Pastor Robert Gilfert
St. Johns United Methodist Church
Bob started on the path to local ministry studying at Claremont School of Theology to become a local pastor. After completing his advanced course of study he applied for and became an Associate. Bob retired in 2017 moving to Chino Valley, AZ. Most of his time this past year and a half has been spent exploring the central highlands and all it has to offer in nature and in the many cultural offerings. This also includes time spent with grandchildren while they were off for the summer. After a successful small home pumpkin patch from last year, Bob planted some giant pumpkin seeds this season. One monstrous pumpkin remains and seems to grow every day.
Pastor Bob and his wife, Ruth, have two children Amber and Andrew. Andrew lives in Seattle, WA continuing to work for Adobe. Amber and her family (Husband Joshua, children Bryan, Branden, Rebecca) have recently moved from Rhode Island to Chandler, AZ. Josh works at Arizona State University (ASU) in the science department. Amber works from home doing communications for Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikvah in R.I and consulting for Rhode Island College and University Research Collaboration. The
wonders of technology. All this means a lot more grandparent time now for Ruth and Bob
Bob has recently been called out of retirement and appointed to St. Johns UMC as interim pastor. Besides being with family Bob enjoys hiking, gardening and playing his twenty-one string harp guitar. Ruth recently received her real estate license and enjoys beading, reading and the joy of having grandchildren nearby.
Nicholas Grainger, Lay Person Assigned
First United Methodist Church, Winslow & Holbrook United Methodist Church
Nicholas grew up in Las Vegas as part of University UMC. He was active in cluster, district, and conference youth committees and planning teams for Jr High and Senior High conventions. Nicholas attended the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA (a Methodist-affiliated school) earning a BA in Communication with a minor in Civic Leadership. He
earned a Masters of Education (M.Ed.) in College Student Services Administration at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR.
Following this, He served a number of Universities throughout the West (Gonzaga in Spokane, Wa; Willamette in Salem, Or; San Francisco State; University Nevada, Las Vegas) where most of his work was in Residential Life but also working with students in Student Conduct, Career Centers, Chaplains Offices, Student Leadership and Student Activities. He has extensive experience in early childhood education and has spent time as an elementary school substitute teacher. He also has spent multiple years (when he was 18 and again when he was 30) as a long-term volunteer at Holden Village, a Lutheran retreat center and intentional community in the Cascades of Washington. Holden is a very special place to Nicholas, and he encourages you to check it out: HoldenVillage.org. Nicholas is currently on track to become a local pastor.
Pastor Linda Larsen
Page Community United Methodist Church
Linda felt a call to ministry during her college years but was excluded from seminary in her denomination because of gender. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Sociology and worked as a prison counselor after graduation. Linda has always had a desire to minister to those who have led troubled lives.
She was encouraged nearly forty years later to finally pursue her dream to become a pastor. Linda served as pastor of Community UMC in Caliente, Nevada for four years. The past year she took on the challenge of a three-point charge in southeastern Arizona. Currently, Linda is serving a new appointment in Page, Arizona, back in the North District. Her desire is to continue to be in ministry to all people, focusing on individuals who have been deemed as outcasts or unworthy.
Rev. Dr. James Lubach, Sr. Pastor
Mesquite United Methodist Church
Dr. Lubach brings 50 years of diverse pastoral experience to Mesquite UMC. He has served the Methodist Church in New York, New Jersey, and Nevada. A resident of Mesquite since 2004, he has assisted the local Methodist pastors, provided pulpit supply for the Presbyterian Church, and served as Hospice Chaplain in the local communities.
His wife Kay, a retired ICU nurse, has known Pastor Jim as a fellow member of Mesquite UMC for over 10 years. A few years ago, each of their spouses joined the Lord. Recently their mutual involvement in the church and shared interest in international traveling brought them together. They were married here at MUMC in 2017, and they celebrated their honeymoon on a tent safari in Tanzania, Africa. They look forward to this new journey in serving Mesquite UMC.
Pastor James Nelson
Mesquite United Methodist Church, Associate Pastor
Pastor Jimmy was born and raised in Long Beach, California. In 2004, he moved to Las Vegas and received his first appointment in Tucson, Arizona in 2006. He is a “people person,” and especially likes to go “people watching” at airports or wherever there is a crowd.
He enjoys many leisure time activities. His hobbies include playing the guitar and writing music, woodworking (he especially likes to make rocking horses), crochet, counted cross stitch, crossword puzzles and writing—he likes to keep his hands “busy.”
In 2016, he received his bachelor’s degree in Public Administration with a minor in sociology from Northern Arizona University. He is currently enrolled at Claremont School of Theology working towards his Master of Divinity. After he graduates, he plans to continue his education and receive his doctorate.