Senior Pastor

Jeff Miller

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Greetings from the Sterling United Methodist Church. I am the senior pastor of this wonderful congregation, and I'd like to tell you a little bit about myself.

I'm a native of southwestern Pennsylvania. Go Steelers! My wife, Vicky, and I have been married for 36 years. We have two grown children, both married, and two wonderful granddaughters.

I'm in my 27th years of ministry and have served churches in central Kentucky, north central, central, southwestern, and south central Kansas.

I earned my bachelor's degree from Sterling College in Sterling, Kansas, and my Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. I am an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.

In addition to ministry, my special interests include singing and playing guitar, jogging, and camping.

I'm looking forward to meeting you! Please feel welcome to contact me if I or the church may serve you in any possible way.

Administrative Assistant and Music Director

Pam Simpson

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I enjoy being connected to our church family as Administrative Assistant.  Feel free to contact the office for assistance Monday thru Thursday 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. or 8:00 to noon on Friday.  Seeking, Serving, and Sharing Christ is my goal.

My second passion is our music for the church.  We have a vibrant Bell Choir, who are very dedicated to practices and performing once a month for services.  The Chancel Choir continues to grow as we learn to sing together and enjoy each other's fellowship.  Please feel free to join us.

Pastor of Families and Young Adults

Jeff Darnauer

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I grew up in northwest Kansas, went to college in suburban Chicago, and moved to Sterling from Kansas City, where I attended seminary and served as youth pastor in the Church of the Nazarene.  I spent 12 years in youth ministry before transitioning into my current role as an associate pastor.

I am ordained in the Church of the Nazarene and hold a B.A. in Christian Education and Bible/Theology from Wheaton College (IL) and an M.Div. from Nazarene Theological Seminary.  I also am an adjunct professor at Sterling College, teaching courses in youth and family ministry.

My passion is to see young and old coming together to follow Jesus, taking on His character, growing in their intimate knowledge of Him, and  joining His mission in the world.

I met my beautiful wife Kristi on a mission trip to Juarez, Mexico.  We have three fun and energetic kids...Jace, Caleb, and Tessa.  I am a coffee enthusiast.  I enjoy spending time with friends and family, travelling, reading, and being outdoors and active. 

Children's Ministry Coordinator

Melissa Ekart

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I have lived in Kansas all my life.  I graduated from Sterling College with a B.A. in Physical Education. Before working at the church I had the privilege of staying home with all 3 of my kids until they entered into school.

I have attended the Sterling United Methodist Church since my college years.  I have always felt home here. They have walked with me through some tough times. I feel lucky to call them my church family.

Besides leading the Children's Ministry, I am also the Assistant Teacher in our Faith Steps Preschool.  I adore loving on kids and being a part of their lives.  God has been so overwhelmingly good to me. I feel so blessed that I am able to share God’s wonderful love with children while working at this church!  

Youth Director

Josh Hood

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Preschool Director/Teacher

Dawn Eliserio

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I am a native of Sioux Center, Iowa. I went to Dordt College where I earned my Elementary Education degree and later completed my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction. After earning my Masters, I went on to complete my Early Childhood Endorsement so I would be able to teach preschool aged children. I have taught in California, Iowa and Kansas in grades preschool through fourth grade. Besides being blessed to teach and play with preschool children at Faith Steps, I also teach part-time at Sterling College in the Education Department. Our goal for the children in our preschool is that they love God and that they love each other. When that happens, learning can occur!

I enjoy being with my family, playing games and spending time outside. My husband, Gabe, and I have two daughters: Grace and Breanne.


Ben White-Newby

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I am a Sterling native and started my musical training here while learning the piano in the third grade. After attending Sterling College for one year I went on to receive a B.S. in Fine Arts & Music and a B.A. in Elementary Education from Brigham Young University. 

Christian music is my greatest passion and it has been my opportunity to serve in many denominations as Director/Music Minister, choir director, bell choir director, or pianist/organist wherever I have lived.  There are many paths to God, but one of the most glorious is to be blessed with the gift of music and the opportunity to utilize that gift to help bring souls unto Christ.  To this end I am fully committed and glad to be here at Sterling UMC.


Vickie Colston

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I have lived in Sterling for over 32 yrs. I have 4 grown children and 2 grandchildren, part of them live close and the others farther away.

I have been part of the Methodist Church for over 20 years, where I have taught Sunday School, worked with the youth, run the soundboard, helped with Scouts, as well as kids activities in school.

I enjoy reading, cooking, and family time. I also work at the Co-op station.

Welcome to the Methodist Church.


Cheryl Buckman

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I graduated from Sterling College with a dual bachelor degree in Business Administration and Accounting.  I have my own bookkeeping business in town and when the church needed a new treasurer, I saw this as an opportunity to use my knowledge to serve the church.

  June 2018