The staff of First United Methodist Church is eager to get to know you and provide you with information you might need about our church family. Staff can be contacted through the church office, 972-335-4380, or at their personal email addresses.
Mark Vowell is a lifelong Methodist, and a third-generation North Texas Conference Pastor. A Navy brat, Mark was born on Guam, baptized by his grandfather in Archer City, Texas, and raised in the congregation at First United Methodist (UMC) of Gainesville, Texas. He attended the University of Oklahoma on a Navy ROTC Scholarship. Mark spent 10 years on active duty as a Naval Flight Officer, serving as a Tactical Coordinator and Mission Commander of a crew of 12 aboard P-3C Orion aircraft, tracking Soviet submarines in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean. Following active duty, Mark continued to serve in the Naval Reserves and retired as a Commander in 2001.
In January of 1989, Mark followed a call from God to full-time Christian ministry by taking shore duty orders to Dallas as the Enlisted Programs Officer for Navy Recruiting in North Texas and beginning studies at Perkins School of Theology (SMU). Mark resigned his active duty Navy commission in 1992 to serve as the Director of Youth Ministries at Tyler Street UMC in Oak Cliff. Mark received his Masters of Divinity in 1996 and was appointed as associate pastor at Tyler Street.
Mark has served as senior pastor at Westview Greenville, First Whitewright, Ridgewood Park in Dallas and Spring Valley in Dallas. He was appointed as senior pastor at First Frisco in July of 2013.
Mark has served in a variety of Conference leadership positions including, Chair of the Church Revitalization Task Force for 250-749 membership churches, Executive Committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry, Committee on Preparations and Qualifications, Board of Directors of the SMU Wesley Foundation, Chair of the Director Search Committee for the SMU Wesley Foundation, and Chair of the Metro District Trustees.
Mark is married to Shannon. Shannon is a gifted writer and teacher, and has been a regular contributor to the United Methodist Reporter. She loves ministering through Sunday School, small group discipleship and music. The Vowells have four children at home.
Mark's passions include preaching, relational evangelism, and helping folks get grounded in scripture. He believes that the church really is God's primary plan for reaching the world with the love of Jesus Christ. He loves to be part of connecting churches with the dreams that God has for them. Those dreams are always bigger than our dreams, and they are always wonderful.
Cathy joined the staff of First Frisco UMC as Associate Pastor in October 2009 and became the Executive Associate Pastor in July 2014. She has a passion for people and for ministries which impact the way people live, learn and love, including programs such as Stephen Ministry, DivorceCare and Financial Peace University and serving in the Dallas Emmaus/Chrysalis communities. While at First Frisco, Cathy has worked with the members in starting ministries which bring relief, help, and hope to survivors of severe storms through an UMCOR Early Response Team and to survivors of family violence.
Cathy is a Local Pastor and is completing Course of Study classes at Perkins School of Theology July 2014. She will continue to be busy loving and caring for the people of Frisco through teaching, preaching, missions, and ministries.
Prior to answering God’s call to ministry, Cathy worked in the legal field for over 30 years in areas of training, human resources and office management. Cathy and her husband Brad have two sons, Mitch Murray and Lance Partridge, and one most precious grandson, Isaac. Cathy and Brad are both very active people, and especially enjoy spending their time with friends and family and time together riding bikes, golfing, and just about anything else that keeps them on the move.
Rev. Cheryl Jones, Associate Pastor
Cheryl is a native of Kansas City, MO (home of the Kansas City Chiefs) where she was baptized and raised in the Baptist Church. She joined The United Methodist Church after marrying her husband, Odis Jones, Jr. in 1985. She is an ordained Elder, serving at First Frisco as an appointed Associate Pastor with primary responsibilities in the areas of Evangelism, Discipleship and Pastoral Care. She attended Lincoln University-MO and Ohio State University, earning a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree respectively in Speech Pathology. After practicing Speech Therapy for 20 years she answered the call to ordained ministry. She earned her Master of Divinity degree from Perkins School of Theology (SMU). Cheryl was actively involved in her home church, Hamilton Park UMC and as a core group member of a church planted in Plano, All Nations United Methodist Church. Cheryl has served in several appointments throughout the North Texas Conference. She served as the Senior Pastor at St. James UMC (Sherman), Haven Chapel UMC (Denison) and Arcadia Park (Dallas). She served as the Associate Pastor at Tyler Street UMC (Dallas).
