Staff


  • Alex Lupo 

    Alex serves as the Pastor of FUMC Palestine. His responsibility is to lead the congregation in fulfilling their mission: “Connecting People To The LOVE of God...”

    Alex has a passion for helping people reach their potential and make the most of this life God has given them. Alex is married to Kelly and has three children, Camryn, Cassidy, and Connor. In his free time, he likes cheering on the Texans, all things technological, traveling, and spending time with his family.

    Alex has served as an Associate Pastor at Sugar Land First United Methodist Church and Kingwood United Methodist Church.  He has served as the pastor of Sweeny FUMC,  Atlanta FUMC, and East Bernard FUMC. He holds a B.S. from Vanderbilt University, a M.Div. from Emory University and received a Beeson Pastor Fellowship / D.Min program from Asbury Theological Seminary. 

  • Denise Adams, Nursery Director

    A long-time member of First UMC Palestine, Denise has been very active in the children’s Sunday School program, running the computer lab lessons for Power Xpress.  Denise took over as Nursery Director in January 2009.

  • Jodi Bainum, Preschool Director

    Jodi Bainum is our new preschool director. She received her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education at Stephen F. Austin and her Master of Education through the University of Texas at Tyler.  She was a public school teacher for nine years.  She has worked for Palestine ISD and Elkhart ISD as a kindergarten and preschool teacher. Jodi has been married to her husband, Shane Bainum, for six years. They have two boys, Kaï and Reïd.

  • Caleb Estrada, Director of Chancel Choir and Glory Bells

    Caleb became Director of Music Ministries in April 2008. He directs the Chancel Choir and Bell Choir and coordinates the other music ministries for Sunday worship services. Caleb has a strong background in music with a music education degree from Stephen F. Austin University. He is also a music teacher for the Palestine Independent School District. 

  • Elisa Giron, Housekeeper

    Elisa has been working for First UMC Palestine for the past two years. She is a dedicated wife and mother of three.

  • Danette Gouras, Administrative Assistant

    Danette serves as the newest member of staff. She comes from an education background. She enjoys antique shopping, making crafts, and watching British comedies.

  • Jennifer Kimble, Director of  Children's Ministry & Media Ministries

    Jennifer has a passion for helping children learn more about God and sharing their faith. She started in 2018 as the Administrative Assistant, and took a small break to have her baby in January. She also updates the church's website and social media pages.

  • Adrian Lucio, Director of Youth Ministry

    After years of a successful stand-up comedy career, he decided to move on to his next calling, youth ministry. Adrian loves using his background in stand up to reach out to youth in the city of Palestine. Adrian loves God, his family, and coffee (in that order).

  • Vickie Shaffer, Financial Administrator

    Vickie joined FUMC Palestine in 2008 after working for Lakeview Methodist Conference Center. Vickie enjoys gardening and antique shopping. 

  • Monroe Walker, Organ and Piano Accompanist

    Monroe joined First UMC Palestine as Church Organist in August, 2002. He came to us with 17 years experience in church music. He also serves as Fiscal Director responsible for all business matters at Lakeview Methodist Conference Center.