The members of our staff want to get to know you and partner with you to make a difference in the world.

Rev. David “Dave” Bracht-Wagner

Senior Pastor
pastordave@fumcmtp.org

At First United Methodist Church, we strive to make a difference in someone’s life every day. That difference can be a little thing like offering a smile or holding open a door or it could be a big thing like helping them know the love of God and the salvation that comes from having Jesus Christ as their savior. I, along with the members of First UMC, try to be authentic: What you see, is what you get. We are a group of sinners that God is using to make saints.

My wife and I were married in 1999 and we are both United Methodist pastors. We met in seminary at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, MO. Our family consists of our 3 children: Sarah, Christian, and Malachi; and our black lab, Echo. I enjoy time with my family, riding bicycles, and hunting.

My favorite Bible verses are Joshua 1:9closeJoshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (ESV) closeJoshua 1:9closeJoshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (ESV) “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (ESV) “Be bold, be strong, for the Lord your God is with you.” and John 11:35closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST'closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST' “Jesus wept.” It is the shortest verse in the Bible, but it is so, so powerful in expressing the love of God toward us, for us, with us.

I love to sing hymns and I enjoy learning and sharing the stories behind them.
If I have to pick one, “The Anniversary Day of One’s Conversion” comes to mind. Written by Charles Wesley it had 21 verses, 18 are printed on page 58 of the United Methodist Hymnal and 7 of those verses are used for the hymn “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing”.

Pastor Luann Benge

benge-luann nAssociate Pastor
pastor.luann@fumcmtp.org

I believe that we experience God in many ways. Our relationship with God is personal and yet that relationship inspires us to reach out and connect with others. My desire is to assist others in deepening their relationship with God as well as their connection to others through prayer, ministry, and service.

I am a graduate of Iowa Wesleyan University with a degree in Christian Studies. I am currently pursuing a Master of Divinity degree through Asbury Theological Seminary, which I began in September 2016. My husband, Carl, and I live in Morning Sun with our daughters, Sarah and Lydia. We enjoy going on bike rides, playing in the park, going to the movies, and just spending time with each other.

My favorite Bible verse is Isaiah 41:10closeIsaiah 41:10 10 fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (ESV)
closeIsaiah 41:10closeIsaiah 41:10 10 fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (ESV)
10 fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (ESV)
and my favorite hymns are “Gift of Love” and “My Tribute.”

Debbie Carlson

Finance and Membership Coordinator
debbie.carlson@fumcmtp.org

Debi Ann Roederer

Pastoral Administrative Assistant
office.admin@fumcmtp.org

Beth Walker

Pastoral Administrative Assistant
office.admin@fumcmtp.org

I went to college at MidAmerican Nazarene University in Olathe, KS. Majored in Religion and became a youth pastor working for my home church in Burlington, IA. I also worked in rehabilitation (PT/OT/ST) for 20 years.

I married a wonderful man in 2001, and have 3 beautiful daughters, one gift from birth and 2 extra blessings through marriage. I have 3 beautiful grandchildren whom I absolutely adore!

I love my job! Working with my co-workers and the people of First United Methodist, what a blessing!

My favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST'closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST' and my favorite hymn is “It Is Well with My Soul”

Robert Luth

Robert LuthCustodian

I am the Minister of Maintenance and the Councilor of Clean or in other words, I am in charge of cleaning and maintaining the facilities at First United Methodist Church. Besides the routine cleaning and maintenance, I also set up rooms for special meetings and dinners that use the church building.

Mark Kimzey

Choir Director
I was raised in New Virginia, IA and graduated from Interstate 35 Comm. High School. I received a Bachelor of Music degree from Iowa Wesleyan College and a diploma from Worsham College of Mortuary Science, Wheeling, IL. I am primarily responsible for the Chancel Choir, but periodically serve in other capacities for all the music ministries of the church. I am active in many other activities of the church also.
Full time, I am the owner and funeral director of the Kimzey Funeral Home, a half block south of the church. Mark is involved in the Evening Rotary Club and the Mt. Pleasant Masonic Lodge. Quite contrary to the calm role of a choir director, my hobby is that of being a referee and judge of amateur boxing. A former amateur boxer myself, I also serve as the Secretary-Treasurer of Iowa Amateur Boxing.
I am married to Linda (nee Begalske). We have 2 children – Rebekah, an assistant athletic trainer at Simpson College and Aaron, a student Monmouth College, Monmouth, IL.

My favorite scriptures are Matthew 25:31-46closeMatthew 25:31-46 The Final Judgment 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (ESV) closeMatthew 25:31-46closeMatthew 25:31-46 The Final Judgment 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (ESV) The Final Judgment 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (ESV) and James 2:14-26closeJames 2:14-26 Faith Without Works Is Dead 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. (ESV) closeJames 2:14-26closeJames 2:14-26 Faith Without Works Is Dead 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. (ESV) Faith Without Works Is Dead 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. (ESV)

Jerry Lalaga

Organist
I assumed the position of full time organist Nov 28, 2010. I was born on the Polynesian island of American Samoa. I graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College May, 2011 with my degree in Music Education. My wife, Pricilla and I have one daughter, Leilani. Some of my favorite things are art, music, playing golf and tennis and most of all spending time with my family camping, going places and seeing new sites.

My favorite hymn “It is Well with My Soul.”