Karen was born in Los Banos and moved with her family to Santa Cruz in 1965. She grew up there and began college at Cabrillo College in Aptos before leaving to start a career in electronic distribution sales in Los Angeles in 1978. Karen returned to the Bay Area in 1985 and continued her career until she answered a call to ministry (out of Wesley United Methodist Church in San Jose) in 1998. At that time Karen completed her Bachelor’s Degree at CSU, Turlock and then went to Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado for seminary and a Masters of Divinity. Karen graduated from Illiff with a concentration in Justice and Peace Studies and was awarded an Urban Ministry Fellowship. Karen served as a student local pastor of a tiny urban church in Denver for two years while she was in seminary.
Karen came back to California and the California-Nevada Annual Conference in 2005 where the then Fresno DS, Vickie Healy, appointed her to Lindsay UMC. Karen was ordained in 2008 by Bishop Shamana. Karen served in Lindsay until being moved to Wesley UMC in Bakersfield in 2009. Karen brings experience in preaching, in youth and adult studies, pastoral care and staff supervision. She has been instrumental in developing a youth group at Wesley Bakersfield. She has been part of Wesley Bakersfield partnerships with the Boys and Girls Club, Rotary food drives, and the Bakersfield Burrito Project where volunteers make burritos to feed the homeless. She has helped to negotiate capital repairs at Wesley including raising the needed money.
Karen is currently the Circuit Leader in Kern County and the co-chair of the Central Valley District Committee on Ordained Ministry. She has served on the Conference Commission on Religion and Race and the Conference Commission on Annual Conference. She was also trained in and provided advocacy for a Racially Diverse and Inclusive Church in the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference. Before going to seminary, Karen was president of her local United Methodist Women unit and was a district UMW officer. Contact Karen
She staffs the office, prepares the bulletins and Encounter newsletter and visual media, manages the facilities, and etc.
She serves as our part-time bookkeeper.
Dolores started working with Wesley part-time in 1994 in childcare; she soon moved to the part-time assistant custodial position and eventually became the full-time custodian in 2001. Dolores continues to work in childcare on Sunday mornings. Her work as Custodian involves not only clean-up, but setting up for our many events.
Elizabeth began as our assistant choir director in 1993, and in 2003 became our Choir Director and Music Director. She directs the Aldersgate Choir and coordinates other musicians and groups.
Peggy serves as our Accompanist. She also plays french horn in the Bakersfield Symphony.
Our loving staff provides childcare in Education West on Sunday mornings for children. Janet has been with Wesley in childcare since 1990 and Dolores since 1994 . Cindy joined the childcare team in 2004 and currently fill in when Dolores or Janet are not available.