That they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. -John 17:21 ESV
To contact a staff member, please call (210) 826-3215. You can also fill out the form on our Contact Us page and a staff member will get back to you shortly.
To email a staff member directly, use their first initial and last name @ahumc.org
(example contacting Jane Doe would be firstname.lastname@example.org).
Rev. Holly Gotelli
Rev. Dinah Shelly
CLC Teaching Pastor
Holly grew up in Richardson, Texas, in a clergy family: both of her grandfathers were ordained pastors, and her maternal grandfather served over 40 years in the Central Texas Conference of the UMC. Holly holds both undergraduate and law degrees from Texas Tech University, and received her Master of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology at SMU. She also served on the North Texas Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, the North Central District Committee on Ordained Ministry, and as a clergy coach for colleagues in the conference. Prior to serving at AHUMC, Holly served 8 years at Flower Mound UMC and 7 years as Associate Pastor at Suncreek United Methodist Church in Allen, Texas.
Holly is married to Trip and they have two children.
Dinah Shelly was first appointed to serve as associate pastor at AHUMC in 1997. She focuses on preaching, worship, and pastoral care. Dinah enjoys learning about scripture, family systems, spiritual practices and digging in the dirt.
Originally from Midland, Texas, she has an undergraduate degree from Texas A&M and Masters of Divinity from Emory University.
Dinah is married to Keith and they have three school aged children.
Rev. Robert Ortiz
Missions & Outreach Pastor
Rev. Donna Strieb
Prayer & Spiritual Formation Pastor
Robert Ortiz is an ordained elder in the Rio Texas Conference and serves AHUMC as the pastor of Mission & Outreach. He has been on staff at AHUMC since July 1, 2012. His missional focus is to share the love and compassion of Jesus with everyone.
Robert earned a BA in Sociology from UTSA, Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, and a Doctor of Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C. His doctoral project focused on Church collaboration. He has served churches in Del Rio, San Antonio, and Kingsville, Texas. He also serves as a member of Metro Mission Board and is on the board of San Antonio Campus Ministry.
Robert is married to Diane, a first-grade teacher with NISD, and they have five adult children and one granddaughter. He is a passionate Spurs fan and loves his hometown of San Antonio.
Donna Strieb is an ordained Deacon in the United Methodist Church and has served on the staff of AHUMC since October 1, 1980 in various capacities with children, youth, and adults. Prior to that time, she served at Aldersgate UMC, The Federated Church in Ayers, MA, and at First Presbyterian Church and First Christian Church both in Huntsville, TX. Growing up in this church from the age of 2 when her family moved to San Antonio, Donna is a graduate of Trinity University with a BA in Christian Education and did graduate work at Perkins School of Theology. She is experienced in Christian Education with children, youth, and adults but her passions are spiritual formation, prayer, worship, the Academy for Spiritual Formation, and leading our monthly Taizé Services. Since 2000, Donna has served as Pastor of Prayer and Spiritual Nurture, and although retired in 2017 after 49 years of ministry, she continues to work part-time here at AHUMC. Donna loves music, ballroom dancing, creating altar settings, traveling, reading, theater, and making Shutterfly books. She is married to John since 1969 and they have one son, Lawrence, who lives in Austin.
Rev. Matt Scott
Rev. Dr. Darrell Smith
Pastor of Adult Discipleship
Matt Scott is a native to San Antonio and was raised in our church community. Growing up, he was active in our youth group, Boy Scouts and played tennis through high school for Alamo Heights. For college, Matt attended Wake Forest University where he studied finance and entrepreneurship. After college, Matt attended St. Mary’s School of Law, then he practiced Estate Planning and Probate law here in San Antonio. In 2008, he discerned a call to ministry and attended Duke Divinity School for seminary, after which he returned home to take a job as Associate Pastor at our church. He currently serves as our Executive Pastor, helping to unify our church on our mission. In his role, Matt enjoys strategic planning, building healthy process and developing people. In his free time, Matt loves to spend time with his wife, Christina, watch movies, be with family and friends, travel, and comedy.