Cheryl has served in District and Conference leadership positions, including the Conference Committee for Lay Speakers, Committee on Status and Role of Women and as a District Representative for Clergy Women. She is a member of Black Methodist for Church Renewal and participates with the African-American Clergy Fellowship. Cheryl and her husband, Odis reside in Plano. Odis retired in 2012 but keeps himself actively involved. They don’t have any children of their own but there are plenty of children in their lives. She is a game person enjoying board games, card games, computer games, mind benders and also loves working all kinds of puzzles. Other activities that draw her attention are reading, traveling, bowling and tennis. Cheryl has a passion for people and feeds off of the energy of others. She loves sharing the love of Jesus through prayer, teaching and preaching.
Bill is happily married to Cessie. They have raised five children: Ben, Sara, Katie, Becca, and Marde. Bill and Cessie have over the years been actively involved in community theatre, with Bill normally on stage, with Cessie managing back stage. In addition, Bill is an avid sportsman, having "grown up" on the tennis court.
Over the last seventeen years, he has been employed at Princeton ISD as technology director, having served as computer science, math, speech teacher for six years at the Law Magnet High School with Dallas ISD. Bill looks forward to retiring from his school duties in the next few years so he can devote full time effort to his calling to ministry.
Philip grew up in Richardson. He graduated from Berkner High School where he was extremely active in the music department, playing in the drum-line with The Might Ram Band and singing in every ensemble available. From there he went to college majoring in Music Education. He graduated from Texas Tech University in 2000. Since then he has always had an active presence in a church community, starting with his home church FUMC Richardson where he was a Music Associate in charge of K-12 music. From there he took a pause in his career path to chase his dream to be an actor. He has done dozens of stage shows throughout the metroplex. He has done several commercials and even been seen in the Oscar Award winning movie "No Country For Old Men."
Philip has a great passion for music and art of all forms. He is currently overseeing the Music department at First Frisco which includes all the children's music ensembles, the youth band, the adult band, the adult bell choir, the adult chancel choir as well as the AV department. "I feel extremely happy and blessed to work with such an amazing staff and to serve at a church with such heart and devotion to spreading the Word!"
Steve is a lifelong United Methodist who came to faith in Jesus Christ through the ministry of his home church in Colorado. Steve's faith was nurtured through worship, Sunday School, youth group activities and mission trips.
After graduation from high school, Steve served a four-year enlistment in the United States Marine Corps and made two deployments to Iraq. Steve helped with his home church youth group in Colorado whenever he was on leave. Following his discharge from active duty in 2005, Steve began working as a Department Manager at Home Depot, and moved to Texas to begin college studies at the University of North Texas. He graduated from North Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Development and Family Studies in 2011.
While attending North Texas, Steve met Ashlea, his wife. Steve and Ashlea have two children, Dylan and Averie. Ashlea is a middle school Texas History Teacher.
Steve has always had a passion for youth ministry. In 2011, he began serving as the Youth Minister at Fellowship United Methodist Church in Trophy Club, TX. Steve just completed his third year and fourth summer in that position of leadership. He says,
"I am eager to teach and inspire the next generation. I love mentoring students in every aspect of their spiritual walk. I believe that through fellowship, worship and small group opportunities, youth will encounter Christ and grow in their relationship with Him."
