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About Us

Our Staff

Who We Are

Christ Church, a United Methodist Congregation, has been located at 5109 Washington Ave., Racine, WI for over 50 years. We celebrated our 50th Anniversary on July 10, 2011. We are a vibrant congregation who believes that we can serve God through active and meaningful contributions to our community. Our church offers a variety of worship services, Bible studies, and activities that emphasize relationship building with God and each other. We endeavor to provide spiritual growth in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. At Christ Church, we not only believe but expect everyone to grow in faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. Click here for more information about the United Methodist Church.

Click on staff names to email them.

Pastor George comes from Coleman a small town north of Green Bay Wisconsin. He grew up in a loving and strong Christian family. He had his calling into ministry at a young age, initially through a Christian camp in Jr. High and confirmed over the following years through discernment and the United Methodist ministry candidacy process.

He was active at his home church through high school then worked as Director of Christian Education at First UMC in Marinette, WI for two years as he worked on his associate degree at UW-Marinette (2000-2001). He then transferred to UW-Green Bay where he finished a B.S in Psychology and Human Development (2002-2004). During those two years he was a youth worker at First UMC in Green Bay along with being a peer minister at the Ecumenical Center on campus in his first year and in his second year he did an internship at a Christian counseling center and a pastoral internship at First UMC Green Bay.

After graduation he moved to southern Wisconsin where he served two churches as a part-time student pastor for three years while being a full time seminary student at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary on the campus of North Western in Evanston Illinois. The summer before seminary started he married his wife Cassandra (after dating for 6 years, they met in high school) and also went to local pastor licensing school. After his second year of Seminary he was approved as a provisional member of the Wisconsin Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and became a commissioned minister. After graduation he served in his first full-time appointment at Grace UMC in Wautoma WI from July 2007-July 2013, during that time he was ordained in 2010. He was appointed to serve as lead Pastor at Christ Church in July 2013

Pastor George is energetic and passionate about the mission of the church; he stresses growing as disciples who love God and love others, and answering Christ's call in Matthew 28 to share the good news and make more disciples. His leadership invites us to focus on God's will and way above all. He also enjoys spending time with his wife and children, going for walks, riding motorcycle, flying airplanes, and serving the community through the Air Force Auxiliary. His wife Cassie is trained in the medical and Pharamcy fields and currently works at the Christ Church Childcare few mornings a week while primarily being at home with their children Kallie, Makayla and George Jr.

Ryan O'Connell / Kendra O'Connell

Director of Youth & Family Ministry / Office Manager

Ryan comes from a Danville, Illinois and graduated from the School of Urban Missions with a B.A. degree in biblical studies. He and his wife Kendra work in ministry through the process of developing interpersonal relationships and grounding upon the truths of God’s Word. Kendra also works parttime as our church office manager.

Liz Martin

Director of Discipleship

Although she has been at Christ Church since she was a young child it wasn’t until the mid ‘90’s that she understood that being a Christian isn’t about being religious, it’s about being in relationship with the Holy Trinity. That transformation has given her the passion to give back to God and help others to understand what it means to be a true Christian and how to live out our faith. She spent 14 years at Christ Church working with the children and youth in their age-appropriate ministries and with adults helping them to find their special place in ministry in and through Christ Church. In January of 2014 she transitioned into going deeper in helping people to discern how God is calling them into service and to help develop new areas of spiritual growth and discipleship opportunities.

Liz has two adult children, Tony and Melissa. Tony lives in Baltimore and works for The National Federation of the Blind. Her daughter, Melissa and her husband, Noah, live in Racine and have 2 children. Melissa is one of our Child Care teachers here at the Christ Church Childcare Center and Noah works for Cree. They have two children who attend our childcare as well. After raising her children at Christ Church, it is one of Liz’s greatest joys to be involved in her grandchildren’s lives and seeing them involved at Christ Church as well.

