East Naples United Methodist Church
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Phn (239) 774-4696
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.
Dana was born in Winnipeg Manitoba, and raised in Langley British Columbia. There she attended Trinity Western University, and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Cross-Cultural Communications; Missions. Dana moved to Naples in 1990 and worked at The Willough at Naples as a Clinical Case Manager before having her two sons Jordan (19) and Joshua (17). In 1999 she was in the first graduating class of Clinical Pastoral Education at Naples Community Hospital, and began work as a Pastoral Counselor. In 2003 Dana started Truth & Grace Ministries, Inc., a 501 (C) 3 non-profit Counseling Ministry which she and her husband Paul continue currently to manage. She received a MA in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty Theological Seminary and her M Div. from Southwestern AGU in Texas. Dana worked at The Family Church Naples/ Marco as the Ministry Coordinator, 2011-2013, and was ordained for ministry through The Lord’s Way Church Bible Church in 2013. For the past two years Dana has been a Chaplain at Avow Hospice and NCH and was also the Associate Pastor/ Director of Pastoral Care at Naples First United Methodist Church. She has been involved in music and worship ministry for the most part of her life and has lead worship and ministered in song in several congregations locally and alongside many hospital beds. Dana has a gift of grace and feels she has been called to help the people of God learn their true identity in Christ, and to walk in freedom from emotional pain. Dana@enaples.org
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
Hi, I am Elaine Thomas. Yes, my last name is the same as the pastor's because I go home with him every day...He's my husband! I am a Floridian having grown up in the central Florida area of Orlando and Sanford. My Alma Mater is the University of Florida, home of the Gators. Pretty sure I bleed orange and blue! I met Jim in the mountains of NC where we married and had our son, Jake. We moved back to Florida where we had our daughter, Jenni. Jim felt called to ministry and, after his seminary experience in Georgia, we have been back in the Florida conference serving all over the state. After years of teaching, I was called into ministry at a women's retreat. I worked in an urban ministry of the United Methodist Church while attending seminary in Orlando at Asbury. I went into chaplaincy and have worked at a hospital, AVOW Hospice, and at Terracina Grand, an assisted living facility. Our son and his wife in NY and our daughter and her husband live here with our first adorable granddaughter, Penda. I am blessed to work part time here at East Naples as Director of Christian Education.
CHILDREN'S PROGRAMMING DIRECTOR
CHILDREN'S MUSIC 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.