Upcoming Events

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Go to Thanks Living

Thanks Living

LIVE your THANKS this holiday season by sharing the blessings you have received with others. Click the image above for lots of great ideas for the season and beyond.

Go to Advent Festival at First

Advent Festival at First

West Campus holiday festival, with a Chili Cook-off, Hot Cocoa, Impressing Children’s Choir, Cookies, Kids Crafts and Decorating Opportunities. December 1st 12:00 pm,

Go to Holy Vaudeville!

Holy Vaudeville!

A night of fun and entertainment to support youth missions
West Campus Celebration Center Saturday December 7th 6:00 pm

About First Church

Our Mission is to connect and empower people for living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We are a community of believers whose faith has been formed through reason, experience, scripture, and tradition. We are a diverse group with the common goal to connect and empower people to live out the Gospel of Jesus.

Believing that all people are unique and beloved children of God, Lawrence First United Methodist Church affirms that all persons, without exception, are welcome to participate fully in the life of our congregation.

First United Methodist Church is a part of the Reconciling Ministries Network, and we stand in solidarity with LGBTQ individuals.

The First Church Team

Rev. Tom Brady

Senior Pastor
I have been at First Church since February of 2006. In my free time, I enjoy watching and playing sports. I prefer emailing over texting and my favorite part of my job is meeting new people and talking to them about what they believe.

Rev. Jeni Anderson

West Campus Lead Pastor
I came to First Church in July 2019. I love discovering how our own stories intersect with God’s sacred story & all the new, & unconventional ways Jesus is working in the world! I love all kinds of music & get some of my greatest joy from laughter shared with my husband & three adult sons. FYI–you are known and loved.

Sara Wentz

Minister of Music
I’ve been a staff member at First Church for 17 years. It is a great joy!

Morgan Harrison

Director of West Campus Worship
I joined the First Church staff part time in July 2016 & came on full time after I graduated from KU in 2014. I majored in history & communications but my true passion is music. In August 2018, I started the Impressing Children’s Choir, which performs at the church & in the community. I also lead the West Campus Worship band & play guitar.

Linda Edman

Office Manager
I began working at FUMC in 2014 but I have been a member since 1977. My husband, Don & I were married in this church in 1989 & we have 2 children, Michael & Morgan. My husband & I graduated from KU. The best part of my job is the joy of interacting every day with church members & a great staff to assist with all the missions of FUMC.

Deb Rukes

Administrative Assistant
Deb joined the First Church administrative team in February 2019. She is a lifelong UMC member. Deb opened Lawrence’s first Fair Trade store, Kretyen, where she met many First UMC friends. She has volunteered with the Honduras Mission team, Family Promise & VBS. Stop by the office & say Hi!

Kristy Teska

Financial Manager
I joined the staff at FUMC in the fall of 2015. I grew up in Lawrence and rural Franklin County and attended KU for both my undergraduate and masters degrees. My husband, David, and I have two children and stay busy keeping up with their activities. I have several creative hobbies and enjoy spending time with my family.

Marc Ridenour

Facilities Coordinator
Marc was born in central Florida and moved to the midwest in Junior High. He was a biology major in college, but found his passion in healing buildings instead of people. After selling his remodeling business, he was called to use his skills at First Church. Marc has two sons, one granddaughter, loves to cook and play worship music.

Laurie Kallenbach

Director of Congregational Care
I joined the staff in October 2014, however my husband, Loren, & I have been members for over 20 years. We met at KU & have lived in Lawrence most of our adult lives. Our sons, Josh & Jake, keep us busy with Scouting, youth & sports events. A favorite family activity is curling up with our 4 basset hounds & rooting for the Jayhawks.

Susan Mercer

Director of KU Campus Ministries
I grew up in rural Illinois but Lawrence & First Church have been my home for over 20 years. I joined the First Church staff in 2016, after a 20-year career at KU. My husband, Jack, & I have two adult children, Chloe & Jackson. My passions are helping others discover who God is calling them to be, building teams, & creating new things.

Tami Clark

Director of Youth Ministry tami@fumclawrence.org
I was called to youth ministry as a teenager & began volunteering as a young adult leader at 19. My second passion is art ministry. At First Church, I work in both, as the Director of Youth Ministry since 2007 & as the coordinator of the after school arts program called the Art Cafe. My family & I have been members since 1994.

Eve Loos

Preschool Director

John Oliver


Tandy Reussner

Organist, Downtown www.tandyreussner.com
I joined the staff in September 2019. My husband, Lee and I are KU alumni and moved back to Lawrence in 1994 to raise our two daughters, Liesel and Hannah. My annual community Christmas concert has been held at First Church since 2011, and it is an honor to now play this organ every Sunday and worship with wonderful people! When I am not practicing the organ, I am co-hosting a weekly women’s Bible Study, watching sports, visiting with others, writing, gardening, sewing, cooking, painting, and reading. Life is very full! My favorite phrase right now is “Love deeply; hold lightly.”

Cindy Nelson

Media Manager
Miss Cindy has been a member of the First Church staff since 2014. She began as the Director of Children’s Ministries. She loves kids of all ages, is a devoted UMW member, loves to laugh and loves her new job as Media Manager.

Questions about First Church?

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