Rev. Jeff Huber has been Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church in Durango since July of 2002. He holds a Masters in Divinity degree from the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado and a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Pastor Jeff has also attended the Beeson Institute through Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. monitor web page for changes . He was ordained in the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in 1993 and served Collegiate United Methodist Church and Wesley Foundation in Ames, Iowa; Smoky Hill United Methodist Church in Centennial, Colorado; Calvary United Methodist Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Wheat Ridge United Methodist Church in Wheat Ridge, Colorado before coming to FUMC in Durango.
While most of Pastor Jeffs family is from the Denver area, he spent much of his younger years in parts of California and Oregon. He graduated from Acalanes High School in Lafayette, California where he was also active in the youth group at Lafayette United Methodist Church. It was in that church that Jeff had his first preaching experience. The people of Lafayette UMC encouraged him to pursue ordained ministry and while he fought it for a while, God finally got a hold of him when he was active at the Wesley Foundation campus ministry while at CU Boulder.
Pastor Jeff’s passion is leading God’s church and God’s people towards a deeper faith that is relevant in today’s world. His hope and prayer is that we at First United Methodist Church in Durango will pursue God with our whole heart and strive to be Jesus Christ to the world.
Jeff and his wife Tami have two children, Thomas and Vika.
Karen Wallace, serves as the Pastor of Caring Ministries which includes the following ministries: Stephen Ministry, Celebrate Recovery, Hospital Visitation Ministry, Silver Link Ministry, Prayer Shawl Ministries, Parkinson Support Group, Card Ministry, and Sunshine Garden Country Home Ministry, and End of Life Care. If you would like to explore serving in any of these ministries please contact Karen.
Ely Cartwright leads the Contemporary Worship and Technology Ministries here at FUMC. He completed a bachelor’s in Music at Asbury University and a Master of Divinity at Asbury Theological Seminary, both in Wilmore, Kentucky. Having been involved in worship ministry since his middle school youth group days, Ely also spent several years serving the local church in Lexington, Kentucky before he and his wife, Lauren, came to join FUMC in Durango. Ely is passionate about seeing individuals and communities connected and formed through times of gathered worship, as we respond to who God is and what He has done.
Ely and Lauren enjoy exploring the local food and music scene as well as the vast wilderness surrounding Durango, but they also really enjoy watching movies on the couch at home with their cat, Seamus, and dog, Ziva, piled on top of them.
Jake Forsythe has served as the Equipping & Missions Director since 2012 and prior to that he served as the Youth Director at FUMC Durango for 5 years. Over the years Jake has developed a passion for helping people discover their purpose wherever they’re at in their Christian journey. Mission work has also become an important part of his life. As Equipping & Missions Director, Jake loves to help others discover what their “next step” in their journey is as they Connect, Grow, Serve & Share here in Durango. Jake was born and raised in Durango and he currently lives in Bayfield with his wife Carrie and their son Noah. Their daughter, Taylor, lives in Farmington, NM. Jake is a die-hard Denver Broncos fan and he loves sports, camping, fishing and spending time with his family. The Forsythe’s also do foster care and have foster children in their home often.
Tim Schrag is the Youth Director for 6th – 12th grade students. He graduated from Fort Lewis College in 2011 with an English Major and a Computer Science Minor, and enjoys puns and a good chicken enchilada. Most of all he loves to see God work in Middle School and High School students and see them grow in their faith while they grow up into young adults.
If you’re a parent or a student I’d love to get to you know and tell you what our Sunday School and Youth Group programs are all about! Give me a call or an email anytime:
Rebekah grew up here in the United Methodist Church of Durango. She began working in our nursery when she was 12 years old. She has assisted in many of the children’s programs including working with Vacation Bible School for the past 7 years. Her goals with children are to help them feel comfortable and loved in each room of our church. She wants them to be brave and share their faith with others. Her goals with adults are to help them grow as they serve with the children and that they would love coming in each time they volunteer.
