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Brother Jaimie is a proud Arkansan, having grown up in Central Arkansas. He has served as pastor of United Methodist Churches in Mammoth Spring/Camp, Fort Smith, Des Arc, Rogers, Conway, and now Bella Vista. Having lived in Northwest Arkansas for 12 years, he is excited about the growth that is taking place in the area. Brother Jaimie is a graduate of both Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas and Candler School of Theology located on the Campus of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
The church has always been a part of his life. His faith life began at the First United Methodist Church of Heber Springs. He was baptized in the 7th grade at the former Indian Hills United Methodist Church in North Little Rock, and felt called by God into ministry in the United Methodist Church when he was 17 years old. Throughout his faith journey he has witnessed the faithfulness of God transform his life as well as the lives of many people.
He is thankful for the growth and transformation that is taking place at FUMC Bella Vista, and the constant opportunity to live out the purpose of First United Methodist Church of Bella Vista which is love, learn, lead.
Judy was born in Little Rock, Arkansas and baptized at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church where her family actively worshiped. Her brother and sister are 18 months younger and twins. Her brother is a retired pilot from the Air Force and currently works as a simulator instructor. He, her sister-in-law, her niece and nephew live in Beebe, Arkansas. Pastor Judy’s sister is an elementary school principal and lives with her husband and two daughters in Stafford, Virginia. Both of her parents are deceased.
For twenty-three years Pastor Judy worked as a litigation attorney, primarily in the areas of criminal and workers’ compensation law. She became active in leading small groups and worship at Pulaski Heights in the early 2000’s. In 2005, she attended the Walk to Emmaus and in 2007-08, she attended the Upper Room Two Year Academy of Spiritual Formation in San Antonio, Texas. As she matured spiritually, she began to sense the call to professional ministry. By 2009, she began commuting to Memphis Theological Seminary once a week while continuing to work full time. At MTS, she met the man who would become her husband, Rev. Dixon Platt.
After completing a year at MTS, she was ready to jump into the waters of seminary with both feet. She decided to move to Evanston, Illinois in August of 2010 to attend a United Methodist seminary. After four long years and some on-line and distance courses, she received a Masters of Divinity with a concentration in spiritual formation from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in May 2014. Pastor Judy is a certified candidate for ordination and will be seeking a change of status as a provisional elder later this year.
The Dixons moved to northwest Arkansas in the summer of 2012 when her husband was appointed as the pastor of Elm Springs United Methodist Church. They live in the parsonage next to the church. Pastor Dixon has one son, Ben Douglas, who is 23 years old and lives in Lubbock, Texas.
Minister of Congregational Care
Jan Lowe began her service with FUMC, BV as a secretary in 2005, after having retired from a long career in Human Resources management. In 2006, the church moved to an “Every One In Ministry” concept, and Jan was able to use her long history in Human Resources to help members recognize their “gifts” and find meaningful ways to use them within the church. Jan’s most recent transition was to Minister of Congregational Care, where she continues to oversee lay ministries in the church, but also is involved in all areas of visitation – hospital, rehab, homebound, and nursing home. She stays in touch with members who are sick or absent, and works to provide caregivers to meet the needs of the congregation.
Janet Walton's sunny disposition and propensity to help others, which she credits to her mother's influence, is an asset in the church office. Janet had never worked in a church before, but she brings some excellent experience with her - mostly working with people.
Previously the director of Enid Community Learning Center, Janet worked with inmates of the OK Department of Corrections, at-risk junior high and high school students, and school drop-outs who wanted to continue their education.
Janet and her husband Ron have been married for 42 years and have four children, 3 sons and a daughter. They also have sixteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Minister of Grief Support/Spiritual Growth
Brenda serves as our "Minister of Grief Support/Spiritual Growth at First UMC Bella Vista. She is still officially a student at Perkins School of Theology on SMU campus in Dallas, Texas and is doing her practicum in ministry with us. She will graduate in May 2015 and then will begin the path to ordination in the United Methodist Church. While she is with us, she will be integrated into the ministerial team at FUMC, as she learns the full range of how to be in ministry; she will also initiate a grief ministry within the church.
Prior to being called into ministry in 2008, Brenda was an administrator for the Division of Agriculture at the University of Arkansas for 18 years. She still lives in Fayetteville with her husband Bob, a research scientist and professor at the UofA. Brenda and Bob have 3 grown children, two sons and a daughter, and two delightful grandsons. Brenda loves to gather with family, travel, hike, read, and enjoys college football.
Dr. Larry Zehring
Director of Music Ministries
Larry Zehring has been our church’s Director of Music Ministries since the fall of 1993. He holds degrees in vocal music performance from the University of the Ozarks and Tulsa University, and in choral conducting and musicology from the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He has done additional post-graduate work in choral music at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, Westminster Choir College and the Julliard School. He has appeared in choral performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra under conductors Eugene Ormandy, Rafael Freuhbeck de Burgos, William Smith and Julius Rudel. He was a member of the Grammy-Award winning Gregg Smith Singers, appearing with them as soloist on several tours and recordings. He currently lives in Bentonville with his wife, Annette, who is Director of Music for St. Theodore’s Episcopal Church in Bella Vista.
Pianist / Organist
Broc Hite is native of the Hudson River Valley of New York State. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Piano Performance from Purchase College in Purchase, New York, studying under German Diez, as well as supplemental organ study with Robert Fertitta. After graduating from Purchase, he taught piano at the Rockland Conservatory of Music, then in Spring Valley, New York.
