Our Staff

Meet the wonderful people who serve First United Methodist Church in the

many ministries that we share with our congregation and the Magnolia Community!

  • Reverend Gary Maskell, Pastor

    Email: gary.maskell@arumc.org

    Phone: 870-234-4530

    On Staff Since: 2019

    Favorite Scripture:  "And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Romans 8:28

    Favorite Person from the Bible: Jesus

    Favorite Food: Pizza

    Hobbies: Reading, Video Games & Music!

    A fun fact about me is: I once made marshmallows from "scratch" using an old Betty Crocker Cookbook recipe! (My advice: It's too costly and way too much trouble! Just buy a package at the store!)

  • Shelly Burgess, Director of Children and Families Ministries

    Email: shellyb@magnoliafumc.org

    Phone: 870-949-1818

    On Staff Since: 2017

    Favorite Scripture: "Be still, and know that I am God!" Psalm 46:10

    Favorite Person from the Bible: Peter

    Favorite Food: Chocolate

    Hobbies: Genealogy

    A fun fact about me is: I am a licensed contractor in the state of Arkansas. I also love essential oils!

  • Elizabeth "Liz" Wilson, Director of Youth Ministries

    Email: liz@magnoliafumc.org

    Phone: 870-234-4530 ext. 104

    On Staff Since: 2022

    Favorite Scripture: "Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received." 1 Peter 4:10

    Favorite Person from the Bible: Deborah

    Favorite Food: Anything chicken!

    Hobbies: Digital and traditional character art, video games, playing and listening to instrumental music

    A fun fact about me is: I was a barista at Starbucks and I love to experiment with different espresso and coffee drinks at home!

  • Kim Shirey, Director of Music

    Email: klshirey@att.net

    Phone: 870-904-3546

    On Staff Since: 2003

    Favorite Scripture: Psalm 91:4 "He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge."

    Favorite Person from the Bible: Paul

    Favorite Food: Pizza

    Hobbies: Working in the yard

    A fun fact about me is: My father and my son have the same birthday.

  • Sharon Ard, Organist

    Email: sharonard@yahoo.com

    Phone: 870-814-8574

    On Staff Since: February 2018

    Favorite Scripture: All of Song of Songs chapter 2. Favorite verse from that chapter is verse 6, "His left hand is under my head and His right arm embraces me."

    Favorite Person from the Bible: Ruth

    Favorite Food: Fresh seafood

    Hobbies: Reading, music, swimming, hiking, Pilates, gym

    A fun fact about me is: I have hiked the Inca Trail!

  • Tracie Nipper, Administrative Secretary

    Email: tracie@magnoliafumc.org

    Phone: 870-234-4530 ext. 101

    On Staff Since: 2004

    Favorite Scripture: Phillipians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

    Favorite Person from the Bible: Noah

    Favorite Food: Junk food!

    Hobbies: Cooking, walking, spending time with family and especially my grandchildren

    A fun fact about me is: I enjoyed English Smocking when the girls where little. I even taught classes on it!

  • Shawn "Skippy" Warlick, Building Superintendent

  • Kenneth Manning, Custodian

    On Staff Since: 2006

    Favorite Scripture: Psalm 100 "Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."

    Favorite Person from the Bible: Job

    Favorite Food: Meat Loaf

    Hobbies: Dancing

    A fun fact about me is: I was a running back on the football team in high school.

  • Barbra Lewis, Director of The Caring Place

    Email: barbarafumc@sbcglobal.net

    Phone: 870-949-5088

    On Staff Since: 2008

    Favorite Scripture: Philipians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

    Favorite Person from the Bible: King David

    Favorite Food: Chocolate

    Hobbies: Music and golf

    A fun fact about me is: I am the second of 4 generations currently members of First United Methodist Church.

  • DIONEDRA BIDDLE, Stewpot cook