Ed Whipple, Youth Pastor
Ed Whipple comes to FUMC Allen from St. Louis, Missouri, where he served as Teaching Pastor of Modern Worship and Missions Director. Ed has served as Youth Pastor in both the Texas Conference and North Texas Conference in youth groups from 7 to 350 students. He has directed mission trips (locally and internationally), camps, retreats, and various events. He has been involved in Youth Specialties, U.M. Army, JUMMP, Big House, Mountain Top, A.S.P., Young Life, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Lakeview Christian Camp, Bridgeport Camp, Sky Ranch, Epworth Services, Kingdom House, Mission Waco, and much more.
Ed has been serving in student ministry since 1991 and is excited to start his twenty-fifth year of ministry with FUMC Allen. Ed graduated from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. He is close to completing his Masters of Theological Studies from St. Thomas University. His philosophy is based on I Corinthians 11:1 “Model Christ love. So others can experience the love of Christ.”
Mary Freeman spent her childhood in Connecticut and moved to Orlando, Florida, as a teenager. There, she met her husband Greg, who had moved there from Alabama.Greg and Mary have been married 22 years and have three daughters: Angela, Alyssa, and Ashley. Mary earned her B.S. in education from the University of Central Florida in 1989. She taught preschool until she became the director of children’s ministries at University Carillon UMC in Oveido, Florida.She worked in that position for 12 years before joining our staff, where her goal for our children’s program is to outgrow the space in the West Children’s Wing.
While working in Florida, she learned that if dads are involved in children’s ministry, their sons will participate. “Don’t be afraid guys! No teaching experience is necessary,” she says. According to Mary, while dads make good teachers, dads are also a vital part in children’s ministry in just providing crowd control. She also enjoys water sports, such as boating and jet skiing, as well as hiking and camping. Mary’s favorite thing she loves about Texas is the people. Mary’s shares one of her favorite expressions, which she heard in a sermon in Florida:”Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.’ Don’t be lukewarm.”
Susanne Means grew up in Houston, TX, and earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas in Austin. After moving to Ft. Collins, Colorado, she earned her teaching certificate from Colorado State University. She returned to Texas where she met her husband, Mark. They have been married 18 years and have two sons, Cameron and Matthew. She worked as a special education teacher in Allen for 14 years and now works for the Collin County Tax Assessor in Plano.
Susan Hale has served as the Director of Welcoming Ministries since October of 2010. Her favorite part of the job is greeting everyone who worships on Sunday mornings. She also enjoys helping people find a place to serve and a small group to get involved with. She believes getting involved is the best way to truly become a part of the church family and she is excited about helping people do that. Susan grew up in Virginia Beach, VA.
She earned her B.A. in English from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. Susan and her husband, Jason, have three sons: Erik, Lucas and Adam. They have lived in Allen since 2006. Her hobbies include reading, cooking, baking and traveling. Her favorite scripture is Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Terry began playing preludes and offertories for church at age 9 in Urich, MO. With music as her gift, she began playing the church organ as a teenager and studied organ in college. She earned her BS in Spanish with a minor in English.Terry and Ron married in 1972 and have three grown children; one child born for each location lived: Germany, Virginia, and Washington State. Son Chris and wife Caryn have a daughter, Natalie and a son, Ryan; daughter Anne and husband Eric Hanson have a son, Asher, and daughter Madeline; and daughter Ellen and husband, Heith Benzine have two sons, Ryder and Paxton. Terry has been playing the piano and organ for FUMC since 1983 and has been interim Director of Music several times. She presently holds the position of Associate Director of Music/Organist and plays for our three worship services. Terry also accompanies the Resonate Praise Team, Chancel Choir, and DayBreak Choir. When not making music at church, Terry enjoys reading and spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren.
