We have a dedicated and caring staff who serve our church family well.  Most are part-time and work other jobs as well, so email them or call the church office for the best way to reach them.  Church office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00-1:00.

Senior Pastor

Amy Foster

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I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of the ministry team at Sterling First UMC.

I come to Sterling from a three-year appointment as the pastor at Dawson UMC in Wichita. Prior to my time there, I served eleven years as the Associate Pastor of Children, Youth and Families at Park Place Christian Church in Hutchinson.

I claim Mitchell Chapel UMC in rural Hutchinson as my “home church”. It is my involvement there as a volunteer that brought me to my calling in ministry. I am forever grateful to that congregation for their loving care and nurture.

I have a B.A. in Pastoral Studies and a certificate in Operational Leadership from Southwestern College in Winfield, Ks.  I also have an M.A. in Christian Ministries with an emphasis in Family Ministries from Friends University in Wichita.

My husband and I met one Christmas Eve during a candlelight worship service at Mitchell Chapel nearly forty years ago. We raised three children together on a small farm northwest of Hutchinson. We have two young grandsons.  Besides being with my family, I enjoy spending my down time with good coffee and reality TV shows.

It is my hope that everyone grows to know the love of Christ and to reach their full potential as a true child of God. I consider it a sacred privilege to walk alongside people in their life’s’ journeys.

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 Director and Administrative Assistant

Jordan Black

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I am thrilled to be on the team at FUMC as the Children’s Ministry Director and Administrative Assistant! I’m newly married to my wonderful husband, Micah, who works at Sterling College, our alma mater.  While at SC I  double-majored in Vocal Performance and Theatre Performance and minored in Youth Ministry.This is my first full-time ministry position, following a year as an intern with Fellowship Bible Church in Topeka, KS, in their student ministry.

I’ve always been involved in the church growing up, and began volunteering as a teenager with the children in my home church in Eureka, KS.    In the summers, I started a summer program called Flint Hills Follies, which was designed to give kids in my rural hometown a chance to learn about theatre in a healthy, Christ-centered environment. Then, in the summer before my junior year of college, I became a camp counselor with Heartland Camps in Parkville, MO. There, working with 1st-3rd graders, I received my call into ministry.

Soon after, I added the Youth Ministry minor and became involved as a volunteer with Connection. I am thrilled to be coming back to Sterling to invest in the lives of children and their families, and I am so thankful to God and to the church community for providing this opportunity!

I am excited to work with the people at Sterling UMC!

Youth Director

Josh Hood

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Faith Steps Preschool Director

Melissa Wilson

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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.

I am the Faith Steps Preschool Director and I also enjoy volunteering in the children's ministry.  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!  

Faith Steps Assistant Teacher

Seneca Bates

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Music Director

Janis Fair

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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.


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.


Elisha Nickerson

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   March 2019