Darrell Smith is a teacher, writer, and theologian. He has served the AHUMC community in some form or fashion since 1999. That service has led Darrell to homeless shelters, recovery groups, and refugee ghettos as well as universities, churches, and prisons. He has supported relief efforts in Central and South America and worked with such organizations as Renovaré, Apprentice, and Kairos Prison Ministry. Darrell attended the Perkins School of Theology, Wayland Baptist University, the Robert Webber Institute for Worship Studies, and Texas A&M University and holds degrees in English, Speech Communication, Christian Ministry, and Worship Studies. Darrell is married to Stacy, and they have three children.
Rev. Ryan Jacobson
Pastor of Congregational Care
Rev. Luis Perez
Ryan Jacobson is husband to Kylea and father to Oliver. He joined the AHUMC staff as Director of Missions and Outreach in 2010, after spending two years of volunteer service with Riverside Community Church. In 2018, he became one of our Associate Pastors, still overseeing Missions. In July of 2020, Ryan become the Pastor of Congregational Care. In this new position for the church, Ryan will be developing our systems of care and encouraging our congregation to be involved in “watching over one another in love” as Wesley phrased it. Ryan has a very deep passion for the historical and cultural context of the Bible and loves to explore the implications that context has on our life of faith in today’s world. He graduated from Texas State University with a B.S. in Mathematics. He is currently attending Fuller Theological Seminary, expecting to graduate with an M. Div. in 2022. Ryan and his family love to spend time with friends and family in the outdoors and around the table.
Rev. Luis Perez was appointed to Asbury UMC July 2020. Luis is a gifted leader with a deep passion for urban ministry and is delighted to step into this role. Luis is especially excited about expanding the Spanish-speaking ministry at Asbury.
WORSHIP & MUSIC
Ruth Ann Lind
Director of Music &
Associate Director of Music & Worship Arts
Ruth Ann Lind began her musical career as a public school choral director in 1974, teaching on the middle school and high school levels. She joined AHUMC with her husband Roger in 1980. She began as the part-time Music Director in 1984. Since that time the ministry has grown to include planning and coordinating Sanctuary worship. Ruth Ann enjoys the challenge of combining liturgies and hymns from the past, present and the global church. She is grateful for the opportunity to work with all the generations in the church. A native Texan, she holds music degrees from University of Texas at Austin and UTSA. Ruth Ann and Roger have three grown children and three grandchildren. In her free time, Ruth Ann enjoys meals with friends, walking her dog, reading, watching detective shows and spending time with family.
Nona Schwab has been the Associate Director of Music and Worship at Alamo Heights UMC since 2001. She holds a Bachelors of Music from Stephen F. Austin State University and a Masters of Music from UTSA. Before joining the staff at AHUMC she taught choir in North East ISD at Wood Middle School (1992-1993) and Bradley Middle School (1993-2001). While teaching she volunteered at AHUMC in the music ministry by singing in the choir and helping with the children and youth choirs. Nona enjoys the broad spectrum of variety that her job entails. She gets to share her love of music with all generations and mentor and guide young people in the growing of their faith through music, worship, play and community. Nona enjoys a good adventure, reading, spending time with friends, tending to her dog and three cats, anything “techie” and great laughter.
Director of CLC Worship
Liturgical & Feast Coordinator
Although A.J. is recognized as the drummer with the CLC Worship Team, he has served in musical direction for our community for the last 17 years. In addition to leading the CLC Worship Team, A.J. is a professional drummer and percussionist who feels called to bring excellence to music and the arts in and around the community. He and his wife Kristin have two sons—Aaron and Nicholas.
Donna Nicolson has been a member of AHUMC since 2001 and on staff since 2013. In her role with Children's Ministry, she helped coordinate and plan Sunday lessons as well as Vacation Bible School. More recently, Donna has shifted into the role of teaching and Liturgical Coordinator where she currently oversees the moving parts of worship in the CLC. As her role is expanding, Donna looks forward to working with all aspects of worship at AHUMC. All of this is far from the small west Texas town of Ozona where she grew up and also far from an MS in Taxation. Suffice it to say, Donna enjoys the journey of life and especially sharing it with her two teenage children. She is currently a student in the Spiritual Direction Program at Perkins School of Theology.
