Meet the team.

Don Long

Directing Pastor
It has always been, and will always be my mission to live into the vision God has given to share the gospel of Jesus Christ in life-changing ways, no matter what.  I will do whatever it takes to share the good news  (except becoming a Cardinals fan… Cubbie blue blood runs in my veins).  God never fails to be faithful in promising, if we will give ourselves completely to God (heart, soul, mind, and strength), God will do mighty things in and through us.
Favorite Food: Homemade Chicken & Noodles
Favorite Movie: O Brother Where Art Thou
Favorite Verse:  1 Corinthians 9:22-23

Brad Lewis

Associate Pastor
I am a 2018 graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary. I previously served in student ministry for over 10 years and have been on staff at O’Fallon First UMC since 2012.  I would love the opportunity to talk to you about your passions, and where God is leading you!In my free time, I love to watch Cardinal baseball and coach at the local high school. If you are interested in Cardinal baseball or have a passion for local sports, let’s talk! 

Hannah Sipes

Minister of Worship Arts
I am a fresh graduate from Duke Divinity School and so excited to be joining this wonderful team at O'Fallon First! From a young age I have been passionate about music, worship, and the church and I am ready to live into my calling by fostering a community of worship that is "filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." In my free time, I love to bake, play board games, and sew. 

Emily George

Director of Children and Family Ministries
I moved to Illinois from Virginia Beach, VA 8 years ago.  Why, you may ask.  The answer is simply family.  I moved here with two children in tow along with my mother, father, sister, and her mini Noah’s Ark.  Three years later, I had a daughter, Layla.  My children mean the world to me.  Kailey , Bryson , and Layla are truly blessings from God.

I am constantly kept on my toes with an array of issues ranging from what college should one attend, to getting a driver’s license, to leaping from furniture like a monkey from my three children.  Multi tasking genius should’ve been my name, but for now I go by mom, MOM!, momma, or mommy.  That’s all depending on who is calling and how urgent the need is.  I've had quite the spiritual journey, and I'm embracing all the change in my life and allowing God to once again take control to lead me in the direction I'm meant to be. 

Debbie Harrison

Office Manager
Debbie is no stranger to O’Fallon First as she and her husband Rich have been members of the church for 28 years; raising two sons in the church along the way.  Debbie has served on numerous church committees and has been involved with children’s church, Sunday school classes, volunteered in the nursery, served as a confirmand mentor, and has participated in many mission projects.  

Debbie brings many years of work experience with her and feels like this job may have been a gentle push from God nudging her in the direction He wanted her to go.

Diane Cooper

Mar 2010, I started working for O'Fallon First UMC.  I felt honored knowing this mission would use my God-given gift of accounting to help the church with their financial needs. Accounting has always been a passion of mine, and I feel God put me in this place with a purpose to help others.

Following a stroke in 2011, I wasn’t sure of God’s plan, but as Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”  I knew God must not be finished with me yet because He gave me the strength and determination to  rehab, and work my way back. He allowed me to continue my work, making a difference for O'Fallon First.  It was not an easy journey, but one I that has been very beneficial.

My husband, Paul and I were married in 1987. We followed the Army for 20 years and he retired in 2007.  We have 2 daughters, Danielle and Melissa, a son-in-law, Kevin Schaefer and a grand dog, Sadie. 

Ken Gustavson

Office Assistant
Ken has been part of the OFFUMC staff since 2021 when he was hired as the office assistant.
He and his wife Lue are active members of O’Fallon First participating in missions, small groups,
and many other activities.

Ken’s hobbies include playing the guitar and woodworking. He shares his love of the guitar by
being part of Jame and the Jammers, our Guitar Ministry that plays in church on occasion. He is
a talented woodworker and has a mechanical background from his past career in elevator
construction. Ken is always happy to help with projects around the church, whether it be
building a shadow box, fixing a faucet, hanging a wipe board, or helping teach our youth the
proper use of power tools before they head off on their summer mission trip.

When asked what he enjoys most about working at O’Fallon First, he said “It’s the people. It’s
such a giving group. It seems like somebody is always helping out, lending a hand, donating
things and money. I like to think of myself as a giving person, so I feel like I belong here”.

Becky Long

Communications Coordinator
I have been a part of O'Fallon First UMC since 2016, but I have been a part of the United Methodist Church since birth.  The people of the UMC introduced me to the love of Christ, nurtured me in my faith, and held me in prayer. I have been creating graphics, social media posts, videos, and designing and updating the website off and on for several years and I am happy to have the opportunity to be able to consistently help get the word out about the wonderful ministries of this church and continue to connect imperfect people to a perfect God.

