Rev. Kenneth Suhr
Rev. Kenneth K. Suhr was appointed to Aldersgate UMC in July 2016. He first served Abundant Life Community of Korean UMC in San Diego for 9 years (1998-2007), was then appointed to Faith UMC in Torrance for 9 years (2007-2016), and hopes to reach the 10 year mark at Aldersgate J!
He is the grandson of a Methodist pastor and professor, and was born and raised in Southern California. After receiving his degree in economics from UCLA, he went on a two-month mission trip to a small, beautiful First Nations island off the west coast of Canada, Klemtu. Ken experienced the best two months of his life simply building relationships of trust, helping as he was able, and sharing the love and hope of Jesus for all. It is on the island of Klemtu that Ken experienced the words of Isaiah 40, “soaring like an eagle” come alive in his life for the first time… and it is on the island of Klemtu that Ken received his call to full-time ministry.
Ken is married to Sunnie (1997), and they have four sons ( two in high school, one in junior high, and one in elementary). They love eating good food together, playing sports, going fishing, singing praises, going on mission trips, and enjoying the company of good friends.
Ken is excited to partner with all who seek to bring the kingdom of heaven here on earth, and to simply put a smile on Jesus’ face day-by-day.
Reverend Karin Ellis
Reverend Karin Ellis began her ministry at Aldersgate UMC in September 2009. Prior to this she was on Family Leave for two years in order to stay at home with her two small children. Her last appointment at a church was as Senior Pastor at Community UMC in Pacific Palisades. She was also appointed to Toluca Lake UMC as the Senior Pastor and to Northridge UMC as an Associate Pastor.
Karin grew up in Mission Viejo, CA and attended the United Methodist Church. She went to Nebraska Wesleyan University where she received a Bachelor of Music Education degree. Hearing a call to ministry, Karin then attended Boston University School of Theology and graduated with a Master of Divinity degree in 1997. She returned to Southern California to be close to family and begin her ministry career.
Karin is married to Steven and they have two children - Abigail and Paul. In her spare time, Karin enjoys reading, traveling, walking, crocheting, playing with her children, and occasionally, scuba diving with Steven.
Jennifer Kelly brings to Aldersgate UMC an eclectic set of skills and experience, including a BFA degree in Communications from Chapman University. She has spent a number of years in marketing and tradeshow management as well as print and digital media production. Her recent experience as production manager for Opera Chapman and as stage manager for nationally recognized inspirational speakers has helped to sharpen her organizational and managerial skills. As a seasoned professional in live production, Jennifer has learned the truth of the phrase "Don’t Panic" and "The show must go on!"
Having grown up the daughter of a United Methodist minister, Jennifer has a lifelong background in the church. She has been an active member for most of her life and has had the opportunity to serve as acolyte, Sunday school teacher, assistant youth director, audio/visual technician and Chairperson of the Administrative Council. Jennifer has had the unique experience of seeing the church not only from the pews, but from the church office as well. While other children traveled to exotic locations like Hawaii, Jennifer and her family, who lived on Maui, often vacationed in beautiful Redlands, California at the Cal-Pac Annual Conference.
Jennifer is married to Patrick and they have two children and two cats. She considers herself incredibly blessed to work with and for the Aldersgate faith family. She hopes to shine the light of our living and loving Savior in the church office and throughout the community every day and with everyone she meets.
Heidi joined the AUMC staff as Treasurer in September 2006. She came with a background in Retail Management and Merchandising. Heidi also fills in as church receptionist as part of her duties.
Heidi has attended United Methodist churches since childhood and started attending Aldersgate UMC with her family in 2000.
Director of Children's Education
Kim joined the staff of Aldersgate UMC in August 2006. She had been the Co-Director of Education for Santa Margarita United Methodist Church for several years. Kim has a passion for children and for teaching. During the week she works on a shared contract for the Magnolia School District teaching Kindergarten, which she has taught for nine years.
Kim is the mother of two wonderful boys: Gavin and Garrett. Kim’s husband, Scott, is also a teacher, teaching Biology at Katella High School. Scott has a passion for youth and co-leads the youth group at Aldersgate. Both Scott and Kim were active in the District camping program for many years, serving as staff members and also as deans of youth summer camps.
