Pastors & Staff

Rev.  Patty Johansen

Interim Pastor

Hi! I’m  Rev. Patty Johansen. I get to serve as the Interim Pastor at Pekin First, where love radiates and grace flows. I’m excited about the ways God is calling us to the future and I’m looking forward to meeting you.   “I have a passion about the ministry areas of Discipleship and Spiritual Formation, and Leadership Development. I believe that Christian leaders are always growing in love of God, our neighbors, and ourselves. Spiritual disciplines are a key part of that growth, and need to be practiced both personally and corporately, with intentionality.”
“I am honored to serve Pekin First UMC as your interim pastor!”  

Jarilyn Thomas

Administrative Assistant

Hi! I’m Jarilyn, and I find joy in serving God’s people as the Administrative Assistant. I would love to help find the answers to any questions you have about Pekin First.

Marilyn Everett

Business Manager

Hi, I’m Marilyn.  I am the “numbers person” here, and I love being a part of Pekin First.  I am excited about the great things we are working on for the future of our church.  We would love to have you visit and see if you would like to make Pekin First your church home.  Stop by my office and say hello!

Gina Booth

Communications Director

Hi, I’m Gina and that’s my husband Tim in the photo .  I enjoy using technology to communicate all the exciting things we have going on at Pekin First.  You will often see me taking pictures, recording videos, and operating the computer in the sound booth.  If there is an event or service opportunity you need promoted, let me know how I can help!

Emmy Thies

Children and Family Ministries 

Hi, I’m Emmy! I’ve been blessed to be a part of this church since I was a child. As the Director of Children and Family Ministries, I now get to create fun ways for children to grow their relationships with God. I’m excited to share the message of Jesus and make church a second home for children and their families! Please reach out with any questions you have for me!

Kara Bushong

Youth Ministries Director

Hi, I’m Kara!   I’ve been blessed to be a part of this church since I was a child. As the Youth Group Director, I now get to create fun ways for youth to connect with God and with each other.   If you have a pre-teen or teen that would be interested in joining our group we always welcome new youth.  Send me an email!

Eric Wrigley 

Contemporary Worship Leader

Hi! I’m Eric and that’s my wife Brittany.  I have always had a passion for music, and I love creating contemporary worship experiences that people can connect with and feel the presence of the holy spirit.  Feel free to reach out to me anytime.  I love meeting new people.

Tyler Bishop

Choir Director

Hi! I’m Tyler!  I’m the Choir Director/Comedian at Pekin First. ; )  I love music, having fun, and I am blessed to be able to be a part of this church.  I have met so many wonderful people.  If you have an interest in trying our vocal choir or bell choir, contact me!

Jaymee Lee

Nursery Care

Hi, I’m Jamie.  I enjoy teaching the little people of the church!  We play games, do crafts, and learn about Jesus.  I am always excited to see new faces in the nursery.  If you have a child under the age of 5 you can bring them to me while you worship!

Josh Hafliger

Online Ministries Director

I’m so blessed to get to serve as the Director of Online Ministries. I have been a part of the Media Team for many years, and in 2021 God called me to take a step forward in my faith and serve with this wonderful staff. Taking on this new position and helping connect people with the life giving power of Jesus has been great in my personal faith journey. If I can help in anyway with your faith journey please feel free to contact me!