Mary Lou Russell
Organist & Pianist
Music & Worship Arts Assistant
Mary Lou loves sharing music with this wonderful, appreciative congregation of souls. She became a member and began as organist in March 2000. She was a full-time faculty member of the Music Department at San Antonio College beginning in 1971 and retired Professor Emeritus in 2013.
Mary Lou has been on staff as organist/pianist in Baptist churches since she was 13. She toured on weekends with gospel singer Cynthia Clawson for 3 years when their children were in school together, and has accompanied countless vocal/instrumental recitals and musicals throughout the years. She won a 2012-2013 Globe Award for Best Musical Direction.
Since she retired from teaching, she enjoys taking classes here at AHUMC and volunteering at the Lunch Bunch providing musical entertainment. Being a dancer at heart, she has taken up tap dancing at Third Coast Rhythm Project. Mary Lou has two granddaughters, two children, two exes, and a cat.
Ashley Person is a former teacher, turned stay-at-home Mom. She started working in the Music Ministry office in the Fall of 2014, after spending a lot of time here bringing her kids to choir and ringing in the handbell choir. She spends most of her time volunteering here at AHUMC and her kids' schools. Ashley's favorite part of working here at AHUMC is the sense of community.
Music & Worship
Coordinator of Children’s Music Grades K-5
Angela has been a volunteer and contracted staff member for the Music and Worship Ministry for 17 years. Currently, she serves as our Coordinator of the Sunday Sound Children's Music Program for the 2021-2022 school year. Angela is the Music Specialist at hidden Forest Elementary School in NEISD. She has taught music for 23 years in NEISD and Concordia Lutheran School. Angela holds a Bachelor and two Master degrees from The University of Texas at San Antonio and is currently working on her Doctorate at Boston University. She is a certified K-12 Music Teacher, Orff-Schulwerk teacher trainer and was named Hidden Forest Teacher of the Year in 2018. She loves sharing musical experiences with children and, when not making music, enjoys quilting, reading, and traveling with her husband, Don! Text...
Gina Beal has been the Director of Children’s Ministries since 2002. Her love of working with children began at the age of 16 when she started volunteering in the church nursery at 1st UMC in Pasadena, Texas where she grew up. Fun fact: she taught her 2 yr old brother how to read when she was just 6 years old. Gina has an MA in Humanities and loves working with children of all ages, but especially babies. She has been on 2 mission trips to Burundi and can’t wait to go back and see how much the children there have grown. Gina has been married to her husband, Greg, for 30 years and has 3 young adult sons, Cameron, Mackie & Cooper. She loves to cook, loves to travel, and especially loves road trips with her family.
Sarah Jernigan is the Director of AHUMC Weekday School. Sarah has been teaching young children since she was 16 years old and started teaching Sunday School at her church. Sarah has been in early childhood education for over 20 years after graduating from Texas A&M University with a BS in Education. Sarah is a member of AHUMC and volunteers with Children's Ministry, Student Ministry, New Zion Choir, Children's Choir, and Vacation Bible School. Sarah and her husband Michael have four children Makayla, Allison, Gavin, and Harper. Sarah enjoys baking, reading books, scuba diving, and camping with her family.
Children's Ministry Assistant
Associate Director of Weekday School
Jan Ligon is the Assistant Director of AHUMC Weekday School and has been in that position for over 30 years. Jan has a daughter who lives in Garden Ridge and a son who lives in Kerrville. She is the grandmother to 5 grandsons, soon to be 6, ranging in age from 6 – new baby in August. Although Jan is not a member of AHUMC she has been an active in several aspects of the church for that past 30 years. Hobbies include grandsons’, working in the yard, reading, cooking and going to estate and garage sales.
Associate Director of Finance & Childcare Supervisor
Student Ministry -
Stacy Smith joined the AHUMC Student Ministry staff in 2015 after 14 years as a public school educator—most recently at Alamo Heights Junior School as a 6th grade English teacher. Her love of students and teaching came together once again in the context of youth spiritual formation, and she believes that she experiences her own growth alongside her students in the weekly Sunday School classes she helps facilitate in the Youth Wing. Stacy grew up in the central Texas town of Lorena and attended Texas A&M University, where she met her husband Darrell. Since 1999, she and Darrell have lived in San Antonio and--along with their children Nate, Sammy, and Abby--have been actively involved in the life of AHUMC.
