Our Staff

[full_width] MeetTheStaff


Pastor: Rev. Jennie Browne

More about Jennie...

Jennie was ordained in 1984 as a minister of the United Church of Christ. Her ordination credentials were recognized by the United Methodist Church in 1998 and she has served 4 United Methodist congregations before coming to GUMchurch in 2016, including First United Methodist Church of Grand Rapids and University United Methodist Church in East Lansing.

Jennie was born in San Francisco, California, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. She received her Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and her Doctor of Ministry from the University of Chicago.

Jennie has two daughters, Katie who lives in Chicago and is Director of Operations for a charter school there, and Lexie who just moved to St. Louis to start a graduate program in Social Work at Washington University. Her fiancé, Eric is the Director of Music and Worship Arts at Grand Rapids First UMC. Their wedding is planned for the end of May, 2017.

Next Gen Ministries Director: Kim Moore

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Kim was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa – right on the Mississippi river.  She graduated from Northwestern College in Orange City, IA with a degree in Christian Education & Ministries. Kim has been doing Children’s and Youth ministries at a church in Iowa for the last 3 ½  years.

In her free time, Kim loves to be indoors watching a movie, cooking, playing nerdy board games, or doing puzzles- or outdoors, canoeing, hiking, or taking a nap in my hammock! She also loves running 5ks.

Kim has 3 brothers, the youngest being an active duty marine stationed overseas, so she also loves volunteering time whenever she can to serve those who are serving our country!


Nursery Ministry Director: Jenny Care

More about Jenny...

Jenny Care has a passion for the education of children. She believes education happens at all ages and children should be nurtured in a fun, safe, and caring environment. She has been a member of GUMchurch since 2000 and on staff since 2006.  She is blessed to work with a wonderful team of volunteers who share her passion for kids. She studied early childhood education at Michigan State University and Aquinas College, where she received her teaching degree in Elementary Education. Jenny has been married to Tim for almost 20 years. They have a daughter, Alexis and a son, Michael. The Cares spend their free time camping during the summer months and watching the Spartans as much as possible. Jenny strives to live out the vision of GUMchurch and to touch the lives of those she meets in a positive way.


Worship Director: Alex Barringer

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Alex Barringer has worked at GUMChurch since July 2013. He has a BA in Music with emphases in Worship Arts and Piano performance. Alex moved here from the St. Louis area in the summer of 2012. He grew up in the Toledo, OH area. Alex has worked at several different churches in the past and is excited to be starting his job here at GUMChurch. In addition to music, Alex enjoys reading, cooking, mountain biking, video games, and watching TV.


Choir Director: Lynette Cole

More about Lynette...

Lynette Cole has been the GUMchurch Choir Director since 2001. She was previously a member of the choir and has been a member of GUMchurch since 1991. She holds a music education degree from Hope College and taught elementary music in the Hudsonville Public Schools for 10 years. After “retiring” she became a Kindermusik educator, which she has been doing since 1998. She and her husband, Kelly have two grown sons, Danny and Kenny, who grew up in the nurturing and challenging atmosphere of the GUMchurch youth program. Besides her family, singing is one of her biggest joys, along with writing, color (spring green is a good one), traveling and goat cheese. A good laugh is also high on the list.



Office Manager: Lisa Ernst

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Lisa Ernst has worked for GUMchurch since November of 2013 and became a church member in 2011. She moved to Grand Rapids in 2010 from Bad Axe, MI, and has lived in ten different towns. She calls Harbor Springs “home”, from where she graduated and met her husband of 33 years, Terry. They recently bought a home in Jenison and plan to stay! Her two daughters, son-in-law and grandson live here also, as well as many other and various relatives. Lisa has a B.A. in Secondary Education with an English Major and History Minor. She taught high school for one year, co-operated a small business for twenty-five years, and worked for M.S.U. Extension Huron County as a field educator. For six years she sold golf apparel and accessories as a field representative and currently is a corporate sales representative. Lisa likes movies, books, beads, hiking, biking, camping, gardening, cooking, yoga, golf and GUMchurch! 



Marketing & Hospitality Director: Holly Downer

More about Holly...

Holly has been in ministry at GUMchurch since 2007. She is originally from St. Louis, Missouri but came to West Michigan in 2005 from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Holly holds a BS in Marketing from Maryville University and a MS in Communications (with a focus on non-profit management) from Grand Valley State University.

In addition to working at GUMchurch, Holly is also the Executive Director of Grand Rapids Metro Ministry, the urban ministry arm of the United Methodist Church in GR. She has worked in public relations, marketing research, crime data analytics and communications survey research.

Holly has two great kids and one sweet old dog.  She is an avid gardener, reader, camper, hiker, and challenger of the status quo.



Building & Grounds Manager: Dale Brown

More about Dale...

Dale and his wonderful wife Anne have two amazing daughters Becky and Emily. Becky and her husband, Paul, both sing in the GUM choir and enjoy playing volleyball whenever possible. Emily is also a sports buff playing volleyball, softball and hockey. After graduating from Western Michigan University, Dale took a circuitous route to GUMchurch. He worked along with his dad and brother in a home inspection business, while also teaching part time at Baker Business College in Muskegon. He then went to work for Jabil Circuit Inc., a provider of electronics for the automotive industry. Seeking to find a less stressful occupation, Dale joined the staff as the Building and Grounds Manager and spends his days looking after the GUMchurch property.