2723 N 50th St. Lincoln, NE 68504  •  (402) 466-1906

Our Team

Learn about our church team.

Kirstie Jeanette Engel

Spiritual Leader

Meet Kirstie Jeanette Engel: ordained as Elder in the Kansas West Conference, wife of Stephen Robert Engel, mother of Shaya and Keera Garnes and stepmother of Ella and Ashton Engel.


Kirstie was raised in Brooklyn NY and later received her Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Wichita State University. She then earned her Masters of Divinity at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa Oklahoma and was able to pursue her Doctorate of Ministry in Homiletics at Phillips Theological Seminary. Recently, Kirstie has served as the associate pastor at Saint Mark UMC in Wichita Kansas and St. Paul UMC in Lincoln, NE.


She is ecstatic to be the Spiritual Leader of First UMC, Lincoln and will strive to empower everyone to know how much they are loved and to become their best selves!

Matt Borland

Director of Youth Ministries

In addition to Matt’s leadership with First’ Youth, Matt also serves as a worship leader, speaker and helps with our Sound ministry.

Charity Helter

Director of Children’s Ministries

Our Children and Family Minister. She brings worship and teaching online virtually. Her and her team have done a fantastic job of adapting and creating virtual VBS for our children.


Dr. John Spilker

Minister of Music &Liturgy, Social Justice and Leadership

John’s musical gifts provides an amazing versatility that is greatly valued and needed, therefore we will see a lot more of him in all of the worship services that we offer. Also Dr. Spilker creates the liturgy for all of our worship services! In addition, Dr. Spilker will provide a major role in leading and developing new curriculum to bring education and awareness regarding social justice issues that impact both our community and world.

Morgan Cowell

Minister of Music

Morgan will have a major role in all of our worship services. Morgan will still lead the choir when it is safe to bring them back into the fold. He will lead our bells, musical outreach with NWU students and more!

Mike Coffey

Minister of Praise and Worship

Mike too will have a major role in all of our worship services. Both Mike and Morgan will work together to ensure that worship reflects the past, present and future of First UMC; creating a beautiful blend of music that will hopefully speak to an array of people.

Jael Pembrick

Praise and Worship Leader

Jael’s singing ability and spiritual wisdom serves as a great addition to our team. The sky is the limit with this young lady and we are so blessed to have her.

Larry Williams

Worship Team Leader

Larry Williams has agreed to serve as our Lay leader for another year in which I am so grateful for. Larry’s thoughtful prayers, readings and presence is soothing to all of us!

Laura Sheldon

Office Assistant


Steve Engel

Director of Hospitality and Food Services

Chuck Leypoldt

Church Treasurer

Blake Stephens

Social Media and Website Design

Shirley Baum

Financial Secretary

Tim Van Meveren

Sunday Custodian

Amy Holland

Sunday Nursery

Chloe Lyons & Olivia Gentert