Pastors & Staff

Meet the team.

Wade Powell

Senior Pastor
Wade was appointed to First United Methodist Church in July 2019 after serving churches in San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country.  Wade and his wife, Cindy, have three children and and two grandchildren.  Wade received his Masters of Divinity from Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, KY, and his doctorate from Duke University in Durham, NC.
Email: WadePowell@fumcvictoria.com

Amanda Banda

Associate Pastor
Amanda was appointed at FUMC Victoria in July 2021, after serving as Associate Pastor at Valley Praise in the Rio Grande Valley. Amanda’s husband George is also very involved in ministry, often using his giftedness to serve in the areas of A/V Production and Technology.
Amanda and George were both raised in Harlingen, Texas and are blessed with three beautiful children.
Previously a high school teacher, Amanda recognized her call to ministry and in 2020 completed Local Pastor Licensing School in the Rio Texas Conference.
Amanda has a Bachelor of Arts in Business Leadership and is currently a student at Asbury Theological Seminary, working towards a Master of Divinity Degree.
If you'd like to connect with Amanda feel free to contact her at the email listed below.
Email: AmandaBanda@fumcvictoria.com

Will Durham

Contemporary Worship Leader
Will grew up in Victoria, and has been a part of the First United Methodist Church family all of his life. He earned a degree in Philosophy from Texas State University in 2005. Will began leading worship for the Ignite service in 2014. He is married to his love, Caiti, and they have 2 children, Caleb and Isaac
Email: WillDurham@fumcvictoria.com

Keith Cox

Director of Music
Originally from Kountze, Texas, Keith came to the Victoria area and joined the congregation of FUMC in 2010, and later joined the staff as Associate Music Director in 2019.  He attended Texas A&M University where he studied accounting, management information systems, and music. He is a member of the American Guild of Organists, and holds the Service Playing Certification with that organization. Prior to FUMC, he served as organist/music director at Zion Lutheran Church in Mission Valley, Texas. Outside of his time at FUMC, Keith works as a CPA, serving clients in the Victoria Crossroad area.
Email: KeithCox@fumcvictoria.com

Andy Jett

Director of Youth Ministry
Andy has been involved in bi-vocational Youth ministry off and on for the past 14 years. He has served in ministry with his wife of 11 years, Ashley, who currently works for Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity. They have been involved with First United Methodist Church of Victoria since 2016. Apart from his role at FUMC, Andy currently works in the oil and gas industry.
Email: AndyJett@fumcvictoria.com

Brooke Mercer

Director of Children's Ministries
Born and raised in Dallas, Brooke met her husband, Mike, while attending Baylor University.
After earning a degree in Child Development, she moved to Victoria in 1994. Brooke and Mike  joined FUMC Victoria as members in 1997 and all three of their children, Campbell, Hank, and Scarlett, were students at Methodist Day School and raised by their church family. Brooke began serving as the Director of Children’s Ministries in 2011.
Email: BrookeMercer@fumcvictoria.com

Heather Linville

Rebecca Thornbury

Business Manager
Administrative Assistant
Heather has been with FUMC since 2015.  She graduated from UH-Victoria with a degree in Business Management.  She grew up in Victoria but now lives in Cuero (GO GOBBLERS!)  Heather has three children - Kayla, Carter and Cooper.   She enjoys spending time with her family, working and volunteering at the church and lots and lots of coffee.
Email: HeatherLinville@fumcvictoria.com
Rebecca's title is Administrative Assistant.  She likes to think of herself as everyone's assistant.  Keeping everyone informed is her No. 1 job goal.  Please call her at the church (361-578-2701) or email her:

Liz Parker

Nursery Coordinator
Liz grew up at FUMC and has been very active singing in the Ignite praise band, serving on committees, and teaching the 2 year-old class at Methodist Day School. She spends all of her free time with her son, Jack, and loves to work with children inside and outside of the nursery.
Email: LizParker@fumcvictoria.com

Jennifer Burriss

Day School Director
Jennifer was born and raised in Victoria.  She graduated from UH-V with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies.  Jennifer taught in the public school system for 4 years before joining our teaching staff at MDS.  She taught kindergarten for 4 years before accepting the director’s position in 2009
Email: director@mdsvictoria.com

Kathy Frels

Wesley Nurse
Methodist Health Care
Kathy has a heart of gold and is always ready to help those in need of prescription assistance. She has been instrumental in starting a monthly free clinic.
Email: kfrels@mhm.org

Stephanie Espinosa

Behavioral Health Counselor
Methodist Health Care
Stephanie Espinosa is an Afro-Latina Clinical Social Worker (counselor) from Panama, but has been residing in Edna, TX since 2015. She has worked with individuals experiencing anxiety, depression, trauma and various mental health diagnosis.
Stephanie has been taking clients through the Methodist healthcare Ministries Community Counseling Services in Port Lavaca, Victoria, Palacios, and Edna since November 1, 2021. Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ Community Counseling Services are designed to help people who are uninsured, whose existing coverage does not provide mental health benefits, are low-income and are unable to afford counseling any other way.
Email: Sespinosa@mhm.org