Council on Ministries

Council on Ministies

The people of The United Methodist Church are part of the second largest Protestant denomination in the United States. Our worldwide connection includes approximately 12.8 million members.   We trace our heritage back to the movement begun in 1729 in England by John and Charles Wesley.

The church does not have a single headquarters or executive, but is governed by the General Conference, the Council of Bishops and the Judicial Council.

The Book of Discipline outlines the rules and organization that churches must follow providing  room to adapt the church’s unique ministries and mission to the needs and culture of its congregation and the community.

The local church is governed by the Charge Conference.   All of the members of First United Methodist Church in DeKalb are members of the Charge Conference.  The Charge Conference generally meets once a year, near the end of the year, under the leadership of the District Superintendent.    At this meeting, the church’s leaders are elected, and any other matters requiring a vote of the Charge Conference are addressed.

Our Leadership team is organized into a Council on Ministry (COM) structure.  The 2021 COM is led by a Chairperson and includes:  Vice-chair, the recording secretary, President of UMW, President of UMM, Lay Leader, Treasurer, Youth Representatives, and Advocates who represent all of the other committees of the church organized into our three core values: Love, Serve, Connect, and the pastors.  In addition, COM includes the Chairpersons of  SPRC (Staff Parish Relations), Trustees, and Finance.


COM Chair, Herb Buhr

[email protected]


Senior Pastor Jonathan Crail

[email protected]

815 756 -6301 x25

Recording Secretary, Cheryl Nelson

Takes notes at all COM and Church Charge Conference meetings

[email protected]

815 895-9499

Lay Leader, Mary McGinn

The spiritual leader of the members. She monitors our spiritual connections and is the liaison to the annual conference. 

[email protected]

814 414 -6107

Treasurer, Vince Boone

[email protected]

815 758 -4519

815 751 -8211 (cell)

Finance, Gina Wisdom

This committee determines the annual budget and manages and reports on the finances.

[email protected]

815 751 -4522

Finance, David Melms

This committee determines the annual budget and manages and reports on the finances.

[email protected]

815 761 -1819


SPRC, Dave Smith

This committee fulfills the “Human Resources” functions, including hiring, development and retention of staff; working with clergy; advising and supporting; and dealing with problems.

[email protected]

815/766 -0487 (cell)

Trustees, Shaun Chapman

The Trustees manage the acquisition and maintenance of all properties including contracts .

[email protected]

815 762-3528(cell)


representing our youth

President UMW, Barb Coward

the UMW ‘s purpose is to know God and experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ; to develop a creative, supportive fellowship; and to expand the concepts through participation in the Global Ministries of the church.

[email protected]

815 751 -1001 (cell)

President UMM, Jack Goodrich

The UMM strive to help men grow In Christ through fellowship and service.

j[email protected]

815 758 -8791

Ministry Advocates

The purpose of the Advocates is to bring about a more cohesive and comprehensive plan for realizing our vision of Living Christ’s Presence through Love and Service.

Loving God

The Advocate for Loving, Bennetta Stearnes, helps coordinate, encourage and support the efforts of all groups who are part of worship and faith-deepening ministries.

[email protected]

815 758-1657

Serving Others

The Advocate for Serving, Vicki Boone, helps coordinate, encourage and support the efforts of all groups undertaking serving and outreach ministries.

[email protected]

815 751-3397


The Advocate for Connecting, TBD, helps coordinate, encourage and support the efforts of all groups who are engaged in hospitality and in nurturing relationships among church members and the community.



Altar Guild

Christian Education



Small Groups

Youth Council


Memorial Gifts

Director of Music Ministries


Traditional (9:00 am)

Contemporary -- SHINE

Community -- R.E.A.L.

Boy Scouts

Child Advocate

Red Bird Mission

Mission Team

Community Outreach

Summer Lunch and More

R.E.A.L community meal

Computer Lab Task Force

Campus Ministry

Member Care

Prayer Chain




Ushers and Greeters

Parking Ministry

Celebration Chorale

Church Historian



Scholarship Committee