Dawn Horton has grown up with FUMC Allen as an integral part of her life. Her parents, Chuck and Ada Williams, are long term members, and she and Scott were married in 2002 in our sanctuary. They are the parents of daughter Hannah. Dawn began leading the Praise Team with her husband, Scott, in 2003 and enjoys being able to share her love of music with Scott, as they plan music and lead rehearsals together. She’d love to see our contemporary worship become even more dynamic and spirit-led, but mostly, she treasures seeing the congregation worshiping and is often touched by the response of the congregation in worship—she has a great vantage point from the platform! Dawn began singing with the Praise Team 16 years ago as a summer substitute while she attended college at the University of Texas at Austin. There she earned her BS in Elementary Education (1997), minoring in music. After graduating, Dawn began teaching music at Rountree Elementary. She earned her MS in counseling from Texas A&M Commerce in 2000, and enjoyed being the school counselor at Green Elementary for seven years. In addition to the leading the Praise Team, Dawn is also on the Playday Board of Directors and led Day Camp last summer in its 25th year at her parents farm in Fairview. Her other interests include playing piano, scrapbooking and traveling. Her favorite scripture is Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Jenn and her husband Barry are originally from California and moved to Allen in May of 1999. FUMC Allen was the first church that they visited and decided to join the church that year in October. They have two children in high school named Ian and Breanne. Jenn earned a Bachelors of Science in Biology from UC Irvine in 1993 and a MBA from Woodbury University in 1995. Being part of the church and volunteering to teach Sunday School inspired Jenn to become a teacher, so she went back to school and earned her teaching certificate from Collin College in 2010. In addition to being the Nursery Coordinator, Jenn teaches Pre-k at Children’s Creative Playday.
April Kwan, Youth Administrative Assistant
April grew up in a small town in Arkansas. She attended Texarkana College and the Court Reporting Institute of Dallas. In addition to working in our Youth Department, April is a 3s teacher at Children’s Creative Playday. She and her husband Ed have been Allen residents since 2004. They have two children, Ella and Samuel.
Trish Morehead, Children’s Ministry Assistant
Trish received her Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Early Childhood Education and English from the University of North Texas. She taught kindergarten for Lewisville ISD before becoming a full time homemaker. Trish has remained active as a school advocate, working with teachers and school administrators on several Allen ISD committees as a community partner. Trish also served for 10 years on the PTA board at Boyd Elementary, four of those years as president, and on the Allen ISD PTA Council. Trish trained and worked as a Children’s Leader for four years through Bible Study Fellowship. She has enjoyed teaching Sunday school and has served in several leadership roles at church before becoming the Children’s Ministry Assistant.
Trish and her husband, Rod, have two beautiful children, Patrick and Jillian. Trish delights in Bible study, writing devotionals, finding thrift store treasures, fellowship with her family, and laughing with her friends.
Although he was born in Chicago, Illinois (“GO Blackhawks!”), Greg moved to Texas as quickly as he could. He was raised in Allen and is a graduate of Allen High School. From there, he went on to get his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Texas at Dallas. Greg spent two years as the Upward Sports Coordinator at FUMC Allen. He is passionate about children’s sports and providing an opportunity for children to play in a stress-free environment where they can focus on player development and having fun in a Christ-like atmosphere with an emphasis on good sportsmanship. He believes very passionately in the Upward sports motto: “Every child is a winner.” Greg is also very excited to be a part of a ministry that focuses on relationship building and transcends the typical demographics of a community. He believes that a sports field or exercise class can serve as a great equalizer, bringing together people from all walks of life. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13
Ruth Swingle, Caring & Support Coordinator
Ruth Swingle is the Caring and Support Coordinator for FUMC Allen. She is a trained Stephen Minister and Stephen Leader. She has been a member of our church for six years and a Methodist all her life. A daughter of a church secretary, Ruth learned at an early age the importance being active in a church. Ruth and her husband, Dennie, have moved more than ten times, and every time, the church became the starting point to build relationships and community. You may find her singing in the choir or facilitating a Sunday school class. At home, she is kept busy with a horse, two donkeys, two cats, and a very active golden doodle. Ruth and Dennie have three daughters, and they enjoy being with family, friends, and their six grandchildren.