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. Elaine works as a chaplain and also serves as Christian Education Director at ENUMC. Jim and Elaine have two children- Jake, who lives with his wife Emily in Brooklyn, NY and Jenni Pavon, who lives in Naples with her husband Albert and Jim and Elaine’s first grandchild, Penda. Jim enjoys sports, puzzles and games, and the movies.
Dana MacMillan was born in Winnipeg Manitoba, and raised in Langley British Columbia. There she attended Trinity Western University, and received a BA 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 and Joshua. In 1999 she 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 has worked as a Chaplain for NCH and Avow and was the Associate Pastor/ Director of Pastoral Care at Naples First United Methodist Church prior to coming to East Naples UMC. Having been involved in worship ministry for the most part of her life, Dana has lead worship and ministered in song in several congregations locally and alongside many hospital beds. Dana has a gift of grace and has been given heart for people. She feels she has been called to help the people of God to learn their true identity in Christ, to walk in freedom from emotional pain, and to confidently rest in the knowledge of His unfailing love.
PASTOR OF HISPANIC MINISTRY
Orlando was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. In 1998, he served as the associate pastor for his local church in Havana. In 2000, he received a pastoral appointment with the Cuba Methodist Church and continues to serve as a pastor here in Naples, Florida. In 2004, Orlando obtained an Associate Degree in Bible. He is currently enrolled in UBL Bible College studying for the Bachelor of Theology. He obtained a license for Clinical Pastoral Education in 2014. He is currently a local pastor in full connection with the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves as pastor of the new church "Connection", and also as a pastor of the Hispanic Ministry at East Naples UMC. Orlando is married to Betsy and have a teenage son Daniel, and daughter Elany. He is committed to helping the Hispanic community in Naples to connect with God, with God's people, with the call of God and with people without God. For that we exist.
DIRECTOR OF THE LEARNING CENTER PRESCHOOL
Michele brings over 25 years of experience in early childhood education to the Learning Center. Michele has a Degree in Early Childhood Education. She 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. She is married to Al who is a Bible and Life Group Leader. They have two children: Nicole and AJ, who is married to Colleen, and all three are teachers.
DIRECTOR OF MUSIC
Brent received his undergraduate degree in Music Education from West Virginia Institute of Technology where he studied piano with Olive Meyers and conducting and voice with Guy Owen Baker. He received his Masters in Music degree in Choral Conducting from West Virginia University studying with Dr. Kathleen Shannon. While at WVU, he also served as the Assistant Director Choirs. Brent has taught choral music at the middle school, high school, and college levels. He recently retired from Morgantown High School in Morgantown, WV where he was the Director of Choirs and taught guitar, music theory and directed the Freshman Choir, Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, Jazz Choir and Images - the award-winning competition show choir. After moving to Naples, FL in 2014, Brent sang with the Voices of Naples and became active with the Naples Players, appearing in musical productions and working behind the scenes.
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
Kristin grew up in Buffalo, New York with her twin sister, 2 brothers and her awesome parents: Sue and Clyde Dossinger. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA and a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Canisus College in Buffalo, NY. Kristin moved down to Naples in 2003 and has been teaching at Manatee Elementary for the past 13 years. She also served as the youth director here at ENUMC from 2004-2010. The past 6 years Kristin has been volunteering at Summit Church as one of the teachers in their Kidzone (K-5) area. Last summer she got married to her amazing husband, Shawn. She is excited for what the future holds for the children’s ministry here at ENUMC.
Gabriel Cintron grew up in Brooklyn New York. He is currently attending Florida South Western college. Gabriel has worked with youth for over five years and on music teams for the past ten years. He plays guitar, piano, bass, and sings. In the years to come Gabriel hopes to impact the people of East Naples United Methodist church and leave a legacy of excellence.
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 and law enforcement officer. 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.
Joan is from Alton, IL and studied business and accounting at Southern Illinois University and University of Maryland. She has had many years of accounting experience in a wide variety of industries. She is excited to serve at ENUMC, her church for 10 years, since she moved to Naples from Maryland. She is married to Bill and has two grown daughters.