Rev. Dr. Joan Miller
Joan was appointed to St. Matthew in July 2015. A native of Ohio, she and her family have lived in Arizona for over two decades. In addition to serving as a pastor she has taught special education and social studies to middle school students, as well as freshman history at ASU. She also retired from chaplaincy in the Naval reserve several years ago. When not at church she enjoys spending time with her husband Dan and son Jeremiah. They enjoy hiking, cycling, reading, and playing with Amy, their retired sled dog. Joan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rev. Jim Ek
Associate Pastor, Retired
Rev. Jim Ek is the Part-time Associate Pastor appointed in retirement. Jim preaches occasionally; assists with Bible studies and provides coverage/visitation when Pastor Joan is not available. Married to Patty Ek, their passion is music, family and fun. Jim can be reached at email@example.com.
Director of Children Ministries/Youth Consultant
Becky oversees the design and implementation of Christian programs, activities and events for children ages 2-18 years. Becky is a life-long United Methodist. She has been in ministry with children and youth for over 25 years. Becky is married to Steve. They have 3 adult children and 4 grandchildren. Becky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director of Music/Sanctuary Choir Director
Mr. Ben Shafer, a native of Phoenix, Arizona, received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Music and Choral Music Education. He received his master’s degree from Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona. Ben was appointed Sanctuary Choir Director at St. Matthew Methodist Church in Mesa in July 2015. Ben is now also Director of Music. He and his wife and four beautiful children have lived in Chandler for the last 10 years. Bringing with him a traditional background as a chorister, musician, and choral music director, Mr. Shafer proudly upholds the integrity of music in sacred church worship. He has served in many capacities in church music from Valley Presbyterian Church in Paradise Valley and Victory Lutheran Church in Mesa, AZ. In addition to directing the sanctuary choir he teaches Music at Central High School in Phoenix Arizona where he directs 4 choirs and also teaches guitar and music methods. When he is not busy with music he enjoys camping hiking and traveling across the beautiful state of Arizona. Ben can be reached at email@example.com.
Organist / Pianist
Steve has been playing the piano and organ at St. Matthew soon after joining the church in 1985. He is a retired band director and helps school employees plan for their post retirement occupation. When time allows he enjoys writing and arranging new anthems for the choir and other special church occasions. Steve is an accomplished and creative piano and organ player and is often accused of not playing the notes as written on the page! Steve can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director of Handbell Choirs
Sarah has been directing the bell choirs at Saint Matthew UMC since the fall of 2014. A native of Ohio, Sarah moved to Arizona to pursue a Master's degree in flute performance at Arizona State University. Prior to attending ASU, she attended the University of Akron and earned an undergraduate degree in music education and flute performance. When she is not directing the bell choirs or playing the flute, Sarah enjoys cooking and spending time with her cat. Sarah can be reached at email@example.com.
Belle joined the team at St. Matthew Mesa in April 2017. She comes to us as Northern Arizona University Alumni, having graduated in 2012 with a bachelors degree in Advertising and a bachelors degree in Public Relations. Though Belle was born in Lima, Peru, she considers herself a native of Arizona since she has lived in the valley since she was a child. She now lives in Mesa with her husband Gerard and their two pups Chico and Pixel. Belle and her family enjoy regularly taking drives up north, exploring new restaurants around town, hanging by the pool and spending time with family! Belle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director of Youth Ministries
My wife, Abigail and I have lived in Mesa since September, 2016, when we moved here from Springfield, OH. Abigail and I joined St. Matthew United Methodist in October of 2016, and we both belong to the Sanctuary Choir. I have attended church all of my life and have been involved with youth groups. I have been a United Methodist for 28 years; before that my family belonged to the United Brethren. Youth Ministry is a real Passion of mine. I love to share my faith journey with the youth and help them work on their faith journey. Youth are at the age of many questions; they challenge me and keep me on my toes. Our youth are a very important part of the present day church and the church of the future. I am very excited to be mentored by Becky Kerr, as she helps me grow in my faith and the youth ministry.