Zack Esgar leads the College and Young Adult ministry called Rooted. He is also the Director of Hospitality and Evangelism. Zack grew up in a small town Methodist Church in Wiley, Colorado. He attended Texas Tech University where he got his Bachelors in Management Information Systems and Website Design. He has spent 5 years working with several different types of college ministries. Zack went through an intensive college ministry internship at the Wesley Foundation at Texas Tech University. It was at the Wesley Foundation where Zack met his wife Kelsey. Zack and his wife have spent the last 5 years serving at the Wesley Foundation at Texas Tech. Zack enjoys technology and designing and developing websites. He enjoys the outdoors, rock climbing, hiking, snowboarding, sand volleyball, basketball, football, and ultimate Frisbee.
A New Mexico native, Jared has been an educator and performer, in and around the Four Corners area, for the past 13 years. He studied music at San Juan College and Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado and currently serves as the Chancel Choral Director at the First United Methodist Church. Jared also works with non-profit organizations throughout the area. He also serves as the director of the Civic Winds Jazz Orchestra via the Southwest Civic Winds. Specializing mainly in Jazz & Blues education and performance, Jared enjoys a wide array of musical influences including symphonic, Latin/Salsa, Funk, Reggae, & Rock.
While studying both locally and abroad, Jared has been extremely fortunate to play alongside some of the best musicians in the country. He enjoys working with students from all walks of life and personally strives to learn something new every day. In his off time he enjoys performing with several different ensembles, learning about jazz history, spending time with family and friends, and attending live concert events.
Integrating a broad range of musical styles, he enjoys teaching and performing with students & adults from all walks of life. Jared encourages everyone to sing, play, and enjoy music each & every day!
Jeanette has been the director of our Christian School and Child Care Center since it first began in 1998. She has lived in Durango for 30 years and has 2 wonderful sons that currently live in Fort Collins. She feels very blessed to work with a great team of people in a job that she loves. The early childhood years are so important and she is passionate about supporting young families and children in their unique development. Besides working with children and families, she enjoys hiking, gardening, traveling and reading.
Robb serves as the Director of Administration, a role he has held since January, 2006. His primary areas of responsibility include all things related to the fiscal and physical plant operations of the church. He also is the church liaison to the Our Place at Grandview and Christian School programs.
He has been married to Amy since September, 1990 and has three children, Chloe, Jacob, and Zane.
Tanya is a Certified Nurse Assistant and has worked in healthcare since 1993. Her calling has always been working with adults and seniors as well as their caregivers who need that extra helping hand in order to keep some harmony in their lives. Tanya has been the Program Director at Our Place since it opened in 2010. She says that this position seemed like it was meant to be. Tanya has also attended workshops with the Alzheimer’s Association, completed a 32 hour certificate course with NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill), participated and received a certificate for the Asset-Based community Development workshop and most recently completed a 50 hour course for the Professional Non-profit management certificate course.
During her spare time Tanya enjoys gardening and being outside in her yard. She also loves spending time with her family and when she can get away, traveling with her husband.
Linda works at the front desk of the church office on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Her job varies day to day… well actually minute to minute! Her job is definitely people related as she assists the congregation, the staff, the worship team and the community. She loves this job!
Linda taught school for 20 years and when she retired to Durango was gently looking for a ‘people job’. The job in the FUMC office was the perfect fit!
Swimming, walking, cooking, photography and reading fill her non-work hours.
Angie Raulston has served in the church office as secretary for the past 12 years. She looks forward to every day at the office and enjoys providing support for the staff and members of the congregation. Meeting new people each and every day is a joy.
In her time away from the office Angie enjoys being outside in the great outdoors camping, cooking and reading. She is the mother of two grown children, Christopher and Amy.
CJ White has served as the Facilities Manager of the church since April 2010. She is responsible for maintaining all areas of the church property including the building and grounds.
Kathy serves as organist and choir accompanist. Although her degree is in classical piano, she has always adored the sounds of the organ, the vast organ repertoire, and its unique capability to uplift hearts and enhance celebration in worship.
Kathy has been blessed to live in Durango for 40 years. She has run her piano studio, teaching private lessons and playing piano for theater productions, recording sessions, church services, weddings, etc., since 1979. Since 2002 she has worked for the Fort Lewis College Music Department as their piano accompanist. When she’s not practicing for Sunday services or upcoming FLC recitals, Kathy enjoys developing her piano teaching method, Piano Ninja, laughing through her favorite animated movies, and engaging in lively discussions with her three grown children.