|Pastoral Staff||Musical Staff||Office Staff/Other||Custodian|
|Rev. Dick Wisdom,
|Rev. Sherry Steele,
Minister of Faith Formation
Chancel Choir Director
Director of Administrative Ministries
Worship Band Director
Bellissimo Choir Director
Children’s Choir Director
Rev. Wisdom started seminary in 1996 after 22 years working in the private sector. He has a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and two Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degrees* in Leadership (*ABD – all but dissertation): one from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and one from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. Pastor Dick is a passionate believer of lifelong learning.
Rev. Wisdom is a husband of 33 years to Cheryl, a father to 4 children, a grandfather to 4 perfect grandchildren, and the “dad” to his rescue dog Shadow. He previously served as the District Superintendent for the Aurora District in the Northern Illinois Conference.
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 Aurora with her husband, Tedd, who is also United Methodist pastor; her two children, Anna and Nathan; and her three stepchildren, Jadyn, Sophia, and Brooklyn. 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, gardening, hiking and reading.
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.
Beth is a lifelong United Methodist, growing up in parsonages across Central Illinois. She started singing in cherub choir when she was four years old, and feels most at home in the choir loft. She has directed adult choirs at Wesley UMC in Charleston, Illinois, and Community UMC in Naperville. She also directed the youth choir, Sine Nomine, at Community for six years. Beth has been a frequent guest conductor at Community Presbyterian in Clarendon Hills.
Beth retired in June after 34 years of teaching vocal music in the public schools. The bulk of those years were spent as choral director at Thayer J. Hill Middle School in Indian Prairie School District #204; she finished her final three years at Waubonsie Valley High School. Beth holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s in curriculum and instruction from National-Louis University. In 2003 she earned her master certificate from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. She served as IL-ACDA Repertoire and Standards Chair for middle school chorus from 2003-2009, and its president from 2011-2013.
Beth counts John DeGroot as a mentor and major influence on her teaching and conducting. She was humbled and excited to follow in his footsteps at Waubonsie Valley. Beth feels the same way about continuing in the music ministry at PUMC, following John and Jason Hawkins. She looks forward to working and worshiping with the staff, choir, and congregation here.
Beth and her husband Jim, the youth pastor at Church of the Good Shepherd UMC in Oswego, live in Naperville with their cats Cinderella, Tinkerbell, and Tigger.
Megan Marconi has been a member of Plainfield United Methodist Church since 2015 and is honored for her role as leader of Worship Band. Megan earned a B.A. in Music – Vocal Performance from North Central College and a M.A. in Elementary Education from National-Louis University. Her lifelong passion for worship through music began at the young age of 3 years, when she joined her first church choir in her hometown of Aurora, IL. That passion would continue to flourish within the same church for the next 20 years, where she co-founded and lead vocals for another praise band. Megan is a stay-at-home mother to Joey and wife to Bryan, a Joliet Firefighter; they reside in Joliet, along with their cat, Sebastian, and dog, Cujo.
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 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.