Plainfield UMC Staff

Pastoral Staff Musical Staff Office Staff/Other Custodian
Rev. Dr. Eun-Hye Choi, Lead Pastor Jason Hawkins, Chancel Choir and Worship Band Director Victoria Eggerstedt, Administrative Assistant Jennifer Garcia
Rev. Sherry Scates, Minister of Faith Formation Kelly Markwell, Bellissimo Choir Director Cheryl Henbest, Financial Secretary Christina Miller
Roger Beitzel, Youth Director Kathleen Hermansen, Organist Hope Wooldridge, Treasurer
Karyn Holstead, Children’s Choir Director Suzy Henbest, Office Support
Danielle Ivins, Parish Nurse

Rev. Dr. Eun-Hye Choi, Lead Pastor

Eun-Hye joined the staff of Plainfield United Methodist Church in July 2011. She felt God calling her to ministry when she was working for a Korean language newspaper in Chicago. “As a reporter for a newspaper I had the privilege of meeting many different kinds of people from different backgrounds. I learned and realized that all people were God’s children no matter what life situations they were in and what opinions they had about the world and God.” Home for Eun-Hye’s family was in Seoul, Korea. Eun-Hye earned the B.S. in Political Science from Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul and the M.A. in Political Science from Sogang Graduate School in Seoul. Then she came to the U.S. in 1988 with her family and spent three years at Korean Central Newspaper as a reporter and editor. “I used to think that I could contribute to changing the world through social movements but now I realize that all of those studies and experiences are gifs for the ministry I do in daily life and in the world.” Eun-Hye earned her Master of Christian Education and Master of Divinity from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in 1993 and 1995, focusing on education and theology. She was ordained as a deacon in Northern Illinois Conference in 1998 and as an elder in 2001. Her first appointment was to First UMC of Palatine as associate pastor working on education, mission and pastoral counseling and visitations. She earned a Doctor of Ministry in 2004 in Christian Religious Education and Practical Theology from Claremont School of Theology. As lead pastor of Plainfield UMC, Eun-Hye is responsible for planning worship and birthing and raising the vision, value and priorities of the life of the church. Eun-Hye is married to Chris Walters and they have a son, Timothy. They share the fun of playing Wii games, watching Food Network, and camping and traveling.


Rev. Sherry Scates, Minister of Faith Formation

Sherry serves as the Minister of Faith Formation at Plainfield United Methodist Church. She is responsible for spiritual formation and educational opportunities for all ages, from infants in the nursery up through adults. After graduating from Illinois Wesleyan University with degrees in music and religion, she moved to Nashville, TN in 1999. She received her Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School in 2004 and was ordained a deacon in the United Methodist Church in 2010. She lives in Plainfield with her two children, Anna and Nathan. Sherry is passionate about equipping people to use their gifts both within and outside of the church. She is active in the Plainfield Ministerial Association, and serves on numerous district and conference committees, as well as the board of the Ridgewood United Community Pantry and the Emergency Food and Shelter Committee with the United Way of Joliet. When not at church, Deacon Sherry can be found singing, dancing, playing with her kids, laughing with friends, hanging out at the gym, hiking and reading.


Roger Beitzel, Youth Director

Roger is the youngest of seven children and believes that growing up in a house full of siblings helped prepare him for the fun and chaos of youth ministry. Roger graduated from Kent State University with a degree in Magazine Journalism and worked for some years as a reporter and editor. Despite being very involved in his church as a lay person, Roger still did not feel like he was doing enough to serve God. Through time and prayer, he discerned his call to professional ministry and later graduated from United Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity Degree. Roger enjoys a wide variety of activities in his leisure time. He is a huge NASCAR fan and loves anything with four wheels and an engine. He also enjoys working on cars and doing his own automotive maintenance and repairs. He is an avid reader, always having at least one book going, and sometimes two or three. Roger also enjoys cooking, pets, spending time outdoors, and camping. He enjoys camping so much that he is an assistant Scoutmaster with his son’s Boy Scout Troop and also serves as one of its co-chaplains. Roger and his wife Kathy reside in Aurora and have two children, Laura and Alex.


Jason Hawkins, Chancel Choir & Worship Band Director

Jason Hawkins has attended Plainfield United Methodist Church since 2007 and is proud to serve the church as Chancel Choir and Worship Band Director. He earned a B.A. in both Choral Music Education and Trumpet Performance from Western Illinois University, a M.A. in Education from Governors State University, and served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Illinois while pursuing a Ph.D. in Music Education. He is currently in his twelfth year as Director of Choirs at Plainfield North High School where, as an inaugural staff member, he oversaw the inception of the Music Department and has been influential in its rapid growth. Under his direction, the choirs at PNHS have received numerous prestigious honors and perform regularly throughout the community, state, and country. Mr. Hawkins has been honored many times by the Plainfield Schools including selection as the 2016 PNHS “Teacher of the Year” and 2016 “Award of Excellence” winner. He makes frequent appearances as clinician/conductor for ILMEA, IHSA, IGSMA, and regional choral festivals and has gained a strong reputation throughout the state. As an up-and-coming researcher in music education, he has presented at the Illinois Music Educators Conference (2014) and the International Symposium on Assessment in Music Education (2015), is a contributing author in its 2016 publication, and has been a guest lecturer at numerous regional universities. Mr. Hawkins resides in Plainfield with his wife, Laura, and their two beautiful daughters, Hannah and Olivia.


Kelly Markwell, Bellissimo Choir Director

Kelly Markwell is a life-long member of Plainfield United Methodist Church, having grown up in Plainfield and having been involved in music almost his whole life. Kelly started singing in the church choir his sophomore year in high school, and then went on to earn his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Illinois State University with a major in Choral Music Education, and a minor in Instrumental Music Education (with a clarinet specialty). After teaching in central Illinois for a short time, Kelly returned to his hometown and home church in the early 1990s, where he embarked on a second career in computers. He is currently the Database Administrator for the Illinois Hospital Association and is approaching 20 years with the company. However, he has never let music leave his life. He has performed with the Joliet Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, has been a part of 30 theatrical stage shows as actor, pit musician, make-up expert, stage manager, rehearsal accompanist and director. He also current enjoys singing in the quartet United 4 Him, and performing on the piano whenever he can. Since 2002 Kelly has directed the Bellissimo Handbell choir, which has grown from its initial donation of three octaves to its current set of five octaves of handbells and four octaves of hand chimes. He has been a member of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers. Kelly and his wife Sherry recently celebrated their 20th anniversary, and has two teenage boys (both of which sing, play instruments in the school bands and play handbells at church). He also performs occasionally with the Markwell Handbell Ringers, his extended family in the Plainfield area spanning three generations with seventeen members of his family ringing.


Kathleen Hermansen, Organist

Kathleen Hermansen has been playing the piano for fifty years. She studied first with Charles Frantz and later with Helen Kettner at Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, Illinois, where Mrs. Hermansen received her Bachelor of Arts degree in music education. She has served as the church organist at Plainfield United Methodist Church since 1973! Kathleen works in the Valley View School District at Romeoville High School. She and her husband Keith celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary and live in Joliet.


Victoria Eggerstedt
Administrative Assistant
Photo of Victoria Eggerstedt
Cheryl Henbest
Financial Secretary

Hope Wooldridge
Treasurer

Suzy Henbest
Office Support


Jennifer Garcia
Custodian

Christina Miller
Custodian

 

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