First UMC Staff & Leadership

Here, you can learn about our Staff members as well as the church committees.

Come meet our staff!  We are dedicated to serving you.  Please click on a name in blue to send an email.

Jason Ellingson

Executive Director

Mary Jane Claassen

Director of Music

Rev. Rebecca Carver

Associate Pastor for Congregational Care

Joyce Thomas

Director of Spiritual Life

Organist - Heidi Hansen (Headshot)

Gyehyun Jung


Business Manager - Hillary Biancuzzo (Headshot)

Hillary Biancuzzo

Business Manager

Office Administrator - Claire Bartleson (Headshot)

Claire Bartleson

Office Administrator

Facilities Manager - Charles Thiede (Headshot)

Charles Thiede

Facilities Manager

Housekeeping / Custodian - Teresa Schulte (Headshot)

Teresa Schulte


LALC Director - Cathy Stange (Headshot)

Cathy Stange

Little Angels Learning
Center Director

Our leadership is informed by the Mission of First UMC: which is to…

  • Welcome people in love;
  • Connect people with God;
  • Equip people with a faith that works; and
  • Send us in service as Disciples of Jesus Christ.

Because of our Mission there are numerous opportunities to support FUMC and show Christ’s love by serving others through volunteerism at First United Methodist Church. Join us in our ongoing labors of love.

Ministry leadership for the administrative functions of our church is provided through these groups:

  • The Church Council serves as the basic decision-making body in the life of the local church, adopting ministry goals, establishing policy, setting the annual budget, and receiving reports from work groups and committees at quarterly meetings.
  • The Finance and Stewardship Committee designs the annual Financial Stewardship Campaign in support of the mission and ministries of FUMC, presents the Ministry Budget to the Administrative Council for adoption, and monitors the financial life of the church on a monthly basis. Hillary Biancuzzo, FUMC’s Business Manager is the staff support for this ministry.
  • Stewardship focuses on growth in prayers, presence, gifts, and service, including financial offerings that support the nearly $800,000 annual budget of FUMC.
  • The Board of Trustees of FUMC oversees the maintenance and development of the physical campus of FUMC. At more than 40,000 square feet and valued at more than $12 million dollars, the responsibility is great. Facilities Manager Charles Thiede works with the Trustees to maintain and improve the property.
  • The Staff / Parish Relations Committee (or SPRC) is dedicated to providing the appropriate professional staff to carry out the ministry goals and objectives of the church. The committee also presents the recommended salary support of the staff to the Finance Committee and to the Administrative Council.
  • The First United Methodist Permanent Endowment receives and manages specially designated gifts and bequests to an Endowment Fund. Interest from the Endowment Fund is used to support newly-developing ministries or ministries that are not funded by the church’s Ministry Budget. Interest from a separate fund, the Dane Scholarship Fund, is used to provide support to seminary students, with first priority given to FUMC members. More than ten students have benefitted from this support.