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. 

  • Jodi Bainum, Preschool Director

    Jodi Bainum is our  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.

  • Alice Chambers, Administrative Assistant

    Alice is the person you meet upon arriving to the church office. She is a retired teacher with 23 years experience. She enjoys reading, swimming, and travel.  She loves learning new things! 

    If you need any information, she can help!

  • Vickie Shaffer, Ministry and Missions Coordinator

    Vickie joined FUMC Palestine in 2008 after working for Lakeview Methodist Conference Center. Vickie enjoys reading, crocheting, gardening and antique shopping. Originally, she was the financial administrator but has followed her passion for helping others in need.  

  • 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.

  • Derek Blackmon, Director of NextGen Ministries

    Derek is called into youth and student ministries.  He has been working in churches for over 15 years and has a passion for helping youth and young adults grow closer to God.

  • Priscilla Johnson, Housekeeper

    Priscilla loves serving the church and the community.  She is a student at TVCC, graduating in the Fall of 2022.