The Rev. Dr. Stephen M. Cady II
(585) 271-1050 x117
More About Stephen
Stephen joined the pastoral staff at Asbury First in July 2012. He became Asbury First's senior minister on July 1, 2015. Prior to his appointment at AFUMC, he was the minister of Kingston United Methodist Church in Kingston, NJ. During Stephen’s tenure, Kingston UMC was designated as a teaching congregation for young adults in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference. Prior to serving Kingston UMC, Stephen served for four years as the associate minister of Park Ridge Community Church in Park Ridge, IL.
Stephen received his PhD in Practical Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. His particular research is youth and young adult faith formation, particularly in the area of worship. His dissertation was titled: Creative Encounters: Toward a Theology of Magnitude for worship with United Methodist Youth. Stephen has been named a Timothy Scholar by the United Methodist Foundation for Evangelism, was twice the recipient of a Dempster Fellowship through the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, and is a John Wesley Fellow. He attended seminary at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary on the campus of Northwestern University and currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.
Stephen grew up in Olathe, KS and attended Ohio Wesleyan University (Delaware, OH) where he received a BA in Theatre. He was active on the stage and in commercials prior to entering seminary. Stephen and his wife, Emily, have three children, Ellie, Charlie and Hannah. Stephen enjoys running, collecting Superman memorabilia, and teaching people how to yo-yo.
Favorite Scripture Verse – John 10:10b
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
The Rev. Kathy Thiel
Minister for Congregational Care
More About Kathy
Kathy joined the Asbury First staff in July 2015, but she is no stranger to the congregation. From 2012-2014, she served at AFUMC as a student intern while earning her master of divinity degree at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (CRCDS), and later as a visitation minister. From 2014 to July 2015, Kathy participated in a clinical pastoral education residency program at St. Mary's Hospital in San Francisco, CA., where she provided spiritual and emotional care to patients, families, and staff.
A native of New Jersey, Kathy received her undergraduate degree from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, with an interdisciplinary concentration in psychology, religion, and literature. From 1995 to 2010 she was the founding owner, manager, and field technician for Valley Environmental Services, an environmental consulting firm in Greenfield, MA. She has also served as a chaplain intern at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. In her spare time, Kathy raises and breeds guinea pigs.
Favorite Scripture Verse – John 1:1-5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
The Rev. Jacqueline Nelson
Minister for Outreach
Jackie received both a Master of Divinity (2016) and Master of Theology (2017) from Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS). Upon graduation, Jackie received a Certificate in Black Church Studies, a Certificate in Women, Theology & Gender, and the 2016 Bryant M. Kirkland Award for Excellence in Practical Theology. During her tenure at PTS, Jackie served as Moderator for the Association of Black Seminarians and completed a senior thesis titled: Unmasking the Mask: The Deconstruction and Death of the Strong Black Woman & Reconstruction of a Theology of Vulnerability and Authenticity. Jackie is a native of Teaneck, New Jersey, and attended Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey where she received a BA in Africana Studies. Jackie enjoys long walks, dancing and sleeping in her spare time. Favorite Scripture Verse – Jeremiah 29:11
More About Jackie Jackie joined the Asbury First staff in August 2017. Prior to her arrival at Asbury First, she served as an Associate Minister at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Hackensack, NJ. From 2014-2015, while pursuing her academic studies, Jackie participated in field education opportunities as a student pastoral intern to the First Baptist Church of Princeton, NJ and Hope Presbyterian Church of Memphis, TN.
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jackie received both a Master of Divinity (2016) and Master of Theology (2017) from Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS). Upon graduation, Jackie received a Certificate in Black Church Studies, a Certificate in Women, Theology & Gender, and the 2016 Bryant M. Kirkland Award for Excellence in Practical Theology. During her tenure at PTS, Jackie served as Moderator for the Association of Black Seminarians and completed a senior thesis titled: Unmasking the Mask: The Deconstruction and Death of the Strong Black Woman & Reconstruction of a Theology of Vulnerability and Authenticity.
