Rev. Antonieta Fernandes
Rev. Maria Antonieta Fernandes was ordained as an Elder in full connection by the Desert Southwest Conference United Methodist Church in 2017. She has been the pastor leader in charge of planting a church in Las Vegas, Nevada since July 2015 “Global Community UMC". She is part of the Health and Pension Benefits committee at the Desert Southwest Conference, a member of the Leadership and Personnel Committee of the North District, and has participated as a Community Spiritual Leader at the Walk to Emmaus. Her first appointment was at Green Valley UMC as an Associate Pastor.
Pastor Antonieta was born and grew up in El Salvador to parents who raised her vigorously in the Catholic Church and its traditions. Because of her compassion for people, her first career choice was in medicine. She became a nurse in 1987 and took care of the sick while also working in preventive care. This career gave her the opportunity of sharing the healing power of God’s word.
In 1990, her family moved to the United States as refugees of war with political asylum status.
She has four adult children, one son and three daughters. She also has six grandchildren, three boys and three girls.
At the moment, her theology of worship has a multicultural approach. To be effective with this kind of theology, she has studied different cultures of people to be able to understand what they believe and how they communicate. Hispanics have so many different cultures within the Hispanic umbrella; but that’s true also within the Asian, African American, Anglo, Hindu, Native Indians, and others important cultures within the United States.
She feels that even though the first encounters with people from other cultures can be kind of uncomfortable, under the grace of God, nothing is impossible. By respecting their beliefs, we can accomplish what Jesus sent us to do: “To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world”.
Mary began her career in Kansas City, Missouri as a singing waitress and jingle singer for radio commercials. Highlights in her career include singing the national anthem for a Diamondbacks baseball game, performing at the home of Senator John McCain and opening for well known entertainer, Chubby Checkers. She also has been a speaker for the national women‘s organization, Stonecroft Ministries, and serves as a volunteer at the Arizona Humane Society. Mary’s love for the Lord has brought her musical talent to hundreds of churches over the years. She shares her heart through her songs and words, preparing God’s people for the work of the ministry.
Carla joined us as Youth Director in 2017 and feels it is her calling to bring Jesus Christ to the youth of today. Carla is a native of South Dakota but has lived in the valley since 2014. In 2000, she and her husband, David, were married and they have 2 daughters; Natalie and Alexa. The VanBockel’s love to spend time together as a family and particularly like to entertain their family that come to town from all over the country. In her free time, Carla loves to spend time with friends, swim, sing, and she is an avid reader, Ken Follett is her favorite author. She also loves to watch football, especially her Minnesota Vikings!
Jim has been the organist at CCUMC since 1999. He was born in Ohio and raised in Michigan. He lived in Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale before moving to Phoenix. Jim loves sharing his talent with the congregation on Sunday mornings. He feels that music is the universal language that speaks to us all.