Meet Our Staff

PASTOR JOHN MARS | Pastor | [email protected]

The Rev. John Mars is dedicated to working with others to advance the Kingdom of God.

Pastor John came to Meridian United Methodist Church as senior pastor in 2007. At that time, he had already served as a pastor for 25 years: eight years in Southern Baptist churches and 17 years in United Methodist churches in Mississippi, Oregon, and Idaho.

His formal education includes two master’s degrees in divinity – in pastoral care and counseling from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and in New Testament theology from Memphis Cumberland Presbyterian Seminary. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from University of Southern Mississippi.

He says his life is all about relationships: his relationship with God, with his family, and with the people with whom he serves. His approach to ministry can be summed up in a truism: “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

LISA MILLER | Minister of Congregational Care | [email protected]

Lisa grew up in the Boise area, where she graduated from Centennial High School in 1990. While attending Boise State University, she married David Miller in 1992 at University Christian Church. When her husband was assigned to Savannah, Georgia for the Air National Guard, she attended and volunteered her many talents to the Richmond Hill United Methodist Church. While in Georgia, she raised two wonderful children and completed her Public Health degree at Armstrong Atlantic State University. After her husband retired, the family returned to the Treasure Valley where Lisa enjoys being a mom, running, spending time outdoors, and being with family and friends. She feels blessed to be working at the Church of the Warm Heart! Her ministry is one of love. Her advice – Never stop doing the little things for others…it makes a big difference!

ROB TULLOCH | Assistant Pastor| [email protected]

Rob grew up in Boise and attended Whitney Methodist until the age of 10 when he started attending a Youth group at Red Rock Christian Church. He became very plugged in there as a youth, then as a peer youth leader on a regional team, and finally after graduation as a young adult leader. He was really moved and saved while on a mission trip to Nicaragua that truly opened his eyes to both the pain of the people, and the glory of God in their faith. Since then he has been committed to serving Christ at any opportunity. He found that opportunity in going to college and pursuing a career in ministry and earned his Bachelors in Pastoral Ministry. While there, he was a part of a missionary team in the Grand Canyon (where he met his wife) and he also taught a peer bible study on the Psalms for fellow students. His ministry is one of Love, Joy, and Curiosity and that is how he approaches life.

KADE ATWOOD | Minister of Worship Arts | [email protected]

Kade Atwood began his love of sacred music as a child, singing in choirs. That love of music inspired him through college where he received his degree in Music. Kade is currently seeking a Master of Arts in Ministry at Indiana Wesleyan University. In his spare time, he loves being on the lake with his family and riding his horses.

NICOLE WALKER | Minister of Youth | [email protected]

Nicole Walker grew up in Pennsylvania and then attended college in Michigan, where she lived for six years. She and her husband, Jacob, moved to Idaho in August of 2012 to be near Jacob’s siblings and find work as math teachers. Now some of Jacob’s siblings have left Idaho, but Nicole and Jacob have put down roots and plan to stay. In October, a stork brought them a cute little redhead, Coraline Grace, and they couldn’t be happier about it. When they’re not changing diapers and having tummy time, Jacob and Nicole enjoy playing board games together and watching too much TV. Nicole also enjoys scrapbooking and trying out all sorts of different crafts.

In Grand Rapids, Nicole worked as a substitute teacher, a math coach, and the Minister of Worship Arts at Grace Christian Reformed Church, where she got the church’s teens involved in planning and leading worship. Since coming to Idaho, Nicole has taught high school math at INSPIRE Connections Academy. It didn’t take long for Jason Maupin to recruit her to teach teen Sunday School at church, and she enjoyed helping with youth group events and serving on the Youth Advisory Council. When Rob moved into the role of Minister of Adult Discipleship, Nicole found that she was interested in taking up leadership of the youth ministry, as it combines her love for teens, teaching, Jesus, and the church. Youth group played an enormous role in Nicole’s life as a young person, and she is excited to bring her experiences, creativity, and passion to the Church of the Warm Heart.

SHARON ORGILL | Minister of Children | [email protected]

Sharon Allison grew up in Fresno, California, where she earned her B. A. in Education from California State University, Fresno.  She currently lives in Meridian with her husband, Nick and five children.  Sharon has been a Christian all her life and is fulfilling her dream to teach children about Jesus.  She is active in her church community and has been a member of the Meridian United Methodist church for ten years.  She enjoys reading, crafts, scrapbooking, traveling and spending time with her family.

CAROL THOMPSON | Office Manager | [email protected]

Carol was born in Montana and was raised in Idaho. Her spiritual upbringing began in the St. Paul’s United Methodist Church located in Idaho Falls. She has also resided in California, Oregon, and now has moved back to Meridian. Carol and her husband, Terry, have three daughters and seven grandchildren. Carol retired from Hewlett-Packard after almost 30 years. She is a self-taught artist and over the years she has come to realize that she has been blessed with a gift and through encouragement from family and friends has expanded her artistic horizons. Carol and Terry enjoy camping, fishing and white-water rafting.

