Church Leadership

Pastor:  Rev. Ellen Zienert

Pastor Ellen began at First Church on July 15, 2012.  She came to us from an appointment at East Lansing Chapel Hill and Crossroads in Williamston.  Her daughter, Emma, graduated from Michigan State University .  Emma and her husband, Mario, live and work in  Lansing.

Prior to pursuing her call to the ministry, Pastor Ellen was a human resources professional for a utility company. Now a  graduate of the Methodist Theological School in Ohio (2010) and after completing the required steps, she is a full elder of the United Methodist Church.

Pastor Ellen believes that as Jesus’ disciples, we are called to create the compassionate community that Jesus preached about.  Through worship, Bible Study, fellowship, works of justice and caring for others, as well as having fun together, the church is called to live into Christ’s command to love God and love each other.

In her spare time she likes to read, knit, cook, and spend time with her family.



Marie Shrum, Office Administrator

Marie has been in our office since June of 1986.  She and her husband, Bob have been members here at First Church since 1982, having moved to St. Johns after Bob’s commitment to the Air Force was up in 1981. They have two adult children and a granddaughter who occupy much of their free time.

Margret Schaefer, Custodian

Margaret has been on staff since 1999.  Margaret is a life long member of First Church.  Her husband, Karl joined shortly after their marriage.  Margaret and Karl have 4 adult children and 4 grandchildren.


Karen Kusenda, Choir Director

Karen and her husband Dan, have been long time members of the choir and congregation.  Karen join the staff as Choir Director in 2009.


Hyunah Song, Accompanist

Hyunah is a graduate student at MSU and joined our staff in May of 2017.