Trish Callis, Director of Children & Family Ministries
Trish is an experienced Children and Family Ministries Director, with 18 years of ministry and service. Trish began as an Assistant Director of Children's Ministries and HOPE School (Preschool) at the First United Methodist Church in McKinney in August of 1996 and was made the Director of Children's Ministries and Nursery Coordinator in 2000. From there, she went to Trietsch Memorial United Methodist Church in Flower Mound to serve as the Director of Children's Ministries, serving infants to kids in 5th grade. Lastly, Trish served at Lake Highlands United Methodist Church in Dallas, where she served as the Director of Family Ministries and Christian Education.
Trish has led or created many exciting ministries and had great successes througout her journey in ministry including: increasing attendance in Sunday School by 150%, creating and leading a praise worship for 1st to 5th graders, empowering laity to serve in ministry, and providing parents with the training and tools necessary to teach the Christian faith to their children. Trish has put her Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Management, from Texas A&M, to good use in being an organized, resourceful leader. Trish is married to Mitch and they have two sons: Kenneth, 21 and Kevin, 19 who attend UNT in Denton.
Kerry Prasifka has served as Nursery Director from 2003 to 2005, and again from 2008 to present. In 1994, Kerry graduated from Texas A&M Commerce with a degree in English and Secondary Education and taught middle school in the public school system for six years before she and her husband, Jason, began having children in 2001.
Kerry and Jason have been members of FUMC Frisco since 1999. Kerry spent her childhood living in many different places, including Louisiana, Maryland, Guam and Midlothian, Texas. But having lived here since 1998, she now considers Frisco her home town. In addition to serving as nursery director, Kerry currently teaches at Friends in Christ Preschool twice a week. She thoroughly enjoys both positions and feels extremely blessed to be a part of the FUMC staff and congregation.
Homer Laird joined the church staff as Director of Admin Services in September, 2012. He is a native Texan, having grown up in Channelview (just outside of Houston) and is a lifelong Methodist. Prior to transferring his membership to FUMC in January, 2012, Homer spent over 35 years in the travel and hospitality industry (airline and car rental) in various marketing and sales capacities. During that time, he was responsible for managing multi-million dollar relationships, negotiating contracts, and overseeing/implementing several large-scale projects. He has two beautiful daughters, one of which is also a member of FUMC; the other resides in Northern California, also working in the non-profit sector. Homer wants to do all possible to ensure that all members and guest users of our facility and campus have a positively memorable experience.
Since August 2002, Lesia has served as Church Secretary for First United Methodist Church of Frisco. A native Arkansan, she held a similar position at Cabot United Methodist Church until moving to the North Texas area in April 2002.
Lesia is married to Tom and they have two daughters, Kristen and Katie. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, family activities, and watching HGTV.
Martha has worked as the Financial Secretary since March 2007. She has been a member of FUMC Frisco since 1998 and lived in Frisco since 1994. She and her husband Marc have three children: Amanda, Zachary, and Matthew.Martha grew up in Dallas and graduated from Texas A&M with a Bachelors degree in Accounting. She is a CPA and worked in the corporate world for five years before staying home with her children. She is excited to be back at work using her degree and helping the church.
Julie Shearer, Director of Communications
Julie has attended First Frisco since 2002. She and her husband, Lee, have 2 children: Sydney and Brooke.
Julie grew up in Florida and Louisiana, but has lived in North Texas most of her adult life. She graduated from University of Texas at Arlington with a BBA in Marketing.
Before having kids, she held a variety of marketing and sales positions. Her most recent position was Marketing Manager at the Australian/New Zealand franchise headquarters of Mailboxes, Etc. in Sydney, Australia.
After being a stay at home mom for 12 years, she is extremely excited to join the staff at First Frisco and looks forward to serving the church.
Patti and her husband, Bob, have three children and have lived in Frisco for over ten years. They are active members of FUMC and are happy to call it their church home.
Patti enjoys her position at Friends in Christ and makes it her goal to provide a safe, loving environment for children to grow in body and in spirit.