Welcome New Staff

Dec. 8, 2021


We are pleased to Welcome Linda Barach to our custodial staff. Linda is warm, energetic and excited to be joining the church custodial staff. Previously, Linda worked on the custodial staff of St. Mary Magdalene Church. Linda will work Monday-Friday from 2-5 pm. Stacy Hnatowich, our current custodian, asked to have her hours reduced. Stacy’s new hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. Please extend a warm welcome to Linda.  

Aug. 17, 2021

Director of Children and Student Ministry

The Staff-Parish Relations Committee invites you to welcome Allison Vitale as the new Director of Children and Student Ministry. Allison brings 20 years of experience working with children and youth and a tremendous passion for helping young people grow in their faith. Allison has known since high school that God’s calling on her life was to make Christ known. She has a B.A. in Biblical Studies. We are very excited that Allison has agreed to join our staff.

Allison is excited about fostering a youth and children’s ministry at First United Methodist Church that is inclusive and accessible. When not at church you’re likely to find Allison outside: hiking, kayaking or sitting under a tree with a book in hand. She also enjoys writing, knitting, laughing and geeking out over Middle Earth with her three kids: Ezra (15), Ivy (14) and Simon (11). She and her husband Jonathan will celebrate 20 years of marriage on 8/25/21. Allison is a native Midwesterner, originally from Indianapolis but most recently from Chicagoland. She is so excited to be back in beautiful Michigan.

We hope that you will join us in welcoming her and her family to the Brighton area. We could not be more thrilled that she has decided to make Brighton her home and share her gifts with us.

June 9, 2021

The Staff-Parish Relations Committee invites you to help welcome two new staff persons to the team at First United Methodist Church — Brighton & Whitmore Lake. They will be introduced during an upcoming worship service and when you meet them, we know you help make them feel at home.

First Steps Preschool Director

Jennifer Lapa joins our staff as the new Preschool Director effective July 1, though she is already cross-training with retiring Director Lisa Guise. She distinguished herself amongst a strong pool of qualified candidates. She has a bachelor’s degree from Oakland University and has 12 graduate school credits in Early Childhood Education. Jennifer spent 18 years serving as the Director of the Howell Early Child Education. During that time she oversaw a program that served 600 students a year. She is knowledgeable, kind, compassionate, and extremely capable of building on the solid program in place at First Steps. We feel blessed to have such a qualified candidate for this position. Jennifer is married with three children. We are very excited for her to join our team. She is committed to maintaining the healthy relationship that exists between the church and the preschool.

Worship Producer

Torrey Taylor has accepted the position of Worship Producer and will be responsible for creating worship slides and producing the online worship livestream. Torrey is originally from Ohio and has 11 years of video production experience in Ohio and now also works for the University of Michigan’s Women’s Lacrosse Team doing videography. We are excited to have Torrey bring his video experience and United Methodist background, along with his degree in journalism and mass communication, on board as our worship producer. He and his wife Lora live in Ypsilanti with their eight-month-old daughter Elinor.
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