DGFUMC Staff List

Senior Pastor

Claude King's picture

Pastor Claude is an ordained Elder and lifelong member of the United Methodist Church. He received his bachelor's degree in sociology with an emphasis in anthropology from Chicago State University and received his Master of Divinity degree from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. He has served as pastor and associate pastor at a variety of churches in Chicago, including the Chicago Temple, in Glen Ellyn, and is was recently the pastor of the Olympia Fields UMC. Rev. King also serves on the UMC-NIC Board of Ordained Ministry. This Board is responsible for guiding clergy candidates through the ordination process, including interviewing and recommending all candidates who are seeking to be fully ordained as ministers in the NIC-UMC. Pastor Claude is married to Denise King, a former Chicago Public School Head Start teacher. They have a son Claude, Jr., who has a Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, is working at the Children's Research Triangle in Chicago and a daughter, Ashley, who holds a master's degree in communications and social media, who works in marketing, most recently in the overseas marketing department at the Walt Disney Studios in Los Angeles.

Associate Pastor

Anna Voinovich's picture

Our Associate Pastor, Anna Voinovich, is a provisional Elder in the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church. She is also our Interim Director of Youth Ministries. She recently graduated from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. Prior to that she received a degree in Spanish language and literature from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and minors in educational studies and gender studies. She has appreciated the unique ways in which these study areas have enriched her ministry! Prior to her appointment as the associate pastor here, Anna served as a licensed local pastor for multisite ministry with Barrington UMC, First UMC of West Dundee, Bethel New Faith Community, and El Mesias, UMC in Elgin. Anna is thrilled to be part of this congregation and the greater Downers Grove community!

Director of Youth Ministries

Wesley Dorr's picture

Wesley Dorr is a 2005 graduate of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary with a Masters in Divinity and a certification in Christian Education and Church Leadership. He is an ordained a deacon in full connection with a great passion for guiding youth to a deeper faith and connecting them with experiences that lead to a better understanding of social justice through the love of Christ. Pastor Wes comes to us from United Church of Rogers Park UMC where he founded the Peace Center of Rogers Park and developed an after-school program and a summer camp for the children of the Rogers Park Neighborhood. He brings a vast knowledge of restorative justice and community engagement. Pastor Dorr grew up in Olive Branch, Mississippi just outside of Memphis, Tenn. and did his undergraduate work at Mississippi State University. He and his wife, Charlotte, have a nine-year-old son, Brennan. Pastor Wes enjoys coaching little league baseball, bike riding, and watching Chicago sports. He especially has a love of the White Sox!

Director of Children and Family Ministries

John Smoke's picture

Office Administrator

Sheila Ochoa's picture

Sheila has 15 years of experience as an Administrative Assistant with a design company in Northbrook, Illinois. She is also an active volunteer in Naperville schools where her daughters attend. She will be in the office on weekday mornings through early afternoon.

Communications Director

Deborah Hinrichs's picture

Deborah Hinrichs has extensive experience in communications, marketing, and public relations at non-profits and in higher education.

Financial Secretary

Carolyn Donnelly's picture

Carolyn Donnelly has attended DGFUMC for almost 50 years. She has been active in the music program as a member of the Chapel Choir, the Chancel Choir, the Chancel Ringers, the Sacred Dancers and director of the Worship Band. She has served as the Financial Secretary since April 2001 and now also is the Membership Secretary and Computer Administrator. Carolyn has BS and MAS in Accountancy and a minor in flute performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She is a CPA but also teaches flute privately. Previously she work at Arthur Andersen for 14 years.