He continued his studies with a Master of Music in Piano Accompanying from The Juilliard School in New York City, studying with Marshall Williamson and Margo Garrett, and taking part in classes with Samuel Sanders and Jonathan Feldman. While at Juilliard, he performed on WNCN (now defunct) and WQXR in New York. After he completed his studies, he shifted gears to find full-time employment outside of music, though he remained engaged in music on a part-time basis.
During the 1990s, he accompanied and performed with the Danbury (Connecticut) Concert Chorus, including major choral works by Haydn, Berlioz, Fauré, and Rutter. Though he held several positions as organist since High School, in 2004 he became Organist and Music Director at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Fairfield, Connecticut. He founded the Choral Scholars program, which attracted some of the area’s finest high school students in developing their talents in singing, musicianship, and conducting.
Mr. Hite became a Organist and Associate Director of Music at Bella Vista First United Methodist Church beginning in 2012.
Dawn Thompson was born and raised in Iowa and has been involved in music in some way since the age of four, when she began taking piano lessons from her mother. Dawn majored in Music Education at Cornell College of Iowa and taught music to elementary students in public schools. She has been involved with handbells for many years: playing in handbell choirs, directing, performing solo handbells, participating in small handbell ensembles and arranging music. She has been the Handbell Director at First United Methodist Church since 2001.
Director of Children's Ministries
Kristin began working with the FUMC Children's Ministry during the summer of 2013, after becoming involved by volunteering within the program. She has worked with children at several different times of her life, as a high school science teacher and a youth leader at the FUMC in Mt. Vernon, MO. More recently, she and her husband, Sean, have focused their time on the business they own in Pineville, MO.
Vista Kids is an important part of Kristin's life not only because of her position, but also because her two children are part of the ministry! In addition to her faith, family and work, Kristin loves the outdoors. Her love for nature began as a child exploring the timber with her Grandma and grew as she found more opportunities to study nature through college, teaching and becoming a MO Master Naturalist.
Working with children and families is a rewarding job! She loves to bring families closer together through sharing God's love and providing an exciting, safe opportunity for kids to Love, Learn and Lead in their journey through life.
Director of Youth Ministries
David Hanson is in his 12th year as a reading special education teacher at Lincoln junior high in Bentonville, Arkansas. He's been married to a wonderful woman named Andrea for 11 years who has blessed him with 5 children. David and Andrea's oldest is 7 years old and is named Hannah and they also have 6 year old twins named Sawyer David and Brynn Jean. David says, "God definitely surprised us but we are very thankful."
David is originally from Wisconsin where he went to college to run track for 3 years at UWEC. After, he transfered to Missouri State with Andrea where they both graduated with undergraduate degrees. David earned his Education degree and Andrea earned her Communication Disorders degree. They both attended University of Arkansas for their Graduate degree. David received his Masters in Special Education and Andrea received her Masters in Speech Pathology. David feels called to help lead the youth at First UMC Bella Vista to love God, Learn about God, and Lead them to God.
Director of Childcare Ministries
Patsy Attaway and her husband Albert Fisher recently moved here from Texas 4 years ago and fell in love with Bella Vista when they were looking for a place to retire close to children and grandchildren in Springdale. She grew up in the Texarkana area and has divided loyalties between Texas and Arkansas, but decided to settle down here. She has a son and three granddaughters and he has two daughters and two grandchildren.
Patsy admits to an addiction to crafts of all kinds. She has been very involved in the financial ministries of Albert's churches and looks forward to her future here as our treasurer.
Marge Smith came to First United Methodist to “fill in until they find a permanent person”. That was in 1990 and Marge is still serving the church as Financial Secretary. She keeps the membership rolls current, records financial giving, and tracks congregational visits.
Director of Media Ministries
Troy Jorgensen was named Director of Media Ministries, which includes overseeing the operation of audio, visual, and lighting equipment used to enhance worship services and other programs.
Troy and wife, Brenda, relocated to Bella Vista from Stockton, California late 2006 with children Alexis Talia and Chloe Lilia.
Coordinator of Sound/Visual Arts
Alan comes to FUMCBV from Central UMC Rogers where he and his wife Lois have been for seven years. He retired from the U.S. Army at Fort Polk, and living in nearby DeRidder, Louisiana, they raised a son and a daughter who both graduated from LSU (geaux Tigers!). Daughter Rebecca and her family (husband is a blood-red Razorback) also live in Bentonville, while their son, Richard and his family live in San Antonio. Alan is in his second year as President of Bella Vista Men’s Chorus, and enjoys cruising Beaver Lake in his restored 1954 Century Viking 19’ mahogany inboard boat.
Shannon Shirley Wicker
Praise Team Director
Shannon has been involved with FUMC Bella Vista since the fall of 2007 when she became a member of the church. Shortly following, she became heavily involved in the contemporary service by recruiting for the Praise Team and selecting music for the the 9:30 service on a weekly basis. In the spring of 2009, she took on the role of Praise & Worship Leader for the contemporary service and has done that ever since. Shannon believes there is no greater outlet for sharing her love of the Lord than through song!
In 2006, Shannon graduated from Henderson State University with a Bachelor's in Music Education with double principles in piano and voice. Her teaching career brought her to the Bentonville School District where she has taught fifth grade music and choir for the past four years. In addition to teaching and leading praise and worship music, Shannon also serves the Bella Vista and Bentonville music communities through private piano and voice instruction, directing a local church choir, accompanying on piano for area recitals and plays, and occasionally performing opera.
In her "spare" time, Shannon loves spending time with her family; especially her baby daughter Kayla Grace. Bella Vista is the perfect place for Shannon because of her love for nature and the outdoors. There is nowhere she would rather be!
Garrett is our Worship Leader for the Contemporary Service. His wide ranging musical talents and deep love of God have already had an impact on the joy of worship we all feel during the Contemporary service.