Rev. Joseph A. Johnson, Pastor
Phone: (630) 834-2440, Ext. 101
I was born in rural Indiana. I was baptized and confirmed in my local United Methodist Church. I enjoyed participating in many activities: vacation Bible school, United Methodist Youth Fellowship and helping my grandmother make coleslaw for the annual bazaar.
After graduating from high school, I attended Indiana and Purdue Universities. Purdue University granted me a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. I felt called to explore ordained ministry and enrolled at The Iliff School of Theology. This world overwhelmed me, so I worked as process engineer for Delco Electronics in Kokomo, IN. You can’t hide from God, not even behind an electroplater in central Indiana. Jonah couldn’t do it nor could I.
With the support of family, friends and the church, I returned to Iliff and completed my studies. Bishop C. Joseph Sprague ordained me in the Northern Illinois Annual Conference. My ministry has privileged me with the opportunity to serve UM churches in Dixon, Chicago, and now Elmhurst.
When I am not serving the good people of Elmhurst, you may find me at a band rehearsal at Elmhurst College, conducting a breeding bird survey, monitoring plants, cooking or canning something.
Pax tecum. +
Lisa Rogers, Director of Children and Youth Ministries
Phone: (630) 834-2440, Ext. 102
I grew up in and around Downers Grove, Illinois and have been in the Chicago Northwest Suburbs my whole life. I received my Bachelors of Music degree from the University of Illinois and began teaching Beginning and Intermediate Band in Woodridge, IL after graduation. After three years in Woodridge I left to take the job as Middle School Band Director in Villa Park, IL. During that time I also received my Masters of Music degree from Concordia University. After eight years of teaching I left the field to begin a family and was fortunate enough to be able to become a stay-at-home mom to my two daughtersBecca and Emma. When my children were both in elementary school I took the job as Director of Youth Ministries at First United Methodist Church. I feel so blessed to have been in this position and to be able to have both of my daughters be active participants in the program.
With the retirement of our beloved former Director of Christian Education in 2017, I have taken on the new position as Director of Children and Youth Ministries. Getting to work with our children and their families is an added blessing. Aside from being an educator, wife and mother, I am a huge Chicago sports fan, bass clarinet player and exercise enthusiast. I enjoy spending time with my family, going to the movies, reading and watching almost any sport.
The best part about being part of the staff at FUMC is being able to collaborate with some truly amazing people and working with an incredibly supportive and committed congregation. I feel continually blessed to be both a member of our congregation and a part of the staff. l
Doug Peters, Director of Music Ministry
I was born and raised in Little Silver, New Jersey and moved to the Chicago area in 2011. Before arriving at FUMC, I was the music director and choir master at Memorial Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland while pursuing bachelor’s degrees in music education and voice performance at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, as well as the music director at English Congregational United Church of Christ in Big Rock.
In addition to leading music here at First Church, I am currently a regular member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, and also sing with the chorus of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Grant Park Music Festival, and the St. Charles Singers. I have performed as a young artist and soloist with the Sarasota Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Baltimore Opera, and am a frequent soloist with the St. Charles Singers.
Aside from loving all different types of music, I am an avid hockey and New York Islanders fan. My beautiful soon-to-be bride Kayla and I live in Logan Square. We have an awesome 4 year old boxer/poodle named Lucy who has the energy of a toddler who drinks coffee.
The best part about being music director at FUMC is being allowed to share the beautiful sacred music of the greatest composers with my choirs and the congregation. Being the director instead of a singer gives me the opportunity to share my musical ideas and inspirations which I hope brings an even deeper spiritual connection to the parish.
Richard Stultz, Organist
Richard (Dick) Stultz joined the staff here at First United Methodist Church in August of 2017. He grew up in Nashua, NH, attending local public schools. He attended Tufts University in Medford, MA, earning Bachelors degrees in both chemical engineering and music, and earned a Master of Sacred Music degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.
Dick worked in both fields of endeavor, as a product development chemist, research group leader, and environmental coordinator at various locations for Bostik,Inc., retiring in 2006. At the same time, he served as organist and choir director at churches in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Illinois. In 2008 he completed education at The Chicago School for Piano Technology, and now is the owner and technician for Stultz Piano Services, Inc. located here in Elmhurst.
“I am very happy playing organ here with this wonderfully musical staff and friendly congregation.”
Sharon Phillips, Church Administrator
Phone: (630) 834-2440, Ext. 100
After a brief sojourn in retirement, Sharon is happy to be part of the faith community at First Church and loves being back at work. She brings prior administrative experience in non-profit arts management as well as church administration. Previously, she served as the Director of Youth & Family Education at her home church, St. Pauls UCC in Chicago, and has enjoyed decades of work in Chicago’s professional off-Loop theatre as an actor and director, manager, and arts educator. Once upon a time, Sharon lived here in the western suburbs where she was the drama teacher & director at Addison Trail HS and was active with the Theatre of Western Springs. Her son Brendan Phillips was born at Central DuPage! Brendan and his wife Andārte live near her in Chicago’s west Rogers Park with her grandchildren Oliver (16) and Līga (almost 10). Her stepdaughter Kathy Freise and son-in-law Mark Atkinson live in Beaver Dam, Virginia with her grown-up grandson Will Atkinson. Sharon considers Tulsa, Oklahoma her home-town, but after she came north to school at Beloit College in Wisconsin, she’s pretty much hung out in the Chicago area. And is very glad to be here.
Jennifer Jordan, Financial Services