Kim is delighted to be at a church where there is such a strong focus on children and families. Her goal is to help nurture the spiritual growth of the children in the congregation and to provide opportunities for families to come together in Christian fellowship.
Director of Children's Center
Jackie has been working at Aldersgate Children’s Center since June of 1996. Jackie joined the Aldersgate staff as a teacher for eight years and then as Assistant Director for three years before becoming Director of the Center.
She has earned her Early Childhood Education credits and Director qualifications at Irvine valley College. She has worked in the day care field since 1980.
She grew up in Northern California and is one of five children. She resides in Irvine with her husband Ken. They have three grown sons, Ken, Scott and Mark.
Scott has been involved in youth work for over 30 years. He was active in United Methodist Youth Fellowship at La Mirada UMC when he was in school, and was a volunteer youth worker, working with junior high youth, at the same church for two years. He then became the first youth director Rancho Santa Margarita UMC, and he held that position for four years. Most of Scott's youth work has been done in the district camping program where he has served as a camp counselor, camp dean and camping coordinator for the Santa Ana District. He currently serves on the Camping, Outdoor, and Retreat Ministries Committee as a Program Chairman for the conference. Scott has served as Co-Youth Director at Aldersgate since 2008, and he enjoys serving the youth of our church and helping them grow in their faith.
Scott is married to Kim Wilmoth (Children's Director at Aldersgate). They have two sons, Gavin and Garrett. Scott graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, and is a high school science teacher at Katella High School. He has been teaching for over 20 years, and teaches Honors Biology and the ASB (student leadership) class.
Scott enjoys the outdoors (fishing, kayaking, and hiking), playing and watching basketball and volleyball, spending time with his family, working in his garden, and serving with the youth of Aldersgate.
Coordinator of Creative Ministries
Allison has been attending Aldersgate UMC with her family since 2000 and has played an active role in church activities and endeavors prior to joining the staff as Coordinator of Creative Ministries. Her journey in working with children began after a joyous experience teaching Vacation Bible School at Aldersgate. Allison has since led Sunday School classes, served as a member of the Children’s Education Committee and shared the role of Director of VBS for seven years. In an additional, previously undisclosed VBS role, she has performed as the VBS “mascot” each year, taking on the role of a dog, horse, mouse, monkey, raccoon and most recently, a chipmunk.
Allison’s experience in dance and the performing arts is a gift she shares with the youth of Aldersgate at every opportunity. Her career in dance began at age 16, when she joined Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle and later continued with American Ballet Ensemble, Ballet Austin and Staatstheatre Darmstadt in Germany. More recently, she has turned her focus to choreography, and for the past two years, Allison has supported Laura Prior and the children’s choirs in choreographing their Christmas musical productions. Outside of Aldersgate, Allison has recently choreographed shows for Musical Theatre Orange County and the Huntington Beach Playhouse.
Allison and her husband Bryn are the parents of three beautiful daughters - Tessa, Chloe, and Sydney. Allison is thrilled to be a part of such a dynamic Aldersgate staff. She envisions a bright future for the children of Aldersgate, full of many opportunities for spiritual growth and development.
Children and Youth Choir Director
Tessa Horner joined the staff of AUMC in 2012 as the Children and Youth Choir Director, but has been a member of AUMC since 1996. She recently graduated from Chapman University, receiving her BA in Integrated Educational Studies, with minors in Religious Studies and Language and Literacy. She has begun working towards her multiple subjects teaching credential and Masters in Education, so she can achieve her dream of teaching second grade. Tessa has always loved working with children of all ages, and began teaching Sunday School and being a VBS leader at AUMC at age 16.
Tessa has been singing at AUMC from the age of 5, when she joined the Joyful Noise Choir. She has enjoyed singing solos on Sunday mornings, but feels truly blessed when she gets to sing trios or duets with her two sisters, Chloe and Sydney. In addition, she graduated from the Orange County High School of the Arts for Musical Theatre, and was the Community Service chair in their Thespian Society, bringing and instructing theatre to under-served youth in the local community. She also teaches dance at the ClubHouse Academy in Fountain Valley, which is a part of the Boys and Girls Club of Huntington Valley. Laura Prior, who was her Confirmation Mentor, preceded Tessa as the Children's Choir Director. When Tessa began working at AUMC, she divided the 30 kid strong Joyful Noise Choir into two choirs, Joyful Noise for children ages Kinder-2nd grade, and Amazing Grace Notes for children ages 3rd grade-5th grade. Most recently, she started the Psalm 96 Choir for youth ages 6th grade-12th grade. Tessa feels very lucky to be able to work with such an amazing group of children and youth, and an incredible staff at AUMC!