Preschool Director

Nancy Bifulco's picture

Nancy is our director of the First United Methodist Preschool (FUMPS) program. She taught in the four-year-old program before becoming director. Nancy is also a very proud graduate of the program, back in its earlier days. She has degrees in elementary education and accounting, so the director position is a wonderful job for her, combining both her passion for children with her enjoyment of management. Nancy is a life-long member of First United Methodist Church. She has been actively involved in the Sunday school program, has served on many work areas, and has played in the handbell choir for over 25 years. She is married to Ed, a chiropractor who teaches at a local university. She and Ed are the proud parents of Olivia, who is a first year high school student this year. Olivia keeps them very busy going to all her sporting events – soccer, baseball, basketball, and volleyball.

Building Superintendent

Don Dunham's picture

Don has served as Building Superintendent since 2010. Among his responsibilities are the overall upkeep, maintenance, and usage of church facilities and grounds. A native of Florida, Don and his family have been members of DGFUMC since moving from Nashville, TN in 1996. Previously, he spent nearly 30 years as an association management executive in the graphic arts/printing industry and other not-for-profit trade organizations focusing primarily in communications, membership development, and event planning.

Kitchen Supervisor

Carrie Flory's picture

Music Coordinator

Andi Kinsella's picture

Andi has been a part time employee here at DGFUMC since 1998. She worked in the front office for seven years and then moved to her current position as Music Coordinator in 2005. Andi and her husband Bill raised four children here in Downers Grove and have six grandchildren. Having been baptized and confirmed here at DGFUMC, Andi is a lifelong member of our congregation.

Chancel Choir Director

Diane Hires's picture

Diane Hires served an administrator, fine arts chair, and choral director at Downers Grove high schools during her 37-year career. In addition to conducting choirs, Diane was music director for many high school and community theater musicals. She received several state awards for excellence in teaching. Currently, Diane directs the 55-voice Chancel Choir at the which rehearses on Thursday evenings.

Sanctuary Organist

Pattie Barnes's picture

A graduate of Wheaton College in piano performance, Pattie Barnes also studied organ extensively. She went on to earn a master’s degree in piano performance at Indiana University and pursued several years of doctoral piano performance study there. She is currently enjoying her 24th year as organist and director of handbell ensembles. She is also full-time staff collaborative pianist at Downers Grove North High School. Under her leadership, the church's Chancel Ringers performed the closing concert for the 2002 AGEHR Directors’ Seminar in Des Moines, Iowa and annually join with the West Towns Chorus in presenting an ever-popular Christmas concert series at the Tivoli Theater. Each Christmas season Westminster Ringers participate in Chicago Symphony’s Christmas Concert Series, playing in the Grainger Ballroom at Symphony Centre.

Chapel Choir Director

Nick Loos's picture

Nick is a 2011 graduate of North Central College who has been a music teacher at several elementary, junior and high schools. He is currently responsible for the music program at Field Elementary School in Wheeling, IL. Nick loves music, choral directing and working with youth.

Chapel Choir Accompanist

Kevin Zehme's picture

Kevin Zehme joined Downers Grove First United Methodist Church in the fall of 2014. Kevin has played professionally for 32 years. He held his first church organist position at the age of 16. Kevin studied at Concordia University in River Forest, where he earned a Bachelor of Music Performance degree. Since then, Kevin has performed in many venues and has served on the staff of eight different churches primarily located in the western suburbs. He currently enjoys being the organist/pianist for the 8:15 service here at DGFUMC and accompanist for the Chapel Choir. He is a freelance musician and is also an organist at the Notre Dame Church in Clarendon Hills.

Connection Choir Director

Rebecca Kriz's picture

Since 1997 (minus the one year that she was concentrating on completion of her Masters Degree in Music Education from Northwestern University), we have been blessed to have Becky Kriz as our Connection and Chorister Choirs director here at DGFUMC. In addition to being on our Music Staff, Becky has been a dedicated choral music director at Cass Junior High in Darien since 1990.

Cherub Choir Director

Debbie Phillips's picture

Debbie is the director of the Angel Choir (for pre-kindergarten children ages 3, 4, and 5) and the Cherub Choir (for kindergarten, first and second grade children).

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