DGFUMC Staff List

Senior Pastor

Claude King's picture

Pastor Claude is an ordained Elder and lifelong member of the United Methodist Church. He received his bachelor's degree in sociology with an emphasis in anthropology from Chicago State University and received his Master of Divinity degree from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. He has served as pastor and associate pastor at a variety of churches in Chicago, including the Chicago Temple, in Glen Ellyn, and is was recently the pastor of the Olympia Fields UMC. Rev. King also serves on the UMC-NIC Board of Ordained Ministry. This Board is responsible for guiding clergy candidates through the ordination process, including interviewing and recommending all candidates who are seeking to be fully ordained as ministers in the NIC-UMC. Pastor Claude is married to Denise King, a former Chicago Public School Head Start teacher. They have a son Claude, Jr., who has a Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, is working at the Children's Research Triangle in Chicago and a daughter, Ashley, who holds a master's degree in communications and social media, who works in marketing, most recently in the overseas marketing department at the Walt Disney Studios in Los Angeles.

Associate Pastor

Anna Voinovich's picture

Pastor Anna Voinovich has recently been commissioned by the Northern Illinois Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, and will serve as a provisional Elder in the United Methodist Church. She recently completed her Master of Divinity degree at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Prior to this, she received a bachelor's degree in Spanish, along with minors in educational studies and gender studies, from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Pastor Anna most recently served in a multi-site UMC faith community that includes El Mesias UMC, Barrington UMC, FUMC West Dundee, and Bethel NFC.

Director of Youth Ministries

Howie Snyder's picture

Howie has been married to Nicole for 21 years and they have 4 children, ages 21, 18, 15 and 10, named Samantha, Greer, Lysander and Clark, respectively. Howie and Nicole are both ordained in the Free Methodist Denomination, although Howie has served in two United Methodist Churches previously. Howie’s parents were in ministry and so has lived in various places including being born on the mission field in Brazil, but he went to middle and high school in Chicago, so he claims the Chicago area as home. Howie received a BS from Greenville College in Secondary Education and a Masters of Arts in Youth Ministry from Asbury Theological Seminary and has 16 years experience in youth ministry. Howie enjoys following and playing sports, playing his guitar and singing and is passionate about loving, living and sharing life with Jesus and all of God’s children.

Director of Children and Family Ministries

John Smoke's picture

Office Administrator

Sheila Ochoa's picture

Sheila has 15 years of experience as an Administrative Assistant with a design company in Northbrook, Illinois. She is also an active volunteer in Naperville schools where her daughters attend. She will be in the office on weekday mornings through early afternoon.

Communications Director

Deborah Hinrichs's picture

Deborah Hinrichs has extensive experience in communications, marketing, and public relations at non-profits and in higher education.

Financial Secretary

Carolyn Donnelly's picture

Carolyn Donnelly has attended DGFUMC for almost 50 years. She has been active in the music program as a member of the Chapel Choir, the Chancel Choir, the Chancel Ringers, the Sacred Dancers and director of the Worship Band. She has served as the Financial Secretary since April 2001 and now also is the Membership Secretary and Computer Administrator. Carolyn has BS and MAS in Accountancy and a minor in flute performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She is a CPA but also teaches flute privately. Previously she work at Arthur Andersen for 14 years.

Building Superintendent

Don Dunham's picture

Don has served as Building Superintendent since 2010. Among his responsibilities are the overall upkeep, maintenance and usage of church facilities and grounds. A native of Florida, Don and his family have been members of DGFUMC since moving from Nashville, TN in 1996. Previously, he spent nearly 30 years as an association management executive in the graphic arts/printing industry and other not-for-profit trade organizations focusing primarily in communications, membership development and event planning.

Kitchen Supervisor

Carrie Flory's picture

Music Coordinator

Andi Kinsella's picture

Andi has been a part time employee here at DGFUMC since 1998. She worked in the front office for 7 years and then moved to her current position, as Music Coordinator, in 2005. Andi and husband Bill raised 4 children here in Downers Grove and have 6 grandchildren. Having been baptized and confirmed here at DGFUMC, Andi is a lifelong member of our congregation.

Chancel Choir Director

Diane Hires's picture

Diane Hires served an administrator, fine arts chair, and choral director at Downers Grove High Schools during her 37-year career. In addition to conducting choirs, Diane was music director for many high school and community theatre musicals. She received several state awards for excellence in teaching. Currently, Diane directs the 55-voice Chancel Choir at the First United Methodist Church in Downers Grove, which meets on Thursday evenings.

Sanctuary Organist

Pattie Barnes's picture

A graduate of Wheaton College in piano performance, Pattie Barnes also studied organ extensively. She went on to earn a master’s degree in piano performance at Indiana University and pursued several years of doctoral piano performance study there. She is currently enjoying her twenty-fourth year as organist and director of handbell ensembles. She is also full-time staff collaborative pianist at Downers Grove North High School. Under her leadership, the church's Chancel Ringers performed the closing concert for the 2002 AGEHR Directors’ Seminar in Des Moines, Iowa and annually join with the West Towns Chorus in presenting an ever-popular Christmas concert series at the Tivoli Theater. Each Christmas season Westminster Ringers participate in Chicago Symphony’s Christmas Concert Series, playing in the Grainger Ballroom at Symphony Centre.

Chapel Choir Director

Nick Loos's picture

Nick is a 2011 graduate of North Central College who has been a music teacher at several elementary, junior and high schools. He is currently responsible for the music program at Field Elementary School in Wheeling, IL. Nick loves music, choral directing and working with youth.

Chapel Choir Accompanist

Kevin Zehme's picture

Kevin Zehme joined Downers Grove First United Methodist Church in the fall of 2014. Kevin has played professionally for 32 years. He held his first church organist position at the age of 16. Kevin studied at Concordia University in River Forest, where he earned a Bachelor of Music Performance degree. Since then, Kevin has performed in many venues and churches. He currently enjoys being the organist/pianist for the 8:15 service here at DGFUMC, accompanist for the Chapel Choir and playing gigs in a restaurant on weekends.

Connection Choir Director

Rebecca Kriz's picture

Since 1997 (minus the one year that she was concentrating on completion of her Masters Degree in Music Education from Northwestern University), we have been blessed to have Becky Kriz as our Connection and Chorister Choirs director here at DGFUMC. In addition to being on our Music Staff, Becky has been a dedicated choral music director at Cass Junior High in Darien since 1990.

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