Hometown: East Moline, Illinois
Background: When Nikki was eight years old, she felt called by God to be a missionary. Since that day, she has been on a journey to discover my mission field. This journey has taken her to Africa, Central America, and many places in the US. What she has found in all places is the call to share God’s love with the community. From leading an after school program teaching kids to pray in rural Illinois, to playing soccer with a pop bottle in west Africa, to running a community summer program in Costa Rica, sharing the love of God while meeting the needs and building relationships with the people of the community is the most important work she has done. Nikki was blessed to serve as Pastor at Hampton Grace UMC, where she served for five and a half years. She was also blessed to serve at Eldridge UMC as Youth and Family Pastor and to be the Community Spiritual Director for the Quad City Chrysalis Community. Nikki is currently a Deacon with the Illinois Great Rivers Conference, serving as a bridge between the church and the community.
Education: Nikki completed her Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies at Iowa State University and her Master’s degree in Missional Christianity at Dubuque Theological Seminary.
Family: Nikki lives in Ames with her husband James and their two children, Aaron and Alaina.
Hometown: Carroll, IA
Background: Nicole always wanted to be a teacher. Granted she first wanted to be a dance teacher and own and operate her own dance studio someday—but still—it was teaching! She was called to teach. Sister Nancy Hoffman was her fifth grade teacher who not only helped instill in her the desire to teach, but also instilled in her the seeds of faith allowing her to continue to learn about the Christian faith and hold it close to her heart. So she went on to earn a degree in elementary education and started working right away for William Penn University in the education division as a teaching assistant in the distance learning program. She worked with non-traditional students from a variety of backgrounds and cultures who were passionate about becoming teachers. She still works for William Penn as the lead teaching assistant for elementary education-distance learning and an adjunct instructor every semester. This has helped her keep up-to-date on current methods in teaching, learning strategies, classroom and behavior management, communication and lesson structure. After college, while living in Muscatine, Iowa, Nicole developed a passion for working in youth ministry. She helped lead a mission trip with high school youth to Ruiz, Nayarit in Mexico and served as an interim youth director at Wesley United Methodist Church before moving to Gilbert. Nicole and her family became members of First UMC in Ames in 2008 and in 2012, Nicole became the Director of Christian Education.
Family: Nicole lives in Gilbert with her husband Ben (a volunteer youth leader with the middle school class), their two children Zachery and Savanna, and their little fur baby Zoey.
“I absolutely LOVE what I do at First UMC. Seeing the excitement on the faces of the children and youth here and the smiles from the adults as they all share in the gospel message make every day here so much fun. I know they are hearing the message and wanting to serve others in Jesus’ name.”
Hometown: New Providence, Iowa
Background: Myrna participated in a variety of activities in school, including basketball, speech, drama, and music. She went on to UNI and attended for two years before she and her husband, Roy, adopted two girls and she received a MOM degree. Myrna and Roy also have one son. She has been a piano teacher since 1960. In 1980, Myrna began her work at FUMC as the church organist, and in 1993, she became the church choir director. In that same year, FUMC’s children’s choir sang with John Denver in his Christmas Concert at C.Y. Stephens in Ames.
Responsibilities: Consults and works closely with the senior pastor and others regarding music ministry needs for worship and special programs. Serves as church organist and directs choirs, recruiting and caring for the volunteers and their families serving on the various musical ministries of the church. Works with others to develop and oversee the music ministry budget; serves on the Worship Cluster and Church Council. Works with the Director of Christian Education on musical needs for Sunday School, mid-week ministries, etc. Helps to plan and promote concerts, recitals, and festivals. Properly maintains the music library, resources, and instruments of the church.
Responsibilities: Serves as the primary staff person working directly with the Committee on Finance: completes monthly reports; attends meetings; monitors and reviews ministry budget items and missions funds, etc.; recommends procedures and policies related to the financial/stewardship ministries of the church; plans and prepares for an annual financial review/audit. Serves as the custodian of all financial records and supplies reports as requested; counts, posts, and deposits offerings and payments for facility use and weddings. Maintains effective computerized accounting system in order to produce and distribute quarterly and annual financial statements, and in conjunction with the Finance Committee, reports to the congregation the financial status and health of the church. Prepares required information for the annual Charge Conference and complete report forms for use by the Iowa Annual Conference. Works with the church’s accounting firm to help manage payroll and all related issues