East Naples United Methodist Church
Thursday, September 03, 2015
East Naples United Methodist Church
L. James (Jim) Thomas
Pastor Jim was born and grew up in Mebane, NC. He attended Appalachian State University in Boone, NC where he received B.S. and M.A. degrees in History. Jim was a teacher and coach and worked in the savings and loan business before attending Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta. He received a Master of Divinity degree in 1992 and since then has served in the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. His wife, Elaine, a native of Sanford, FL, is a former teacher. She also felt called into Christian service and received her M. Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary in Orlando and currently serves as a chaplain at Avow Hospice. Jim and Elaine have two children- Jake, who lives in Brooklyn, NY and Jenni Pavon, who lives in Waynesville, NC. Jim enjoys sports, puzzles and games, and the movies.
I am delighted to be a part of the family here at ENUMC, and to see what exciting things the Lord is going to do in the weeks, months and years ahead. I have been hired as the Associate Pastor to provide Pastoral care and counseling for the members and staff here at ENUMC, and to be present to fill in for Pastor Jim as needed. I will also, in the months to come, be starting a contemporary worship service which will be to provide a relevant multi-generational worship time.
I was raised in Langley British Columbia, Canada, and there I attended Trinity Western University, receiving a General Studies, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Cross-Cultural Communications; Missions, and moved to Naples in 1990. I trained and gained experience in Crisis Intervention and Clinical Pastoral Education, and have been a Pastoral Counselor since 2001. In 2003 the Lord provided for me to be able to set up Truth & Grace Ministries, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit Counseling Ministry. I am an ordained minister and received a MA in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty Theological Seminary and a Masters of Divinity from the Harrison School of Graduate Studies at Southwestern AGU in Texas.
For the past few years I have been working at Avow Hospice and NCH as a Chaplain, and for the past year I have also served as the Associate Pastor/Director of Pastoral Care at First United Methodist Church Naples.
DIRECTOR OF MUSIC
Linda D. Matthews
Linda graduated from Marshall University in Huntington, WV, where she received a BA degree in Music Education, majoring in piano, and a Master’s degree in Music Education with an emphasis in Choral Conducting. She studied with Lavelle Jones, Paul Balshaw, and Bob Wolfe. Linda taught elementary and high school music for 11 years. While at Wayne High School in Wayne, WV, her show choir entertained for the governor’s inauguration. She was the Assistant Band Director and marched with the band in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in1985 and took the cheerleaders to Hawaii where they were the pre-game of the Hula Bowl in 1988. After moving to Naples in 1989, Linda became the Director of Music at East Naples UMC. Linda has moved away two times, and each time, on her return to Naples, the church has hired her, making this the third time she has been at the helm of the music department. She has chaired a Community Handbell Festival two years in a row, and has participated in many musical activities in our town. She is a charter member of the Philharmonic Center Chorale.
DIRECTOR OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
CHILDREN'S PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Karen received her Bachelor's degree from New England Conservatory of Music and her Master's from the University of Miami. She has taught music and drama both privately and in school systems. She has directed many a children's music program, and music directed a plethora of musicals. Although her singing career has taken her all through Europe, teaching and praising God is her passion. She and her husband Randy Shrock now call ENUMC their home.
Dawn M. Huerta
DIRECTOR OF THE LEARNING CENTER PRESCHOOL
Michele brings over 20 years of experience in early childhood education to the Learning Center. Michele has her Director’s Credential through the state of Florida. She also has her Child Development Association Certification and Christian Child Education Development Certification. She is a member of the Child Development Alliance for young children, and is active in several agencies for early childhood. Michele has a heart for children, a heart for the Lord and a spontaneous inviting smile. Michele and her family are actively involved at their church as well as ENUMC. Michele is married to Al who is a Bible and Life Group Leader. Their son, AJ, is a High School teacher, football coach, and personal trainer. Their daughter, Nicole, is a receptionist at a local country club, and is currently attending FGCU Full Time and serves on several college committees.