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.
Robert L. Hinklin
Pastor Bob is a native of West Michigan and has pastored churches there for 36 years. From B.A. thru D. Min. he attended Western Michigan University, Evangelical Theological Seminary, Sienna Height College, and Fuller Theological Seminary. He has been on the staff at East Naples United Methodist as an Associate Pastor since 2005. He lives in Berkshire Lakes here in Naples. His interests include history and football. Daughter, Kelley Irvine (Bob) and their three children - Allen, Elise and Colin live in Naperville, IL. Son, Aaron (Jennifer) and their children - Ella , Harry and Hugo live in Williamsville, NY. When not in Naples he is likely to be found in one of the two aforementioned places.
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 AND YOUTH MINISTRIES
Jessica was hired in January of 2011, and has her Bachelor of Arts from Rollins College and her Juris Doctor from Stetson. She was born and raised in Naples, and grew up in East Naples United Methodist Church. Upon graduation from college, she moved back home and is excited to help the people at ENUMC grow and strengthen their relationships with Jesus.
Elizabeth R. Comings
Liz was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. After attending Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) she joined the Army in 1973, spending four years as a Hungarian linguist stationed in Germany. She is married to husband, Jim, a retired Army Master Sergeant currently working as a Collier County Deputy Sheriff, and mother to son, James, a Law Enforcement Officer in Minneapolis. Liz has spent most of the last 20 years working for congregations in Episcopalian, Lutheran, and now Methodist churches. Realizing the misnomer of “Office” Manager of East Naples UMC, Liz enjoys the variety of the position.
Douglas W. Bussing
Prior to joining East Naples United Methodist Church Doug was the controller for Naples Radiologists and Naples Diagnostic Imaging Centers for 20 years. His responsibilities included all areas of finance, pension investment and management for the companies which had combined revenues of over 100 million dollars. Doug has a BA in business from Southwest Florida College and an Associate Degree in Accounting from Norwalk Community College. He is married to Ida Bussing and has a daughter, Shannon. Douglas is a devoted Christian who loves the Lord and loves to serve the members at ENUMC.
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.