Bell and Chancel Choir Director
Lynn joined our AUMC staff in February 2014, bringing a rich heritage of musical experience and leadership with her. Most recently, she was a 34-year member of Spurgeon Memorial UMC/Santa Ana UMC (merged 2011 and has had the following roles:
- Director, Training & Organizational Development at University Credit Union
- Sr. Trainer at Aurora Loan Services/Lehman Brothers
- Sr. Regional Training Performance Consultant at American Home Mortgage
- Training Manager at E*TRADE Retail Mortgage Lending
- President at On Track Training & Consulting
- Senior Vice President, Lending and Business Development at CU Mortgage Corporation
- Senior Instructor at American School of Mortgage Banking
- Assistant Vice President/Branch Manager at Plaza Savings & Loan
- Branch Coordinator, Operations at Home Fed Mortgage Corporation
- Operations Asst. Manager/Closing Supervisor at various companies
- Choir Director, Worship Leader and Director of Music Ministries for ten years.
Prior to that, she was a member of the Sanctuary Choir, director of the handbell choir, singer in the praise band and director of the children’s choir.
Lynn is the Founding Director of Faith Community Chorus of Orange County, which she began in January 2006 as a ministry to her community. The choir is made up of singers from several churches/choirs, including several singers from Aldersgate UMC. FCC presents 2 – 3 concerts per year, typically with orchestra.
Lynn sings soprano with Orange County Choral Society of Huntington Beach. She has sung with Orange Community Master Chorale, Musica Sacra / William Lock Singers, Robert Carl Chorale and other groups. Additionally, she plays French horn and has both played for and directed bands for many years. She directed her hometown’s Park Singers junior and senior high school singers, and added an elementary age group during her tenure as director; both groups performed at the Illinois State Fair several years under her direction.
Lynn is an honor graduate of the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and dual concentrations in Music and Reading Disabilities. She has one daughter, Ali, who is also a singer. They live in Santa Ana.
Anna has sung in school choirs from 4th grade through university, and was naturally drawn to accompanying. She has been improvising for as long as she can remember.
Anna achieved her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance (emphasis on accompanying) at Cal State University, Fullerton and it was there that she began her organ study.
Anna’s piano accompanying career took root in 1981 at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts / West where she continues to work as accompanist and/or musical director to vocal production classes and musical theater productions.
1982 marked the beginning of Anna’s church music career. She has been Organist or combined Organist – Music Director continuously since then, most recently at Laguna Country United Methodist in Laguna Woods, CA. Anna Ferraro is a prolific composer of instrumental and vocal music and has several cds available. At some point in the future, her web site will be up and running!
Multimedia and Sound
Doug has been a member of Aldersgate UMC since 1995 and joined the staff in May of 1999. He has been involved with supporting live sound and multimedia for most of his adult life, both as a hobby and in part-time jobs. He started out with supporting sound and video as a youth at Hawthorne UMC where he grew up. Doug ran a mobile DJ business for 13 years in the late 70s and 80. Doug currently also works as an independent contractor for various live events around Southern California.
Since joining Aldersgate, Doug has served on the Children’s Center Board, the Trustees, and Church Council.
Doug has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from California State University, Long Beach. His ‘daytime’ job is as an Instrumentation and Data Systems Engineer for Boeing Test and Evaluation in Long Beach, CA. Boeing has provided Doug opportunities to support Flight Test on many legacy Douglas Aircraft and Boeing products at many airports around the world. Doug is also active in the Society of Flight Test Engineers and is currently serving as Secretary for the International Board.
Doug and his wife Cheryl Bell were married in 1987. They have one daughter, Courtney, and one son, Christopher, and reside here in Tustin.