Senior PastorSteve became a Christian as a seven year old. He has been following Jesus since then. He believes that Christians and their churches are meant to minister to the needs of the communities in which God has planted them. Steve was ordained in 1990. He has pastored four churches since that time. Learning from each appointment and always seeking to serve Christ better, he is excited to be in Visalia and helping to build an outwardly focused congregation. Steve is married to Pastor Marilyn Creel, who is ordained as a Presbyterian minister and leads a church in Three Rivers, California. They love living in Central California and have been blessed with three grandchildren.
Associate Pastor, Spanish Language MinistriesBorn in the city of Durango, Mexico, Corazon met the Lord Jesus Christ in the House of Life and Peace Methodist Church in her hometown. Since then, she received a call to pastoral minister and obey the voice of God our Lord, entering the Seminary Methodist John Wesley. She has worked with children in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Latin America in Apodaca NL Mexico, and has served as a teacher of theology at CCDMAC School of music and theology (one of the most recognized in Latin America). After serving for ten years in one of the conferences of Mexico, Corazon was invited to work in the California/Nevada Conference in the central valley of California with Hispanic ministry. Corazon likes reading, walking, cycling and the flowers, but what she enjoys most is spending time with her family and supporting her husband Rev.Marcelo Escarzaga and his mission projects, and volunteering at the school with their children Andre, Ary, Marcela Alesandro (which is her motivation to love and serve others).
Two years ago, Corazon went through one of the most difficult trials in her personal life. Through an unexpected heart attack, she suffered anxiety attacks and depression, recognizing that only the hand of God and the Holy Spirit had helped her out this situation. This has served her to help and advise many women through the words radio program Life, God be thanked for giving her the opportunity to serve at VUMC.
Senior Adult PastorDon serves as the Senior Adult Pastor at The Methodist Church. Prior to that, he served as Pastor of Grand Avenue United Methodist Church in Porterville, California, and Weldon UMC and Highland Chapel UMC in the Kern River Valley. Don is a graduate of Chico State and Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. While attending Asbury Seminary, he met and married his wife Donita.
Church SecretaryJoanna returned to Visalia after graduating from UC Santa Barbara. While in Santa Barbara, she worked at a preschool under the umbrella of a local church. There, she held the positions of administrative assistant and substitute teacher. At VUMC, she assists with managing the facilities and is the administrative assistant to the Senior Pastor. She is multilingual in Italian, Spanish, and English, and has traveled throughout Italy. She is currently working towards her second degree in Early Childhood Education. She is involved in the VUMC’s Cornerstone Choir and assists as a substitute mentor for KidREACH.
Care MinistriesKelly has served the Methodist Church in several capacities for over 10 years. She is currently serving as Director of Care Ministries, where she oversees and administrates a variety of ministry programs: DivorceCare & DC4K, GriefShare, Marriage Oneness, Visitation Ministries, Extend the Table, and Drop in the Bucket programs, to name a few. It is an honor and a privilege for her to serve God and His people here at The Methodist Church.
Adult Programs & Outreach MinistriesLinda Serves as Director of Adult Programs and Outreach Ministries. Her duties include leading Bible Studies and Sunday school classes. She is also responsible for creating and implementing a wide range of outreach programs including our KidREACH, Stitches of Hope, Daily Bread, and Operation Christmas Child. Linda and her husband Jim moved to California in 2000. She has been a part of our staff for four and a half years.
Director of Children's Sunday SchoolBio coming soon…
Worship Arts DirectorAdam is a lifelong Visalian. He has spent 11 years as a piano player and band leader for schools, theaters and churches all around the area and stepped into the role of Worship Arts Director in March 2013. He is thrilled to be using his abilities to spread The Word through song and inspire God’s people. He lives in Visalia with his two daughters, Alexis and Avery.
Oasis Worship LeaderHouston was born in Visalia and raised in Exeter. He has been involved in music in one way or another for most of his life. From playing guitar in restaurants, singing and playing in rock bands, owning and operating a DJ & lighting business, he has found great joy working as a musician. Out of all of his ventures, the most rewarding aspect has been using his gifts to glorify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Houston has been leading our contemporary Oasis service for nearly two years now and is looking forward to many years to come.
Youth DirectorKristi has worked with children in a variety of ways over the years. She previously worked as a Child Advocate for Tulare COunty through Family Services, as a preschool teacher and a Girl Scout leader. She has two children with her husband, John, and during their high school years served as a Redwood High School football Booster President and Treasure.
Kristi and her Husband John were volunteers with the Youth group at the Methodist Church in Visalia for 4 years before she became the Youth Director. It is a pleasure to work with your children her at The Methodist Church and seeing them grow as they develop their relationship with Christ.
Wednesday Night Children's CoordinatorAs a little girl, Ashlie attended Sunday School at VUMC. As she got older, a group of her friends attended the Wednesday Night Youth Group and got her to start going. She loved going and started getting more involved with activities at the church. She was still attending the Wednesday and Sunday Youth Group when she got the job to be the Wednesday Night Children’s Coordinator. She was sad to have to stop attending Youth, but was so excited to get to work with the little ones at the church. She enjoys getting to watch them learn new things, get involved in the games, make new friendships, and get so excited to show off what they know.
Worship Arts Technical AssistantJack, VUMC’s Worship Art Technical Assistant, has been at the helm of the Worship arts Technical area since 2011, dealing with computers, the VUMC website, band equipment, audio and visual items and even the odd repair of electrical and mechanical items. On Sundays, he is the Producer for the 9:15 a.m. service, and the Oasis service in the Family Life Center. While not at work, he is a director, actor, set designer and builder, lighting designer, sound designer and at times, producer at any number of community theatres in the area.
Bio coming soon…
Experience God's PresenceThree Services Every Sunday
Traditions Worship Service 9:30am
Semilla Servicio de Adoración y Alabanza 10:30am
Oasis Worship Service 10:30am
We are very intentional in our belief that a church should reflect the community that God has planted it in. We are open to all people and our church works hard to assure that everyone, no matter their circumstance, feels welcome and loved.