Student Ministry Assistant
Laura Peel is a former middle school teacher who has worked in the Student Ministry Dept as an Admin Assistant since 2005. A lifelong Texan and Methodist, she joined AHUMC in 2002 with her husband Brad and their children Katherine and Andrew. Laura is a proud University of Texas at Austin graduate who enjoys volunteering with various organizations, traveling, reading, movies, and spending time with family and friends.
Director of Facilities
Director of Finance
Kacey Brewer joined the AHUMC Facilities team in January of 2019. For 10 years in her early career, she found her joy in managing sports stadiums and arenas, including Texas A&M University’s Blue Bell Park and Kyle Field, as well as the AT&T Center, here in San Antonio. She went to middle and high school in Sugar Land, Texas. Her younger years were spent in Midland, TX and Sumatra, Indonesia, where her father managed oil production facilities for Texaco and Chevron. Kacey, an Aggie, married her husband, David (a Purdue Boilermaker), in 2018. They enjoy traveling, playing sand volleyball and keeping up with their dogs, Capone and Noah and cat, Ava.
Valerie has a BBA in Finance from Texas Tech University. Prior to her ministry at the church, Valerie spent many years working in the banking industry as a Commercial Credit Operations Manager and Human Resources Manager. When her children were small, Valerie took a break from banking to raise her two daughters, CJ and Shelby. God opened the door for her to work part time at the AHUMC Weekday School and, later, Children’s Ministry. Valerie is married to Chip, and they are grateful to call AHUMC their church family. Valerie enjoys singing in the sanctuary choir, playing hand bells and serving on Emmaus teams.
Director of Communications
Administrative Assistant to the Pastors
Ryan Kuecks is an experienced Communications professional focused on community, connection, and storytelling. Originally from the Seattle area, he has been in Texas since 2013, most recently working as the Director of Communications at University Park United Methodist Church. Ryan has worked with non-profit organizations such as Project Transformation, The United Nations Youth Coalition, and Vox Humana doing freelance design work. His other experience includes working in a mixed media company focused on video production, eight years of corporate experience at Nintendo, and serving in multiple leadership roles within the Church. Ryan enjoys the outdoors, reading, game nights, deep conversations over coffee, snow, and travel.
Leah Jayne started working at AHUMC in 2005 and feels blessed on a daily basis by the people who grace this campus. She was married to her husband, Mike, in the AHUMC Chapel on Broadway in 1982, and her children attended the Weekday School and VBS while growing up nearby. Her grandchildren are continuing the tradition by being involved on this campus.
Associate Director of Finance & Childcare Supervisor
Emily Cleveland is a creative professional born and raised in the great state of Texas. She graduated from Alamo Heights High School and went on to receive a BFA in Advertising from The Art Institute of Austin.
Emily joined AHUMC staff in January 2021. She is a dog mom to a rescue pup named Memphis and she enjoys all things art, chai tea lattes, traveling and running.
Multimedia & Print Specialist
Adam Crowell has been in the world of media production for over 20 years. Adam is a native Texan and grew up in the Round Rock/Austin area. He has worked in the church world for over 20 years in various leadership and support roles. His other work experience varies from Fedex delivery to working in a custom t-shirt shop.
Adam has been married to his beautiful wife Faye since 2010 and together they have one son, Benjamin. As a family they enjoy silly games and walking/scootering around their neighborhood. Adam has a love for comics and photography.
Director of Recovery Ministries
Chris Estus has served at AHUMC since 2011 as a teacher, worship leader, musician and recovery group leader. He is in the process to become a Licensed Local Pastor. Chris has been in recovery for over 20 years and is called to bring people in recovery & followers of Jesus into conversation with each other. He and his wife Pat founded the Pioneer Group in 2001 and are active in the San Antonio recovery community. He is a graduate of the State University of NY–Oswego with degrees in Economics and Political Science. In his free time, Chris likes to hike.