Jackie is a native of Teaneck, New Jersey, and attended Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey where she received a BA in Africana Studies. Jackie enjoys long walks, dancing and sleeping in her spare time.
Favorite Scripture Verse – Jeremiah 29:11
Minister for Discipleship and Youth
(585) 271-1050 x105
More About MikeMike is in charge of our youth ministry program. He arrived at Asbury First in August 2013. Mike is from Pittsburgh and most recently served as director of youth ministries at Countryside Community Church in Omaha, Nebraska. Mike received a B.A. in Christian Education and Music (percussion) at Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA, and has completed coursework toward his master's degree in theology at Creighton University in Omaha. He is an Eagle Scout, and loves the outdoors, having worked as a ropes course constructor, inspector, and trainer with Griffin Adventures. He loves white water kayaking, rock climbing, spelunking, and international mission trips. Mike met his wife, Nadia, in college, and in February of 2013, they welcomed their son Caleb into the world.
Favorite Scripture Verse – 2 Timothy 1:7
...for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.
MINISTRY & ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF
Children's Ministry Assistant; Director of Children’s Music
(585) 271-1050 x111
More About HollyHolly is excited to join the Asbury Children's Ministry staff in the Fall of 2015. She grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma and received her bachelor of music degree in vocal performance from Oklahoma City University. She has taught private voice and piano, worked in healthcare management, and been a stay-at-home mom. She is a past member of Syracuse Vocal Ensemble, Madrigalia, and the Rochester Oratorio Society, and has been an ensemble member with Syracuse Opera.
Holly and her husband, Ryan, have attended Asbury since 2013 and have one daughter, Sophia, and a son named Harper. Holly enjoys choral music, cooking, yoga and being with children. She is so thankful for the opportunity to share God's love and joy with children at Asbury First.
Favorite Scripture – 1 Peter 4:8
Above all, love each other deeply because love covers a multitude of sins.
Director of Children’s Ministry
(585) 271-1050 x111
More About PaulaPaula and her family have been members of Asbury First UMC since 1991. As her family grew, so did her role in children’s ministry. In 2008, Paula assumed a leadership role and has helped grow the program to what it is today.
Paula is the mother of four children and brings that motherly love and enthusiasm to all the children at Asbury First. Her educational background is in music therapy at Nazareth College. She is dedicated to both children and families and hopes to provide a loving and nurturing environment to both.
Paula’s goals at Asbury First are to provide a solid Christian education, support and encouragement, and fun family fellowship for all.
Favorite Scripture – Psalm 100 v 1-6
Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him And praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
Church Administrator; Assistant Organist
(585) 271-1050 x110
More About DavidAsbury First’s assistant organist since 1987, David took on an additional role as Music Administrator in 2010, and as Church Administrator in 2017.
David retired from the University of Rochester (UR) in 2016, after holding staff and leadership positions throughout the UR and at Cornell University. He held positions as vice chair for administration in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UR Medicine, senior associate dean for administration and finance at the Eastman School of Music, associate director for administration at UR Medicine’s Wilmot Cancer Institute, assistant director of administrative information systems in UR central administration, and associate dean for business affairs at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. David holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Ithaca College and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Rochester. He holds a master's degree in health systems administration and organizational development from Rochester Institute of Technology. He has served as a board member and treasurer for the Westfield Center for Early Keyboard Studies, Inc. and is a member of the American Guild of Organists (AGO). David and his wife Jeanne have two daughters, Mackenzie and Jacqueline. In his spare time, he likes to ski, travel, jog, cook, attend services at Saint Thomas Church in Manhattan and listen to jazz.
Favorite scripture – Colossians 2:6-7
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing in thankfulness.
