Director of Music Ministries
Mark.Kurtz@fumcomaha.org / ext. 1021
An award-winning composer and organist, Mark Kurtz has been Director of Music Ministries at First United Methodist Church since the year 2000. His education began at the North Carolina School of the Arts, where he won a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence and graduated as Outstanding Senior. He continued his studies at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he was twice named an Angell Scholar and graduated with highest honors.
Next, he studied at the University of Minnesota, where he branched out from his conservatory-style background and began to be involved in performance art, musical theater, and conducting. His compositions have been performed across the United States, in Canada, and in Europe. He has received many commissions for new work, from groups such as the American Guild of Organists and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He regularly writes new pieces for the Chancel Choir and Handbell Choir of First United Methodist Church; two CD’s of his compositions, performed by the church choirs and with guest soloists and instrumentalists, have been produced.
Marie Meyers graduated with a Bachelors of Music Education from Nebraska Wesleyan University and Masters of Music Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She retired after teaching elementary music and strings for 38 years and is currently an educational consultant. At Nebraska Wesleyan she studied organ with Dr. Charles Tritt and at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln she studied organ with Dr. George Ritchie and Dr. Quentin Faulkner. She was organist at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Grand Island, NE, St. Paul Methodist Church in Lincoln, NE, and now at First United Methodist Church in Omaha, NE.
Youth Choir Director
Our Youth Choir has a new director as Jill Anderson joins our staff. Jill is a singer, actor, recording artist, director, writer and producer. In addition to professional theatre, films, and commercial work, she has released three CDs of Irish and Scottish folk music. We are thrilled to have Jill bring her talents and passions to share with the youth and our music ministries.
Director of Religious Education
Kyle.Sorys@fumcomaha.org / ext. 1008
Kyle is an Omaha native who began his spiritual journey in 2008. With a strong interest in meditation and Buddhism, Kyle moved to Boulder, Colorado in 2011 to attend school at Naropa University, a small Buddhist inspired college specializing in contemplative based education. He earned both a Bachelor’s of Arts in Contemplative Psychology and a Master’s of Divinity degree. Kyle is an ordained Buddhist minister and has previously served as a youth pastor at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Boulder and as a youth leader at Countryside United Church of Christ in Omaha. Kyle comes to us with a deep passion for interfaith relations and for supporting our congregation in spiritual guidance and development.
Director of Administration and Communication
Candice.Nielsen@fumcomaha.org / ext. 1001
Candice joined our staff on November 29, 2015. She provides clergy and worship support, communications and marketing, and administrative oversight. Candice brings strong interpersonal and communication skills, management, organization, and innovation to our staff. She enjoys overseeing a variety of the volunteer opportunities at FUMC. Her door is open to discuss a way to “plug-in” to our faith community, and would be happy to discuss how you can find a meaningful ministry at First Church! Candice is a welcoming presence in our office Monday – Thursday and on Sunday mornings.
Gina.Torres@fumcomaha.org / ext. 1003
We are excited to welcome Gina Torres as our new Finance Manager. Gina comes to us with an MBA from the University of Colorado and BS in Accounting from California State University. She’s been a former CPA as well, so our Finance Committee is in good hands. She lives in Fremont and will be working in the church office on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. She brings a cheerful disposition and warm smile to our community.
Steve.Nehrig@fumcomaha.org / ext. 1010
Steve has been the Building Manager at FUMC since May 1, 1989. He and his wife, Karma, have been married since 1976 and their family have been members of FUMC since 1983. Heather and Jason were born, baptized, went to preschool, grew up in and have worked for FUMC helping with many functions held here. Steve and Karma both love to work together designing and creating quilts, pendant flags, and a variety of other projects. Steve’s main passion is woodworking and has made several pieces at FUMC. He designed the log cabin that sat on the south lawn of the church to help celebrate FUMC’s 150th Anniversary in 2005. He loves working with the many volunteers and feels it is very important for people to get involved and mostly to feel welcomed when coming to FUMC.
Rosey.Higgs@fumcomaha.org / ext. 1004
We are excited to welcome Rosey Higgs as our new Membership Director. She will lead us in extending welcome and hospitality to our guests on Sunday mornings and help all our members get to know one another better. Rosey looks forward to using her experience in volunteer recruitment and event planning, as well as her love of FUMC in service to our congregation. Rosey and her wife, Kara, joined FUMC in 2011. They live in Omaha with two dogs and two cats.
Rainbow Factory Preschool
Director of Rainbow Factory Preschool
Jamie.Pressnall@fumcomaha.org / ext. 1009
Mrs. Pressnall considers herself to be a life-long learner. She is passionate about creating a positive and meaningful educational experience for every child that attends Rainbow Factory Preschool. After teaching for Omaha Public Schools for the past 12 years, she is excited to start a new chapter in her life.
Mrs. Pressnall has a strong background in music and art, and is looking forward to drawing on those experiences to enrich preschool’s wonderful curriculum. Rainbow Factory welcomes all visitors, and Mrs. Pressnall looks forward to becoming more involved in the First United Methodist Church community.