LUCINDA DYER | Receptionist | [email protected]

Lucinda has recently relocated to Idaho from Charlotte, NC with her husband, Bob. She spent 18 years working with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools as a science facilitator and also provided tutoring service for K-8th grade students. Born and raised in the mountains of West Virginia, she feels as if she has returned “home”. She enjoys gardening and exploring Idaho with Bob.  Together they have four grown children.

ELAINE CARLSON | Communications Coordinator | [email protected]

Elaine Carlson and her husband Brad moved to Idaho from New Mexico in 2014 to be close to their daughter and son-in-law.   In the last year their son Daniel moved here from Minnesota.  Elaine is very happy to have both of her children close to her again. Having grown up in a military family, she loves to travel.  She and her husband recently traveled to the Dominican Republic to celebrate their 35th anniversary.   The food and people there were amazing.  Elaine comes to us with years of office experience and is very happy to join the great office team our church.   Please stop in the office and greet her when you have time.

Dan Pruett | Systems Administrator | [email protected]

Prior to becoming a Real Estate Agent, Dan had a 25 year career in the US Navy as a Lieutenant in charge of Naval Intelligence in his squadron. There he earned multiple service awards and recognitions… Presidential Unit Citations, two Navy Achievement Medals, three Navy Air Medals and Battle Efficiency Awards. He studied Information Technology at National University San Diego, earning a BBA in Business and Computer Science. Dan spent the next 30 years as a VP of Sales, selling hardware and software to the oil industry. He has a Commercial Pilot Certificate, Class A License with certification for Doubles, Triples and Hazardous Cargo and is a licensed Realtor

MARIA AKERS | Bookkeeper | [email protected]

Maria grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she earned an Accounting degree from Arizona State University. She met her husband when they worked together at American Traffic Systems. They lived in Sierra Vista, AZ for twelve years, where they had two children. There they were members at Sierra Evangelical Lutheran Church. They moved to Meridian in 2010, and have attended Meridian UMC since. Maria joined the staff at MUMC in late 2012. She enjoys working around the house with her husband, helping her kids with school, cooking, reading, and walking with her dog.

TERRY THOMPSON | Facility Manager | [email protected]


Terry is a Boise State University graduate and worked at Hewlett-Packard Co. for twenty-nine years. During his time with Hewlett-Packard Co., he has had a number of opportunities including Drafting, Production Scheduling, Strategic Purchasing, Project Management and Program Management. In addition, he has taught countless negotiation classes and lead many negotiation teams. After spending many years with Micron as an Information Technology Project Manager he started his own successful handyman business before accepting a position with Meridian United Methodist Church where he hopes to use his talents for the betterment of the Church Of The Warm Heart. He is married to Carol and has three children, and seven grandchildren. He enjoys whitewater rafting having traversed the Payette River and both the Main and Middle Fork of the Salmon River numerous times. He also had the opportunity to spend nineteen days floating down the Colorado River. Other hobbies include hunting, fishing and exploring the great outdoors.

DON WOODS | Facility Manager | [email protected]

Don Woods was born, raised and educated in Meridian. He has been a member of Meridian UMC his entire life and has been active in many classes, groups and committees. Don was previously employed as a staff member at the church as Administrative Assistant in the early 1980’s. He again became a staff member in March of 2011 as Facility Manager.

JOANN PRUETT | Nursery Coordinator | [email protected]

JoAnn Pruett and her husband Dan moved to Idaho in 2006 and joined the Meridian United Methodist Church in 2008. They have two children, seven grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. JoAnn joined the nursery staff in 2010 and took over for Amanda Rudd as the Nursery Coordinator in 2012. Anyone who wants to play with the babies and toddlers should see JoAnn about joining this elite group. JoAnn also works with a group of volunteers called the Helping Hands, who are also always looking for volunteers to help church members and our community.

KRISTINE CIULLA | Organist | [email protected]

Kristine has been playing at the Church of the Warm Heart since 2006, and loves being able to play the organ and piano in worship and with others as they praise God! Kristine is a member of the AGO, taking additional organ lessons, memorizes one hymn from the United Methodist Hymnal each month… and would love to sing for you if asked!

Church Leadership

Lay Chaplain Coordinator Faye Gabriel
Lay Chaplains Emma Jean Bedsole, Phyllis & Gordon Bouza, Don Brister, Shirley Buchli, Faye Gabriel, Rich Greene, Artie & Ruth Ann Hutson, Thom & Faye Juul, Lisa Miller, Don Lloyd, Pastor John & Jeannine Mars, Donna Melville, Mary Rich, Eloise Stemple
Prayer Chain Email Harriet Thomas, Judy Lolley
Prayer Chain Phone Eloise Stemple
United Methodist Men Ed Emmel
United Methodist Women Evelyn Battema
Administrative Council Chair Marcel Goldberg
Trustees Chair Bill Ball
Staff Pastor Parish Relations Chair Kari Quick
Finance Chair Steve Graafsma
Treasurer Lori Jones
Financial Secretary Diane Brister
Futures Team Chair David Ray