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Brother Jaimie Alexander began his ministry at First United Methodist Church in Bella Vista on June 26, 2011. He is excited to have returned to NW Arkansas, where he resided from 2002 to 2009 while serving as an Associate Pastor at Central United Methodist Church in Rogers. Brother Jaimie was born in Heber Springs where his family owned and operated a restaurant and service station for 31 years. He graduated from North Little Rock Northeast High School, Hendrix College, and obtained his Master of Divinity from Chandler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.
Brother Jaimie is happily single and very close to his family who live in central Arkansas. At his age, he is blessed to still have three of his grandparents involved in his life. He enjoys football, cooking, traveling, old architecture, Arkansas and American history and writing a weekly food column for the White River Journal of Prairie County, Arkansas. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Aldersgate Renewal Ministries of the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church in Nashville, TN.
Pastor Lee Myane is now our full time associate pastor after serving a year as a part time associate while finishing seminary at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City. Pastor Lee specialized in evangelism at Saint Paul School of Theology and has a passion for the community, mission and helping people see the “Good News” of Christ in their lives.
Here at Bella Vista First United Methodist Church Pastor Lee is working with our young families including children and youth. With a mission to equip generations to become spiritually maturing Christians, Pastor Lee is working to find common ground and connections within our congregation to bring all our generations together in mission and ministry.
With pastoral ministry as a second career, Pastor Lee practiced over 15 years as a landscape architect and business owner in Northwest Arkansas before finding his call to ministry. Currently he is a provisional elder in the Arkansas Conference.
Pastor Lee and his wife Andrea have three children, Silas, Sarah and Sawyer. They have lived here in Northwest Arkansas since 1997 and in Bella Vista since 2004.
Minister of Congregational Care
Jan Lowe began her service with us as our church Secretary in September of 2005. In June, 2006, she took on the new duties of Director of Lay Ministries. In that capacity, she helps new members and guests find a place to become active in our congregation, as well as helping every member to be in ministry.
Jan utilizes her background in Human Resources and Training and Development to help enhance current ministries or build new ones that help our members to find their niche in our church.
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 40 years and have four children, 3 sons and a daughter. They also have sixteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Dr. Larry Zehring
Director of Music Ministries
Dr. Larry Zehring is pleased to serve as our Director of Music Ministries. A native of Oklahoma, Larry holds degrees in Choral and Vocal Music Performance and Conducting from the University of the Ozarks, Tulsa University and the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC.) He has done additional post-graduate work at the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY, at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, and The Juilliard School in New York City.
Larry has been involved in church music since junior high school and has served at First United Methodist Church since 1995.
Pianist / Organist
Broc came to us with an outstanding background and qualifications. A 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. He has a Master of Music in Piano Accompanying from The Juilliard School in New York City, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Connecticut in Stamford, Connecticut.
Broc held several jobs as organist and director of music in churches in New York and Connecticut. Broc moved to Northwest Arkansas in 2010 as part of a corporate relocation, and has been Organist at First United Methodist Church of Bella Vista since April 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 10th 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 9 years who has blessed him with 3 children. David and Andrea's oldest is 5 years old and is named Hannah and they also have 4 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 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.
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.