Leadership

Pastors & Staff

Rev. Antonieta Fernandes-Wyrick

Pastor

Rev. Maria Antonieta Fernandes-Wyrick 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 other 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.”

Carla VanBockel

Administrative Assistant and Youth Director

Carla joined us as Youth Director in 2017 and feels it is her calling to bring Jesus Christ to the youth of today. In 2021, Carla also took on the role of Administrative Assistant.  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!

Jeanine linder

Worship Director and Organist

Jeanine was born in Hawaii into a musical family of church ministry leaders and educators.  Musically, she was inspired by attending pipe organ concerts, music faculty recitals, and international church musicians who visited the Islands.  Spiritually, she
thrived by attending big tent evangelistic meetings and working alongside her missional parents as they labored to raise and nurture small congregations on Oahu.

Jeanine moved to the Pacific Northwest to attend school, work and raise a family. During this time, church music ministry continued to be a top priority for her.  An avid reader, Jeanine read about many topics to learn to relate to those in her community; mechanical engineering for co-workers; church organizational leadership for church ministry partnerships; geology and horticulture for family business body systems for family member health challenges.

Jeanine’s personal journey hit some hard times and she decided to attend a spiritual gift seminar.  Disbelieving the results, she took another spiritual gift class. Same result! Jeanine recognized that God gives spiritual gifts a personal relationship with Him for the growth of His kingdom here.  Today, she believes she is at CCUMC guided by His will.  Let’s see what He has in mind for all of us.

VERN WEST

Worship Director

Vern comes from a long line of musicians, especially on his mother's side of the family. His mom's grandfather and great uncle were drummer boys during the Civil War.  An uncle was a concert violinist and an aunt was a concert pianist.  They all contributed to the music scene in Pella, Iowa in the late 1800's and early 1900's.  Vern's dad played the French Horn; his mom played the piano; his older brother played the trumpet, and still does at the age of 83; his oldest sister played the piano, and still does at the age of 80; his middle sister played the clarinet, and still plays at the age of 79; his younger sister played the cello, flute and piano, and still plays the piano at the age of 68.

Vern started playing the cornet in 5th grade and played through his first year of college.  During his senior year in high school, he discovered that he could sing.  He also discovered that he had an interest in conducting.  Occasionally, he conducted both the band and choir.  During his first year of college, he sang in the choir and played in a trumpet trio.  In 1967 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and conducted a group of "singing soldiers" for six months before being sent to Panama for his first duty station.  While in Panama, he conducted a group of middle school aged kids at his church.                                                                                                                                                  

After his time in the Army, Vern attended a college near Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was a music major.  He sang in several groups, took voice lessons, was in several musicals and did a lot of conducting.  In 1974, he became the choir director at the Hudsonville Congregational UCC.  After one year there, he left the snow and the cold and moved to Arizona.  He then joined the Scottsdale Congregational UCC where he was hired to be the choir director when the choir director at the time took a job on the Navajo reservation.  He was the choir director there for seven years.  At that time, the commander of the National Guard 108th Army Band, Steve Coffin, was the choir director here at CCUMC, and he invited Vern to do the narration for their Christmas Cantata in 1985.  He was then invited back to play his trumpet in a small group to accompany the Easter Cantata in 1986.  Vern joined the church shortly thereafter and when Steve left for Oregon, Vern was hired to replace him.  He held that position until July of 2019 when he retired for health reasons.  Since then, Vern has continued to be part of the worship team as a singer, worship leader and trumpet player and is excited to be on staff once again!

Janice Edgell

Custodian