Merry Kris Demske

Assistant to Pastor/Treasurer

Merry Kris responded to God’s call to come to Christ Church in 2003. She has been blessed with administrative skills to assist the pastor where needed and to provide support for the Trustees in the ongoing maintenance and development of the buildings and grounds. As treasurer, she maintains the financial records, as well as processing the payroll and managing the employee benefits programs. Her passion is for the little children. She feels blessed to have the opportunity to teach chapel classes in our Child Care Center and Sunshine Mountain preschool program. She believes that this has provided her a unique opportunity to share God’s Word with young children and their families. Her commitment comes from the scripture, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

She enjoys reading, hiking, and being outside to enjoy God’s amazing creation. Her husband, Ken, works as a business broker for small and medium sized businesses. Their daughter, Jamielee, just graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University and currently resides in western Nebraska. Both appreciate being “outside in the yard”. With family and friends scattered worldwide, they look forward to the many opportunities to visit and be visited.

Lou Peterson

Building & Grounds/Custodian Supervisor

Lou cares for the buildings and grounds of the congregation and oversees the custodians work to help us have a space to gather for and launch ministry from.

George Tepley


George cares for the entry ways, worship space, North education wing, and support facilities of the church building to help us have clean and usable space to gather for and launch ministry from.

Prasie Band Coordinator

Kyle Swiggett

Kyle helps select music and organizes the Praise Band to assist the congregation in praising God in song at our 10:30 a.m. contemporary worship gathering. Kyle is also working part time on creating church media and communications content.

Alan Biehn

Music Director

Alan Directs the choir at our 9:00 a.m. traditional worship service along with offering piano music during worship and organizing special music year round.

Sally Anderson


Sally supports our praise of God in song by accompanying the congregational hymns sung at our 9:00 a.m. Traditional worship service.

Nursery Care

Sandra & Shawnee

Sandra & Shawnee are certified childcare teachers, who care for infants-5 year olds during our two Sunday morning worship gatherings from 8:45 a.m.- noon and during the Wednesday night classes from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Marianne Burks

Christ Church Childcare/Pre-school Center Director

Hello, my name is Marianne Burks; I am the director of Christ Church Child Care Center where learning is fun. I have over 30 years of enjoyment working in the field of early education. In the beginning I went to the College of St Catharine’s in St Paul, MN where I studied to be a Montessori Teacher. There I learned to teach the Montessori methods with a Christian foundation. Once I completed my degree, I returned to Racine to work at Racine Montessori School. I then opened my own center for the next seven years before I started directing other area centers. I have been married to my wonderful husband for 25 years and we have two awesome sons.

Fourteen years ago, I was truly blessed when God called me to Christ Church to start a Christian based educational child care center. The Child Care is a ministry of Christ Church United Methodist, striving to provide our community with a nurturing, educational environment using Christian values.

•Our Center is equipped with spacious child friendly classrooms and age appropriate outdoor play spaces where children are encouraged to learn and explore.

•Christ Church is open to the public and is licensed through the Wisconsin State Office of Children and Family Services.

•We provide Early Childhood and School Age programming to children six weeks through 12 years of age in a clean, safe, healthy, developmentally appropriate learning environment. Our rich and stimulating center encourage children to learn and explore independently.

•We offer a concept-based curriculum in a literacy rich environment. We incorporate language experiences, literature, gross motor activities, pre-math, sensory, science and creative expression on a daily basis in a non-pressured atmosphere. The children are encouraged to discover and explore their environment at their age and stage of development.

It is our privilege to work with families, as partners, to create the most successful experience for your child!

Please see our photos on this website and feel free to give me a call for a tour and to meet our staff.

Sincerely, Marianne


Certified Child Care Teachers

Over 30 individuals

Over 30 individual teachers care for and educate children at the Christ Church Child Care/Preschool center and Sunshine Mountain Preschool.

Roxanne Betko

Sunshine Mountain Preschool Director & Staff

Phil Gavin


Phil cares for the Child care and preschool rooms, and support facilities in the south wing to help us have clean and usable space for children and teachers.

Doug Hoyt

Lay Leader

Doug works with the Pastor and other church leadership to keep the congregation spiritually grounded and following God's vision for us as we carry out our mission. He also heads up our evangelism ministry team.

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