, moving my son and I back to Las Vegas after a ten year absence. Now we are reconnecting with old friends and connecting with new ones as we start this new adventure together.