Rev. Joseph A. Johnson, Pastor
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 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. +
Phone:(630) 834-2440, Ext. 101
Liz McDonald, Church Administrator
Phone:(630) 834-2440, Ext. 100
I grew up in Springfield, Illinois and graduated from the University of Illinois in Champaign with a degree in Liberal Arts. I was among the 0.014% of the student body who majored in Japanese. I studied in Japan, living with a host family, during my junior year.
My then-new husband and I moved to Chicago in 1989 and I began working as a bilingual secretary at a Japanese bank. From there I transitioned into the field of international trade finance and enjoyed a rewarding career in product management. Several mergers later, I took some time off for parental leave. During my hiatus I made the decision to pursue a career in professional office administration, and have found a great place to work in this wonderful church.
I have two daughters who are school-aged and we enjoy living in Elmhurst and taking advantage of all that the community offers. Prior to Elmhurst we lived in the charming Galewood neighborhood on the west side of Chicago. We enjoy nature, natural sciences, fossil hunting, our pet lizards and cats, music, scouts, and reading.
I’m continually inspired by the good work done here at First United Methodist, the amount of dedication and faith that moves the congregation forward, and their conscious commitment to “Open Minds, Open Hearts, Open Doors”.
Doug Peters, Director of Music
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. I live with my beautiful girlfriend Kayla in Logan Square, and we have an awesome 3 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.
Lisa Rogers, Director of Children and Youth Ministries
Phone:(630) 834-2440, Ext. 103
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 daughters, Becca 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 I am excited to be taking on the new position as Director of Children and Youth Ministries. I look forward to this new challenge and to getting to work with our children and their families. 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 a 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.
Jennifer Jordan, Financial Services