Meet the Staff

Rev Dr Jacob C Williams, Jr.

As Senior Pastor I oversee the total spiritual/administrative component of our church. I also connect with the community at large making sure that we give a helping hand to those in need. In Zechariah 7:9b it says, "administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another."


BA in Psychology from Chicago State University

Masters of Divinity from

United Theological Seminary

Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary


Family: Father of three outstanding Sons: Jacob C. Williams III, Joseph D. Williams, Jonathan L. Williams

Marlane Sturm

Director of Music and Worship Arts

Marlane Sturm is our Director of Music and Arts Ministries.  She held this position on regular staff for 25 years and retired in 2014.  Marlane returned in June 2017 in the same job.

She is a graduate of Ohio University with a major in Theater and minors in Speech and English.  She taught 9th grade English in Springfield, Ohio before moving to Ft. Wayne in 1975.  While being a stay-at-home Mom with her 3 children, Marlane felt a strong call to Music and Arts Ministries and returned to school at the Ft. Wayne Bible College to Major in Music.  She was hired at AUMC in January 1989.  

Marlane directs the Wesley Choir, Chancel Chorale, Extoll Handbell Choir, Drama & Dance Presentations and leads Children's Music.  

Marlane also loves RV traveling with her husband Joe and spending time with her children and three grandchildren.

Roy Horther or

Financial Assistant

Sr. Adult Ministries Coordinator



Roy has been Senior Adult Ministries Coordinator since July 2012 and part-time Custodian since September 2009.  He also is the Chair of the Outreach Council and one of the head cooks for the Me-'N-U mission (known for his beef vegetable soup and meat loaf).  Roy has earned three Associate Degrees (Higher Accounting, Business Management and Marketing).  He worked for the federal government as a civilian for the Army Reserve and retired in May 2009 after 28 years and is also retired from the military service (Army).  Roy is married to Nikki for almost 30 years and joined Aldersgate in March 1988 and have three adult children, Christie, Luke and Jordan.

Lisa Beerbower

Organizational Support Specialist, Financial Assistant, Assistant Wedding Coordinator

Lisa has been a member of Aldersgate UMC since March of 1987.  In January of 2014, she joined the staff as an Organizational Support Specialist.  She is also one of the Wedding Coordinators.  She became Financial Assistant in January of 2017, and handles all income and payroll. Lisa is very involved with a number of groups in the Church and is the President of the local unit of United Methodist Women.  Lisa  volunteers for the Nursery and Vacation Bible School. She is part of the Altar Guild,  Communion Guild, Funeral Dinner Team and serves as Hostess for all events coming into the church.  Lisa is married to Joe and has two grown sons Randy and Bradley and three precious grandchildren, Kaiden, Peyton and Dominic.

Phyllis Lahr

Organist, Pianist, Accompanist

Phyllis wrote, "Making music has become my passion.  It is, for me, an expression of worship through which others, I trust, may experience the divine.  My intention is to satisfy the great hymn 'When in Our Music God Is Glorified'. And may it be done in various styles and moods."  Phyllis has previously served on staff until a hand injury caused her to take an extended leave.  We are so delighted that she has returned with all of her skills and passion for God and the expression of music.

Jill Harkless

Cradle Care

Jill is a valuable resource in caring for our young children in Cradle Care.

Jessie Baughan

Volunteer New Generations Ministries Youth

Jessie has grown up at Aldersgate.  After graduating from High School, Jessie has volunteered in several ministry positions with a passion for children and youth.  Jessie is also on staff at the Aldersgate Academy.

Ken Arend

Night Host

Ken began working with Aldersgate in 2001.  He has served as a part-time custodian and maintenance resource until 2009. Ken accepted the position as Night Host in 2011.

John Stewart Sr.

AV Technical Support

John Stewart Sr. joined Aldersgate in the summer 2017, he brings experience here at Aldersgate, working with video and sound applications for many years. He is a husband and father of three. John enjoys many different genres of music and is also a drummer.