Jesus calls all of us who believe, follow, and imitate him to love God with all that we are and love each other the best that we can. This is my mission and I am glad to have the opportunity to go into the (digital) world and plant the seeds of love and light in Christ.

Heather Hernandez

Director of the Learning Tree
Coming Soon

Nancy Lawrence

Nancy is no stranger to the United Methodist Church.  Her childhood and teen years were lived in a parsonage with her minister father, mother, and nine siblings. Nancy was born in  West Virginia and has lived in Louisiana, Ohio, Kentucky, California, and Illinois. She has also moved 26 times in her journey as a minister’s daughter and wife.  
Nancy has been involved in church music since she was 12 years old.  With a bachelor’s degree in Music Education, Nancy taught in public schools for 15 years, served as a Director of Music in the UMC for 10 years, and served as the organist/pianist in every church where her husband was pastor.

Jodi Jones

Associate Director of Music
Jodi grew up on a Texas Longhorn ranch in the mountains of Colorado, where she used her dad's machine shed as her concert hall and put on concerts nightly for all of the farm animals.
Jodi has taught/directed K-12 and adults in Colorado, Montana, and Illinois in choir, band, hand bells, music theory, history, pep bands, jazz bands, chamber groups, Madrigals, honor festivals; and has traveled to Asia and Europe to perform famous choral works. She now lives in Lebanon with Tom, Aria, their three dogs (Bear, Smokey, and Annie Oakley), three cats (Dexter, Mumford, and Bella-mew), and a few Bobwhite Quail.  Jodi loves exercising outdoors, ranching, socializing, traveling, swimming, and being with friends and family. 

Mike Cochran

Head Custodian
Mike is our full-time custodian. He’s responsible for the clean, safe, and sparkling hallways, rooms, and bathrooms, plus a host of other duties that no one notices, including replacing ceiling tiles! Mike currently resides in Belleville with his mother and an American bulldog called “R.J.” (short for Roscoe Jr.).
When Mike isn’t taking care of the church building or his mother, he can be found relaxing in his kayak, fishing for bass.  Mike also likes to do woodworking in his spare time.  Mike is adept at fixing things. He enjoys the satisfaction of getting things back in working order.
I asked Mike what he likes about working at O’Fallon First.  He said, “I like working with happy people.”  You will find that Mike is a happy guy, too! 

Dylan Depp

Worship Production & Tech Supervisor
Well, hello there!  I have been a part of the 1UMC staff since 2021.  During most of the week, you can find me at the highschool across the street, where I'm employed full-time.  In my free time, I enjoy listening to & playing music, watching internet videos, tending to my bonsai tree, Myrtle, hanging out with my school co-workers, cosplaying as Saitama from One Punch Man, as well as re-watching Godzilla & Star Wars movies for the umpteenth time.  I'm grateful to be a part of the O'Fallon area & love the work I do for the community.

Best Wishes, Dylan Deppe

Church Council

Administrative Ministry
Chair of Church Council:                                                Woody Almind
Recording Secretary:                                                         Debbie Harrison
Chair of Finance Committee:                                       Susan Rogers
Treasurer of Finance Committee:                             Rick Clayton
Chair of Staff-Parish Relations:                                  Joe Campbell
President of the Board of Trustees:                         Penny Pejka
Lay Member of Annual Conference:                       Neil James
Lay Member of Annual Conference:                       Julie Stoelzle
Lay Member of Annual Conference:                       Renona Trotter

Lay Ministry
Lay Leader                                                                                  
Chair of Missions Committee                                        Larry Strube
Student Ministries Representative                           Camden Kimmel
Congregational Care Team                                              Kerry Turk

Lay Leadership Teams

Angi Woll
Steve Lewis

Penny Pejka
Ryan Brewer

Rich Lunan
Rebecca Doehring

Staff/Parish Relations
Kathy Vineyard
Kent Strang
Heather Lobue
Linda Gruchala
Kristy Riggan
Sheryl Juenger
Phil Roberts
Scott Doehring

Finance Committee
Sandra Swearingen
Dave RobertsSydney Hagen
George VineyardSusan Rodgers
Wes Harris
Missions Committee
Angi Andrews
Roger Baskett
Joan Bowman
Carol Lunan
Carolyn Lewis

Larry Stube
Daniel Cox
Committee on Nominations and Personnel
Carolyn Day
Rich Harrison
Jeanne Dillaplain
Gina Scrivner
Bruce Bowman
Rob Stoelze
Congregational Care Team
Nancy Frazier
Ann Clayton

Helen Smith
Kerry Turk