Learn more about each of our staff members by clicking on their name.
Rhonda Alessio, Administrative Specialist
Rhonda joined the staff in January 2007 as Membership Secretary/Office Assistant. Her responsibilities include answering phones, greeting visitors to the church office as well as tracking of births, baptisms, marital status, deaths, membership transfers and any individual information changes. She also processes information for New Member Classes and Worship Attendance.
Rhonda has two children, Max and Ryan.
Jacque Coulson, Director of Care and Connection
In February 2011, Jacque's position changed as the responsibilities of lay ministry oversight and the caring and health ministry areas were combined.Jacque is the staff liaison for the Connection Cluster and the Christian Care Cluster. Jacque started her AFUMC career in August 2000 as the part-time Director of Lay Ministry. In January of 2005, she became Director of Adult Ministry which oversaw lay ministry volunteers as well as adult classes and small groups.
Jacque has an undergraduate degree from Iowa State University, a graduate degree from Drake University, post-graduate credits from the University of Iowa and DMACC, so she can cheer for any of the sports teams with enthusiasm. She worked in health care for 25 years and is a trained Stephen Minister.
She has a daughter, Krista living in the Chicago area. Jacque's passion is helping people get connected in the church and community through caring ministry and service. You won't be a stranger for long if you let Jacque introduce you to the many opportunities to be involved!
Pat Crownover, Director of Children's Ministry
Pat joined the staff at Ankeny First United Methodist Church in June, 2004. She previously served as Director of Christian Education in several United Methodist churches in the North Texas, Oklahoma, and Iowa Conferences. She received her undergraduate degree from Morningside College, Elementary & Middle School Education Degree and Certification from Dakota State University, and pursued a MTh Degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
Pat has three children Michael, Kimberly, and Matthew.
Lindsay Drake, Director of Small Group Ministry & Evangelism
Lindsay joined the team of staff at Ankeny First United Methodist Church in November 2013 as the Director of Small Group Ministries. Small groups are a vital part of the life of the church, and Lindsay would love to help you find a group. Various small groups include Financial Peace University, Alpha, Disciple, and Covenant Bible Study.
Lindsay is a lifelong Methodist and has a deep passion for the church. Beyond Lindsay’s involvement in Small Group Ministries, you can often find her singing with a group or volunteering on various committees at the local church level, as well as the conference level. Her family includes her husband, Travis, and three children, Benjamin, Annabelle and Elizabeth.
Steve Fravel, Property Manager
Steve joined the staff in November 2016 as our part-time Video Specialist and Uptown Audio Specialist, and added to his role in March 2017 as our Property Manager as well! Steve comes to us with a long history working in the telecommunications industry. Beginning in radio in high school, television after college and changing to the telephone business mid career. Steve additionally comes with many administrative and practical talents that he puts to use in the ministry of overseeing the care of our buildings as well. Steve and his wife Dawn are members at Ankeny First and live in Ankeny. They have four children and five grandchildren.
Cindy Lorius, Financial Assistant
Cindy Lorius joined us as our Financial Assistant in December 2016. She is a native of Southeastern Minnesota. She moved from Northeastern Iowa to Altoona in 2010. She is the proud mom of two daughters and a loving grandparent of four grandchildren. Cindy’s greatest joy comes from an ever growing and transforming relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ. She has been a member of the United Methodist Church for most of her life.
The majority of Cindy’s career life has been working in the financial industry. She has a huge passion for helping others. When not working, her favorite activities include anything outdoors and especially time with her Australian Shepherd “Shep”; spending time on the farm with her best friend, TJ and his family; and driving to Southeastern Minnesota to spoil her grandchildren.
Cindy will tell you that there would be no better way to describe her life than “I am truly Blessed Beyond Measure.”
Charity McEvoy, Director of Communications
Charity joined the staff in July 2010 as our Communications Assistant, but the role has evolved into a full time position of Director of Communications. Charity's responsibilities include publishing our weekly bulletins, bi-monthly newsletter, and other print and electronic and social communication.
Charity has a BA in Public Relations from UNI. She and her husband Clay live in Ankeny and have twin daughters, Lauren and Emma.
Marcie Mulford, Ministry Support Specialist and Education Assistant
Marcie joined the AFUMC team in September of 2012. Her main responsibilities include coordinating Sunday School, CLC scheduling, Arena support, and sports ministry support.
Marcie graduated from Northwest Missouri State with a Bachelors Degree in Business Management. She and her husband, Jason, live in Ankeny and have four children, Kyle, Tara, Autumn, and Ella.
Drew Saforek, Director of Youth Ministry
Drew began his employment at Ankeny First in August 2016. Drew was a volunteer in our youth programs and a member of our church community for eight years prior to beginning employment. It was during his time volunteering that he met his wife Kirsten who was also helping out with the programs. The couple have a daughter Kaydyn.
Drew grew up in the small farming town of Wayland in southeast Iowa. He attended Iowa State University where he received his bachelors in Kinesiology and Health.
Traci Schermerhorn, Director of Sports Ministry
Traci joined the AFUMC team in March of 2010. In September of 2012, she accepted the role of director of Sports Ministry. Traci is responsible for the visioning and development of our sports, recreation, and fitness ministries. She works part-time at the Christian Life Center.
Traci graduated from Bradley University in Peoria, IL with a Bachelors Degree in Business Management/Human Resources. Her husband, Kevin works for Pekin Insurance in Ankeny. They have two sons, Tyler and AJ.
Cinnamon Stroud, Office Assistant
Alicia Ver Huel, Financial Officer
Alicia joined our staff in October 2015. She comes to us well qualified with a Business Finance/Accounting degree from Iowa State, and a Master's degree in Accounting with a government and non-profit spcialization from Kaplan University.
Since moving to Ankeny in 2008, Alicia and her family have been attending worship at Ankeny First, and she formally joined the church with her husband in May 2013. She and her family have been active with Agape Garden, serving meals at [email protected], and various other service projects.
Alicia and her husband Craig have one daughter, Annabelle.
Amity Wagner, Associate Director of Worship
Amity join the staff at Ankeny First in 2015. As Associate Director of Worship, her responsibilities include planning contemporary worship across our three worship sites. Amity has been leading worship at Ankeny First since she began attending the church in 2002. She has a degree in music education and music therapy from Wartburg College. Amity is married to John Wagner, Associate Pastor at Ankeny First, and they have two children, Gabe and Landry.
Melody Webb, Director of Worship Ministry
Melody joined our staff in June 2010. She graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Music Education in Vocal/Choral Music. She and her husband, Thomas had been singing together in Chancel Choirs for 12 years in churches in Mississippi and Missouri where she was also involved in directing various aspects of church choral music, including children, youth and adult choirs. They, along with their three children, moved to Iowa in 2008, and all enjoy using their musical talents to support the music ministry of the church.