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Meet Our Leadership

"Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God."


Jim Denton - Pastor

Hi, I am Pastor Jim Denton. I am passionate about growing closer to God, more Christ-like, and journeying with others along the way of following Jesus. I embrace John Wesley's understanding of salvation as life is restored to the love of God and love of neighbor, particularly valuing his conviction that the things that we do form who we are. This is the method (I am a Method-ist!) for spiritual growth. You could say that we practice our Christianity until we get it right!

I don't believe that we can be truly spiritual apart from a community that supports us, encourages us, holds us accountable, and in which we can practice our spirituality (and find grace for our missteps). However, we also cannot be truly spiritual unless we are fully engaged with the wider world outside the church, not to make the world fit our demands, but to be involved with the world, loving it as God loves it and living in it as witnesses to the transforming power of God’s love. Acts 2:42-47 describes such a community as being formed by worship, study, mission, justice, fellowship, praise, and joy. 

I am 61 years old, and live in Winfield, IN with my wife, Pastor Sheri Locascio who serves Trinity and Michigan Avenue United Methodist Churches in Hobart. We have one adult son, Jay, who lives in Crown Point.

A native of Sauk Village, IL, I practiced pharmacy for over 25 years before answering the call to pastoral ministry. After graduating from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 2015, I have served churches in Demotte, South Bend, and Hanna, IN before coming to Hammond First United Methodist Church in 2023. I look forward to serving Woodmar United Methodist Church. 

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David Bieschke - Choir Director

David has been involved in music and keyboard since the age of 7. His interest was sparked by the pianos and organs at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry and by those on display at the local Sears store. During his childhood, he took lessons at home. In high school, David studied pipe organ at Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago and at Roosevelt University’s Chicago Musical College. He also sang in choir throughout high school and college.

He attended Roosevelt University’s Chicago Musical College, Indiana University Bloomington, and St. Olaf College, majoring in music, in addition to earning a bachelor and master’s degree in social work.

He was the organist/choir director at Hyde Park United Methodist Church in Hammond for several years and later joined the Woodmar family as the organist. David lives with his fur baby, Chessie, a 16-year-old Chesapeake Bay retriever. He enjoys family, friends, flying, and food.

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Debbie Mangerson - Bookkeeper

Debbie Mangerson started at Woodmar United Methodist Church in April 2018 as the bookkeeper. Before that, Debbie worked for one employer from age 17 until she retired 38 years later in 2015! She was the Human Resource Director at Hammond Group Inc., starting at the bottom and working her way up with accounting, payroll and benefit administration. Debbie is a Hammond native, born and raised in “da region”. She is married to Bill and has one daughter, Brianna.


Brenda Petty - Office Manager

Bio Coming Soon....

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Karianne Padilla -
Director Community Preschool & Childcare

Karianne Padilla is theDirector at Community Preschool and Childcare. Karianne joined the team at CP&CC in 2018. She has an associate degree in Early Childhood Education and will be graduating with her bachelor degree in Early Childhood Education in the Fall of 2022. Karianne enjoys seeing others smile, providing support to others, and giving back to her community.

Senior Pastor
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