More About DuaneDuane joined the Asbury First music staff in the fall of 1996. Prior to Asbury First, he served as director of music at Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Transfiguration in Rochester. Duane earned his master of music degree as a scholarship student in organ performance from Eastman School of Music and his bachelor of music degree summa cum laude from Ohio Wesleyan University. Post-graduate studies were with David Craighead. In addition to enjoying an active church music career, Duane is tonal director for Parsons Pipe Organ Builders, Canandaigua, N.Y., where he is responsible for scaling, voicing, and tonal finishing their instruments. He is a colleague member of the American Institute of Organbuilders, where he has served as vice-president. He has also been dean and sub dean of the Rochester Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and is a member of the Organ Historical Society and the Rochester Theatre Organ Society. His compact disc titled, "Celebrate!" featured music for two trumpets and organ. Duane has also served as organist for the Rochester Oratorio Society, as well as for ensembles including Madrigalia and Concentus, accompanying concerts both locally and abroad.
Favorite Scripture – Romans 8:28
All things to work together for good to those who love the Lord, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Director of Dining and Caring Center
More About MicheleMichele joined the Dining Center as its Executive Director in 2009. She has more than 30 years as a social work professional and a lifelong love of helping people. Michele brings great depth and enthusiasm to her work. Before joining us, Michele served as a Social Worker at the Salvation Army, the Volunteer Coordinator for Meals on Wheels, and, in South Carolina as the Director of a crisis center.
Favorite scripture – Ephesians 4:2
Be completely humble and gentle; bearing with one another in love.
(585) 271-1050 x108
More About DickDick joined Asbury First as the financial administrator in February 2006. Prior to coming to Asbury First, he was employed by Eastman Kodak, working in various corporate financial positions at Kodak Office. Dick majored in accounting at Penn State and received an MBA at RIT.
Dick is married to Sandy, who is the parish administrator at Reformation Lutheran Church. They have two children, Jennifer and Scott. Sandy and Dick both enjoy singing in their church choirs, the Finger Lakes Choral Festival, the Eastman-Rochester Chorus and the Rochester Oratorio Society. They are both on the board of Community Lutheran Ministry for youth on Joseph Avenue and volunteer for Camp Joy, a weeklong camp for developmentally disabled adults held at the Rotary Sunshine Campus.
Favorite Scripture – Micah 6:8b
... and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Director of Youth Music
More About CarolCarol joined the Asbury First music staff in August 2014. She is the director of the youth music program, which includes directing the youth bells, youth choir and musical. Prior to Asbury first, she served as the director of music at Faith UMC in Henrietta. She holds a Bachelor of Science in education with a specialization in music from SUNY Fredonia and a master's degree in interdisciplinary arts for children from SUNY Brockport.
She is a vocal music teacher in the Rush Henrietta Central School district at Roth Middle School where she conducts two choirs, teaches string lessons, keyboard classes and general music. In addition to her teaching assignment, she directs the fall theatrical productions and the spring musicals. Carol and her husband, Tim, are members of Asbury First and have three children, Emily, Allie and Joe. In her spare time, Carol enjoys card making, spending time at the beach, rooting for the New York Yankees and cheering on Allie and Joe in their high school sporting events.
Favorite scripture – Psalm 98:4
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.
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More About MelodyMelody has been a member of AFUMC since 1999 and began working here in 2001. Melody is responsible for keeping things running smoothly during the week at Asbury First. She has been married to Phil for 40 years and has three children (Lynn, Becky, and Christopher) and four grandchildren (Matthew, Emma, Joshua, and Kate). She likes to spend time at home relaxing with her cats, Abigail and Noa, and quilting.
Favorite scripture – Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Dr. Lawrence Dugan
Director of Youth Theater
More About LarryLarry has been working with youth and directing theater in the Rochester area since 1978. In 1986, he joined the staff at Brighton High School as artistic director. He has also directed for numerous local theater companies and school districts in the role of both artistic and music director/conductor.