Nance Haney has been a member of AHUMC since 1973 and has served as the wedding coordinator since 1995. In this position she has had the opportunity to participate in over 800 weddings. She is married to Ben Haney and together they have two daughters a son in law and two precious grandchildren. Serving as wedding coordinator brings much joy and she considers it a privilege and a blessing.
Director of Facilities
Kacey Brewer joined the AHUMC Facilities team in January of 2019. For 10 years in her early career, she found her joy in managing sports stadiums and arenas, including Texas A&M University’s Blue Bell Park and Kyle Field, as well as the AT&T Center, here in San Antonio.
Kacey enjoys the ever-changing world of facilities and operations, seeing every new challenge as opportunities for personal and spiritual growth for each person involved.
She went to middle and high school in Sugar Land, Texas. Her younger years were spent in Midland, TX and Sumatra, Indonesia, where her father managed oil production facilities for Texaco and Chevron.
Kacey, an Aggie, married her husband, David (a Purdue Boilermaker), in 2018. They enjoy traveling, playing sand volleyball and keeping up with their dogs, Capone and Noah and cat, Ava.
Gabriel, who goes by “Gabe,” was born in McAllen, TX and spent summers when he was growing up at his family ranch in Mexico.
He has been with AHUMC since 2001. As Lead Custodian, Gabe handles the day-to-day coordination of campus upkeep, set-ups, scheduling the custodial team and keeping custodial supplies stocked.
Gabe and his wife, Stephanie, have three children, Skye, Gabriel Jr., and Mia. He enjoys live music and BBQ.
The best piece of advice Gabe has ever received was from a co-worker who told him, “ You’re rich. You just don’t know it yet.”
Gabe says the most inspiring part of his job is working with people and seeing how coming to the church fills them with peace.
Rick has called San Antonio home since he was born and has been serving as a custodian at the church since 2001.
While often behind the scenes, he ensures the campus is ready to welcome guests by setting up rooms as well as general upkeep of the building and property.
He is the oldest of three younger siblings, two brothers and a sister.
Rick loves playing golf, hunting and is a fan of the Houston Astros and Dallas Cowboys. His all-time favorite athlete is Hall of Fame golfer, Lee Trevino.
Working at the church, Rick has built many relationships with staff and congregants over the years and considers them family. He looks forward to Sundays when he can see everyone and catch up.
One of Rick’s fondest memories at the church is when staff got together to enjoy a pick-up basketball game every Tuesday in the Christian Life Center.
Rachael moved to San Antonio recently from LaPorte, TX to enjoy the empty nest phase of her life and pursue her education. She is a single parent of five and grandmother to four grandchildren.
She started at AHUMC as a part-time custodian in 2020. She, along with the rest of the custodial team, takes care of the routine cleaning and room set-ups for the church.
Rachael is studying to go into ministry, specifically to help single parent households and victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
She became a believer in Christ Jesus at the age of 19. “My relationship with Christ has grown and developed by leaps and bounds. I am truly a servant of God with all my being and I look forward to serving Him wholeheartedly, as I work towards my ministry goals.”
Marisol is from Monclova in Coahuila, Mexico. She has been working in the cleaning industry for more than 15 years, most recently in hospitals within the Baptist Health System and San Antonio Military Medical Center.
Marisol started at AHUMC as a part-time custodian in 2020. She, along with the rest of the custodial team, takes care of the routine cleaning and room set-ups for the church. She also cares for the indoor plants.
Marisol finds joy in cleaning because of how it makes people feel. She loves seeing the expressions on people’s faces upon walking into a building she cleans.
In her free time, Marisol takes in abandoned cats when she has the resources to do so. She feeds them, pays to get them sterilized and then returns them or finds a home for them. She truly has a heart for all of God’s creatures!
BOARD OF STEWARDS
The Board of Stewards (BOS) functions as the Administrative Board of the church as called for in the Discipline of the United Methodist Church. The board meets monthly, typically on the third Thursday of each month. Board minutes are available from Leah Jayne if you would like a copy.