Rev. Shelly McNaughton-Lawrence, Senior Pastor
Shelly joined the staff of Aldersgate in July 2006. She has a deep passion for sharing the love and compassion of the Christian life with people from all walks of life. Shelly grew up attending the Shawnee United Methodist Church in Shawnee, KS, and has been active in all areas of ministry since her youth. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Radio-Television Journalism from Kansas State University and received her Masters of Divinity from the Iliff School of Theology. Shelly has served churches all over the United States, including California, Florida, Iowa and throughout Kansas. She received the Denman Evangelism Award in 2000. Shelly and her husband Eric have two children, Sarah and Sean.
Blake Stanwood, Associate Pastor and Student/Adult Ministries Director
Blake graduated from Baker University, where he majored in religion and history and minored in sociology and church leadership. He also competed in track and field at Baker in the javelin and decathlon. After graduating from Baker, he worked for Church of the Resurrection in student ministries and most recently congregational care. “I am so blessed to join the staff at Aldersgate UMC,” Blake says. He is a student at Saint Paul School of Theology.
Kayla Houck, Children’s Faith Formation Director
Kayla is a graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University with a bachelor of science in psychology and education. She is working toward her master’s of divinity at Saint Paul School of Theology. Kayla brings a great deal of experience in early education and in church education to her position at Aldersgate. She is bilingual in Spanish, and has a passion for helping children to know Christ and to grow in their faith.
Linda Hopwood, Administrative Assistant
Linda is a member of Paola United Methodist Church. She grew up attending Trinity United Methodist Church in Hutchinson, KS, where she was active in the youth group, and sang in youth and adult choirs. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism, and has worked in a variety of corporate communication and marketing positions. She has been a Certified Lay Servant for more than 25 years and currently fills leadership roles at both the district and conference levels. She and her husband Jim have two daughters. He serves as the pastor of Edgerton United Methodist Church and she is a student at Saint Paul School of Theology where she serves as Communications Director for one of the student organizations.
Becky Waters, Worship Ministries and Adult Choir Director
Becky comes to us with a lifetime of church music experience. She is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in music education. Becky also served as the worship pianist for Baker University for many years.
Laura Peden, Worship Pianist
Laura joined Aldersgate in August 2016 as the Worship Pianist. She has given private piano lessons to children and adults since 1990, and has been the accompanist for several church choirs and several Florida high school music festivals. She also has provided music direction in numerous musical theater productions. Laura is excited to share her musical talent in Aldersgate worship services.
Mike Robinson, Treasurer
After volunteering to help with lots of financial activities, Mike joined the Aldersgate staff as treasurer in 2012. He received his bachelor’s in finance from Kansas State University, and a second bachelor’s in accounting from Wichita State University. He earned his master’s in business administration degree from Baker University. Mike’s desire is to serve God in all that he does. He and his wife Debi have three daughters and one son.
Janice Wendel, Bookkeeper
Janice, who joined the Aldersgate staff in April 2017, graduated from Truman State University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and earned a master’s in accounting from UMKC. She grew up attending Knox United Presbyterian Church and has been an active member there for over 25 years. Janice and her husband Andrew have one daughter and two sons.
Julie France, Child Care Director
Julie has been a member of Aldersgate since 2002 and volunteers to help with lots of activities that impact children and youth. She joined the Aldersgate staff as Child Care Director in 2012. Julie enjoys caring for young children and guiding her care workers in ways to help children feel at home at Aldersgate. Julie and her husband Erik have two sons and one daughter.
Cyndi Mawhiney, Preschool Director
Cyndi has worked in the early childhood field for more than 20 years. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Kansas State University. Cyndi then served for two years as Director of First United Methodist Church of Topeka’s Day Care, 11 years as a home day care provider, and seven years as Director of the Early Childhood Center at Ellisville United Methodist Church. Cyndi joined the Aldersgate Preschool staff as director in April 2001. With a strong commitment to children and a constant involvement in children’s programs and ministries as both a volunteer and professional, Cyndi emphasizes the importance of providing a safe, nurturing and stimulating experience for all children.