Director of Bell Choirs; Director of Asbury Ringers
More About ElizabethElizabeth grew up in a family that celebrated life's moments through music. She joined Asbury First in 1968 when her family moved to Rochester from the Midwest. A member of the youth handbell choir in the '70s, she traveled to Poland and New England with them to perform. After receiving her bachelor of music degree from DePauw University, she became director of the youth handbell choir for seven years. She has sung with the sanctuary choir and is a member of the Asbury Singers. In her role as director of the Asbury Ringers, she works closely with the music staff to choose musical offerings for worship services, as well as planning and conducting weekly rehearsals. She and her husband Rick have two children, Mary and Johnny—all of whom are active members of Asbury First.
Favorite Scripture: Micah 6:8
"And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
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More About SarahSarah joined Asbury First as the Communications Coordinator in January of 2019. Originally from northeast Texas, Sarah started out with a journalism degree from Texas Christian University. She worked for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and The Dallas Morning News as a graphic designer for about 9 years combined and enjoyed informing the community about local news and entertainment.
Sarah and her husband, Jeff, moved to Birmingham, UK for a few years, where she worked as a graphic designer for the University of Birmingham. In her time there, she developed broader-ranging marketing skills and worked on branding, signage, e-blasts and more to promote ongoing projects, research and courses at the university.
Sarah now calls Rochester her home and really enjoys the cold weather and snow. She loves museums and delights in exploring new places and taking copious photographs. She is also happy hanging out at home watching movies and shows with her husband and friends.
Favorite Scripture – Ecclesiastes 3:12-13
I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.
Administrative Assistant to the Senior Pastor
(585) 271-1050 x117
Favorite Scripture – 1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.
More About Deb Deb has been a member of AFUMC since 2001 and has enjoyed playing handbells with the Asbury Ringers for many years. Before coming to Asbury First, Deb worked as an IT consultant and trainer, and as general manager for two small companies. She grew up in Newark, NY, but has lived in the South Wedge neighborhood in Rochester for over 20 years with her spouse, Melissa. In her spare time, Deb enjoys walking, knitting, sewing, quilting, and spending time with family.
Favorite Scripture – 1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Dr. Carl Johengen
Director of Music Ministry
(585) 271-1050 x134
More About CarlCarl has earned a reputation of excellence as a conductor, voice teacher, singer, and composer. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music, as well as Bachelor and Master of Music from the Ithaca College School of Music. Prior to joining the AFUMC Staff full time in 2019, Carl served as Interim Director of the Sanctuary Choir and was a member of the Ithaca College School of Music faculty. Other past positions include Music Director of the Cayuga Vocal Ensemble, Ithaca’s elite a cappella chamber chorus, and Co-Minister of Music of St. Thomas' Episcopal Church in Bath. He is passionate about the role of music in worship, loves to nurture congregational singing, and particularly enjoys helping choirs achieve expressive and artistic communication.
Favorite Scripture Verse – Romans 8:38-39
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
More About JamesJames has been in property care management since 2011 and has been with Asbury First since 2015. He worked in construction and building trades since 1988. James has one son, Connor, who is a chef in Santa Rosa, California.
More About JimJim arrived in Rochester, NY in the 1980s and has been working at a variety of jobs ever since. For nearly three of the past years, he has worked as a Sexton as Asbury First. When not working around our campus grounds, Jim loves spending his time reading.
More About LonnieLonnie joined the Asbury First staff in 2014 as a sexton. He is a Vietnam/Desert Storm Veteran who retired from General Motors after 30 years as a supervisor. After his retirement (which was short-lived), he sought employment as a Security Officer. Lonnie has worked security detail in several locations around the city of Rochester and has maintained his NY State-issued Security Guard license. He has completed several in-service training programs and many certificate programs in Building Maintenance.
Lonnie has always enjoyed working around churches. He spent years volunteering at his wife's church and the church he grew up in. Finding employment at Asbury First gave him the opportunity to use his building maintenance skills.
When Lonnie is not at Asbury First, he can still be found volunteering around his wife's church or the church he grew up in in the city. He has been married to his wife Myrtle for more than 45 years and they have one daughter, Tanya, who is married and lives in Charlotte, NC. To God be the Glory!
Favorite Scripture – Proverbs 13:20
"Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble."