Here is our staff which, along with a dedicated team of lay persons, keeps CUMC a vital and engaged ministry in our community.

Ginny Wheeler

Senior Pastor

Staff - Rev Ginny WheelerI have had the privilege and pleasure to serve in the United Methodist Church as an ordained pastor for more than twenty-five years, and am excited to continue in ministry with this church family at Community United Methodist Church.

I earned my Bachelor of Religion degree from Southern Methodist University, followed by a Masters in Education from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary.

My first love is serving congregations. Most recently I served for five years at Garden Grove UMC and before that at Laguna UMC where my ministry as Associate, then Senior, Pastor lasted twenty years. My first assignment out of seminary was at St. Mark’s UMC  in San Diego.

I have two grown sons and met my husband, Jim Jones, while serving at Laguna UMC.

I look forward to service with and among you as we continue our faith journeys together.

Suzanne Morgan

Director of Christian Education and Caring Ministries

Suzanne MorganThis is an amazing church family!  When I came on staff in the spring of 2003, I was the Director of Christian Education and Family Ministries; but with changes in our pastoral staff, I have been blessed to be able to transition into the caring and outreach ministries of this church.

I have been in the Christian Education field for 15 years, which seems amazing to me. I love being able to help others on their spiritual journey and I feel blessed to be able to grow and expand my ministry into showing, in a more formal way, the love and care of Christ Jesus.

I grew up in the Methodist Church here in Orange County.  I married my husband, Jeff, in 1983, and we have two sons, Justin and Ryan.  Justin is working in the environmental science field and Ryan is at Eckerd College in Saint Petersburg, Florida studying Marine Chemistry.

I enjoy gardening, reading, hiking and especially going to Disneyland with my family.   I am hoping to add stand-up paddle boarding, very soon, to that list of hobbies.

My favorite bands are Switchfoot and Third Day.

My favorite scripture is Micah 6:8 “. . . what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Marty Drake

Director of  Children, Youth and Family Ministries

DRAKE-MARTY-100For me, this opportunity was a natural progression from teaching elementary school to raising three boys to volunteering at CUMC with every age group from preschool through high school.

One of the highlights of my position is sharing in the children’s discovery of their faith and learning more about my own faith through them. They have a simplicity that is refreshing. I feel assured that our future is in good hands.

I am a Southern California native and a life-long Methodist. My husband, Bobby, and I enjoy camping and boating with our family. I look forward to my weekly soccer games, monthly scrapbooking gatherings and am always looking for an opportunity to play any board game. I am an amateur photographer and hope to sharpen my skills in this hobby.

Judith Deaton

Office Manager

Staff - Judith DeatonJudith Deaton joined our staff as Business Office Manager in July of 2015. Judith is originally from the Detroit area in Michigan. She lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado before moving to Newport Beach in December of 2010. She majored in political science and history at the University of Michigan. Previously, Judith worked as the Office Manager for Christ Church by the Sea UMC on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach.


Lin Carlson

 Director of Communications

With Staff - Lin Carlsona life-long involvement in Christian education, arts, music, and outreach, Lin Carlson is now serving as CUMC’s Director of Communications.  A partner in ministry with her pastor/husband she has lived up and down the West Coast and Hawaii and is presently assisting her husband in a church community that meets daily/weekly on the sands of Seal Beach. She is also the mother of three grown children – all full-time Christian workers/pastor with three amazing grandsons that keep her young and full of joy. Lin enjoys desktop publishing and web design, travel, knitting, swimming, riding her bike and roasting hot dogs at the beach, and is always up for a game of SCRABBLE.

Dr. James Calhoun

Director of Music Ministry

James CalhounJames brings a wealth of experience and talent to our thriving Music Ministry, beginning with his joining the youth choir at Macedonia Baptist Church in the Watts area of Los Angeles. He later earned Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral degrees with majors in organ performance and church/sacred music graduate from the University of Southern California. His more recent sacred music experiences have included the Los Angeles area Westminster Presbyterian Church, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Second Baptist Church and Holman United Methodist Church and director of the dlw (Don Lee White) Community Chorale, a group of 45 gifted singers dedicated to the preservation and performance of black sacred music in it’s many forms including, negro spirituals, hymns, anthems, cantatas, and traditional gospel music.

As an educator, Dr. Calhoun has taught at the University of La Verne, Loyola Marymount University, University of California at Irvine, and Cypress College. He has traveled extensively including a 2006 European tour with the Paul Smith Singers to Munich, Frankfurt, Lucerne, Essen, and Vienna. In March 2010 James performed with the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers in concert at Lincoln Center (Avery Fisher Hall), both as soloist and accompanist and he recently made his debut performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall where he was featured in a performance of Camille Saint-Saëns’ Organ Concerto with the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles.

We are blessed to have James join us in doing God’s work through music!

Vicki Compean

Preschool School Director

COMPEAN-VICKI-27Vicki has been the Director of the preschool since 1999.  She earned her degree at Loyola-Marymount University.  She enjoys the company of her three children – April, Travis and Clint.  She likes gardening with April, reading and going to the movies.


Al Collins

Director of Maintenance

Since 1996 Al has been part of the CUMC family and has involved himself in many activities including teaching Sunday mike_parmeleeSchool, serving on several committees, and working with the Monday Morning Volunteers. Currently, in addition to his maintenance position, he is our Emergency/Disaster Coordinator and serves on the Board of Trustees.

Al was in the trucking industry for 43 years during which he held a variety of jobs. He was a local as well as long-haul driver. As a warehouse manager he expanded his maintenance skills.  After a severe accident which almost cost his right arm, he was told he would never drive again. So he enrolled in a two year program at Orange Coast College where, in eighteen months, he earned the Energy and Power Engineering Certificate. He worked in that field for three years before going back to driving. Ten years later, ending with a supervisory position at Home Depot, Al decided to accept his “retirement” position at CUMC.
When he can find spare time, he participates in Huntington Beach Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). He specializes in Communications, and is Team Leader for HB Light Search and Rescue and is on the Management Team. He has a variety of other interests including history, Bible study, fishing and music of all kinds.

Dan Gara


Dan GaraDan is our new Business Manager and Accountant, succeeding  the recently-retired Mike Parmelee. Dan brings extensive financial expertise gained from many years with non-profit , for profit , and religious corporations, including 16 years as Executive Director of Finance and Administration with the United Methodist Church’s California-Pacific Conference prior to his retirement. Dan led our Cal-Pac delegation to General Conference three times and was a member of the General Conference Council on Finance and Administration.  He has four grown children and 7 grandchildren. The Rev. Erika Oderkirk Gara, who grew up at CUMC, is his daughter-in-law. He loves to sing and play guitar. We are blessed to have Dan on our church staff!


Julie Pham

Wedding Coordinator

Julie_Pham 061111Julie has long held an interest in wedding planning and has had the chance to begin doing that since becoming CUMC’s Wedding Coordinator in 2006. She attended California State University, Long Beach, earning both a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and a certificate for Professional Meeting and Events Planning. She currently works in the special events department at University of California, Irvine. For more information on planning a wedding at CUMC, go to our Weddings page.


Susan Huntley

Memorials Hostess

SusStaff - Susan Huntleyan has been a member of CUMC since her children, Marianne and Adam attended the preschool. Before becoming a mother, she was a bank auditor and lived in Lake Tahoe where she ran a family business.  In the past she has lived in New York, Connecticut, Michigan, Nevada, and on a houseboat.

As the Memorials Hostess, her responsibilities include setting up & taking down the Narthex and Sanctuary, accepting floral arrangements, placing hymnals & note cards, managing family pictorial displays and operating the sound system. She also welcomes guests, ensures that they have signed-in and received a Memorial Program and attends to any family special requests. For further inquiries, she can be reached through the church office at 714-842-6641.

Marsha Grove

Celebration Choir Director

MStaff - Marsha Grovearsha graduated from UCLA with a degree in Medical Technology – Microbiology. She loved her work as a microbiologist, but her spare time has always included children and music.  For many years she has been involved in the various children’s and youth choirs at CUMC.  Presently, she is co-director of the Celebration Singers (youth) with Kevin Feltmann. She also sings in the Chancel Choir and plays handbells in the Adult Bell Choir.  She even plays in Beginner’s Chimes if they need extra hands!

Marsha and her husband, Lionel, have been CUMC members since 1968. They have two married sons, Darrin (Nancy), and Brandon (Becky), and 3 grandsons – Noah, Ian and Joel.

Since retiring, Marsha loves playing with her grandchildren, going to musicals, doing puzzle games, reading, traveling and volunteering in CUMC’s after-school program, the Cove.

Roni Kuester

Joyful Noise Choir Leader

Roni-Kuester 090410Roni Kuester is a life-long Methodist, born in Michigan, and a graduate of Michigan State University.   She taught  in the public schools in California after gradation – first at the junior  and senior high schools levels, then, after a “break” to begin a family, moved to an elementary school district to develop an enrichment  program of non-remedial psychomotor education and vocal music from which she has recently retired.

Roni has been involved with United Methodist Women starting in 1973 after joining CUMC the year before. Her first love, however, remains working each week with CUMC’s very active upper-elementary children’s choir.

Roni has two adult daughters, Margo and Temre, and one grandchild, Simon.

Sonya Hatch

Cherub Choir co-Leader

SStaff - Sonya Hatchonya is a graduate of CSULB and has been involved in many of CUMC’s music programs since childhood.  She has volunteered as one of the music leaders for Vacation Bible School (VBS) the last few years, helps to lead worship as a vocalist in CUMC’s contemporary worship band and is a member of the adult chancel choir. Sonya is excited to be working with Dave Hattersley as the co-Leader for CUMC’s Cherub Choir.

She is extremely honored to have the opportunity to pass along a love of music to our youth, as Mary Lou Pratt has done with great love, care and expertise for many years.

Dave Hattersley

Cherub Choir co-Leader

dave_hattersleyI enjoy working with children and am blessed to have a wife and daughter who attend CUMC with me. Often I act like a kid myself and have lots of fun!   In this way, I hope to share God’s love and follow good advice from Jesus – “If you don’t change and become like a child, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.” In the Cherub Choir, kids learn about God’s love, music, and reading all at the same time.

In addition to leading the Cherub Choir with Sonya Hatch, I play bass with the CUMC praise band and am the facilitator for the Children’s Council at CUMC.  Over the years, I have played guitar & bass, sang, and composed music as a professional for many performances and recordings.