I came to Grace by way of Vanderbilt Divinity School in July of 2014 and couldn’t be happier to serve God in this community. I have a passion for inter-generational relationships–there is nothing cooler than older folks and little ones and college students finding God together in community. Worship is one of my favorite times of the week, because it is a chance to share the good news of Jesus Christ that deserves to be shared with joy and passion! I believe God calls us to help build a more just and loving world for all of God’s children, and I’m grateful that Grace is a church that hears that same call.  I love this church because it puts its faith into action and is always willing to try new things. When I’m not at church, I enjoy traveling, hiking, kayaking, hanging out with my neighbors (you’ll find me at College Hill Coffee several days a week), and spending time with my nephews.

Madison Stumbough

I was born and raised right outside of Kansas City in Bonner Springs, Kansas. In the fall of 2015 I began my freshman year at Southwestern College, throughout the first semester I both fell in love with and found a new home in Winfield. I’m studying Early Childhood Education, Youth Ministry, Discipleship, and Business while pursuing a Liberal Arts & Sciences degree. I spent a transformative summer in Kearney, NE interning at Kearney First United Methodist Church in 2017 and also had the opportunity to work at the Summit Youth Academy. My passion for working with God’s children was born again that summer and I was hired as the Director of Children’s Ministry here at Grace. I am thankful for the people of Grace and the way they encourage me to love Jesus and love God’s children better. In my free time I love doing crafty things, drinking coffee, and spending time with my friends & family.

Amber Shelton

I moved here from a small town in southern Iowa in June of 2016. My husband Matt is the Southwestern College Athletic Director. We have three beautiful children, Hailey 14, Trevor 11, and Molly 7. We are a very sports involved family. We enjoy attending as many Southwestern sporting events as we can and my oldest two children are in several sports of their own. This keeps our family very busy! Grace has welcomed me with open arms. It is a wonderful place to work. I have very much enjoyed getting to know many of the members in my short time working here. Grace is like one big family!

McKenzie Wheeler

I was invited to start singing in the choir at Grace in 2011.  Shortly thereafter, the position came open for Director of Music.  Since accepting the position at Grace the wonderful people here have encouraged me to follow my dreams to complete my education in music.  They have allowed me to obtain a masters degree and I am teaching music full time in the public school system and also as a  Southwestern College adjunct faculty while serving our rich music background here at Grace church.  Here at Grace I direct the chancel choir weekly and participate in the bell choir as well as helping plan and coordinate music for worship. I love Grace because it is the best kind of family.   We support each other, we support the community and we support those we don’t even know though missions and service work on a regular basis.  I love the relationships my children have with people of all ages and the opportunities they get to put the love of God into action by helping others. When I’m not teaching music I love to read, paint and spend time with my family.  Our family watches and participates in several sports that keep us busy almost year round.

  I grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. From a very early age, it was my hope to become a musician and college teacher. I graduated from the Oberlin College Conservatory and earned master’s and doctoral degrees from Northwestern University School of Music. For one year, I studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and later, as a Fulbright Fellow, spent a year in Berlin at the State Music Academy. More recently I held fellowships at Yale and Edinburgh. For 34 years I taught at Hollins College in Virginia, directing the choir, playing organ in the chapel, and teaching organ, harpsichord, and various music courses. The Hollins campus is a beautiful place, surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. Among its wonderful instruments is a 47-bell carillon cast in France. Here in Winfield, I teach organ and harpsichord at Southwestern and thoroughly enjoy playing the organ at Grace. The church pipe organ is a fine one. Pastor Lora, McKenzie Wheeler, and the members of the choir and congregation are extraordinarily warm and encouraging to me. I love Winfield.

Tony Gropper

I am a Winfield native, have attended Grace for ~23 years and directed the Handbell choir for the last 10. Currently, I am the Director for Academic Technology at Southwestern. I was a music major in college and like to spend my free time playing video games, spending time with my wonderful wife Amanda and two dogs, Geoffrey and Casa, and singing with The Student Loans. My favorite part about Grace is the people. Growing up in the church has allowed me to build great relationships with so many fantastic people.

Shayla Jordan

I moved to Winfield from Wichita, KS to attend school at Southwestern College just about three years ago. I am a senior this year, graduating in May, and plan to attend seminary in the fall. I have loved my time here at SC because of the welcoming community, the home I have found at Grace UMC, and I believe I am receiving one of the best liberal arts educations. My passion in life is discovering others’ stories and learning how I can pour into them, as I believe stories are very powerful. When not reading, studying, or catching up on sleep, I like to spend my time hammocking, traveling, or going on runs. I am thankful for the many ways Grace UMC has shaped me throughout my time in college and absolutely love the community and support system I have discovered here. Additionally, Grace has gifted me with the opportunity to put my faith into action when injustices arise.

Felix Aguayo

My name is Felix Aguayo, and I am from Juarez, Mexico. I am current student at Southwestern College majoring in Athletic Training. I love sports! Especially basketball. And I also enjoy listening to Christian music. What I enjoy the most about Grace is how it feels more like a family than just a church community. Being away 12 hours from home, family, and friends can sometimes be really hard but Grace is my family here and they’ve helped me to begin a new life here where the center of all of it is God. I am really proud to work at Grace because as I work I feel that closer to the purpose that God has for me. Also, Grace has great people and it is great to work for such a great community of people I care for.

Raquel Resendiz

I was born in El Paso, Tx., but raised 18 years of my life in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. I graduated from Lydia Patterson Institute, which without that high school I wouldn’t be here. I came to Winfield knowing only the existence of SC and Grace Church. I’m currently majoring in Business Administration with a minor in Leadership. I am passionate about cultures and languages. I like being involved with people and listening to their stories. I love observing art and making art. I enjoyed reading and dancing. For me knowing that there was a church expecting me to come gave me the strength to come this far from home. The people of Grace are so welcoming and sweet, I am blessed to have them in my life. I am proud of how Grace cares about the community and the college, and how they reach out and spread love and grace. I enjoy being part of this church.

John Elam

I have been custodian at Grace since 2006. I have lived in Winfield mostly for nearly 70 years, with short periods of time elsewhere. My interests are varied and although “retired” I am busy with part time work for Grace and I volunteer in several areas in the community.

Ben Ekhoff

Hannah Breshears

My name is Hannah Breshears, and I am a freshmen at Southwestern College. I grew up in Wichita, and came to Winfield to pursue a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre. I spent the summer before starting at Grace working as a church outreach intern in San Diego; I learned about planting a church, building diverse community, and how to drive in California. I started working at Grace as a choir intern last semester, and the church body and staff has been extremely supportive in every way. When I’m not doing school or work, I love reading and playing with cats.