Shenendehowa United Methodist Church Leadership
Shenendehowa United Methodist Church is blessed to have a leadership team who are truly dedicated to Christ and to accomplishing His will. Following are brief bio's of our leadership team and their qualifications for ministry.
Pastor Lee grew up in Ashville, NY—a suburb of Jamestown, NY. He was blessed to grow up in a Christian home and was active at Camp Street United Methodist Church in Jamestown.
At the age of 21, he realized God's plan for him was to pursue full-time ministry. After graduating from Geneva College in 1988 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Aviation, he went on to complete a Master of Divinity Degree in 1992 from Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky. It was there that he met his wife, Michele, whom he married in 1990. They have two adult children, Benjamin and Samantha and a son-in-law, Adler Hulsey.
He spent his first six years in the ministry pastoring two rural churches. He was appointed to The UMC of Webster, NY in 1998 and served as their Sr. Pastor for 17 years. Lee was appointed to serve as Shenendehowa United Methodist Church's Senior Pastor on July 1, 2015.
The strengths that best describe Lee as a pastor are a strong teacher/preacher, a gifted recruiter, and a deep desire to serve right along side those he leads. He is passionate about working together to make a tangible difference in both the spiritual and physical lives of the congregation and in turn, the community. This is accomplished by focusing, not only on the needs of our church family, but also on the needs beyond the walls of our building as God opens doors to new opportunities.
Brother Paul McCue
Brother Paul is a graduate of the General Theological Seminary in New York City. He is a Commissioned Healing Minister and a Designated Prayer Chaplin & Life Professed Brother in the Community of Aidan & Hilda. He was also a trauma chaplain at the Westchester Medical Center. Prior to his current vocation, Brother Paul had a successful career in the insurance adjustment and investigation world. However, he has had a lifelong passion to help others.
Brother Paul and his wife formerly lived in the Peekskill, NY area before moving to Clifton Park. They have three adult children and several grandchildren.
Executive Director and Treasurer
Denise and her family live in Clifton Park and have been members of the church since 2007. Denise has a BS in Management from St. John Fischer College in Rochester and more than 15 years of experience in leadership, mentoring, and strategic staff development. She has experience assisting business teams reach organizational and personal goals. She is also the leader of our youth workcamp program.
Denise grew up on a dairy farm in Minnesota. She studied biology and psychology at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. After moving to New York, she studied at the New York Theological Seminary, eventually answering God's call to ministry, and was consecrated as a United Methodist Deaconess in 2011. Deaconesses (females) and Home Missioners (males) are laywomen and laymen who are called by God to be in a lifetime relationship in The United Methodist Church for engagement with a full-time vocation in ministries of love, justice, and service. Denise is appointed by the bishop of our annual conference to serve as a chaplain at Ellis Hospital and to serve the Shenendehowa and Jonesville United Methodist Churches. At Shen UMC, Denise coordinates the small groups ministry.
Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministry
Ashley felt called to children and youth ministry at a young age and has pursued that calling with passion through her education and volunteer efforts. Ashley holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian Ministries with concentrations in Youth Ministries, Global Christianity (missions), and Urban Ministry; minor in Biblical Studies from Gordon College. She was also a volunteer with an urban youth ministry in Massachusetts during her four academic years at Gordon College. She has over 8 years of experience working with children, youth and their families in both urban and suburban areas. Ashley started her years at Shen UMC as an active participant in the youth group. Throughout high school and college she volunteered with VBS & Church School, and after graduating she volunteered as a Youth Group Leader. Ashley is passionate about making sure that kids and youth know that they are loved by God and that He has a plan for their lives! Ashley has also been working as a Teacher Assistant with our SUMC Preschool.
Coordinator of Music Ministries
Lauri holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice and Music Education from Ohio Wesleyan University. In addition, she has completed graduate studies in the field of Sacred Music. Lauri is a retired music teacher from the Saratoga Springs City Schools and has been at SUMC since 1973, serving in a directorial role since 1979. She leads the Chancel, Youth, Junior and Cherub Choirs and the Kasheweta Ringers and also oversees the volunteer directors. Lauri loves to welcome new people into the choirs at the church - contact her for more information.
Interim Organist / Worship Leader
Hannah holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the Greatbatch School of Music and is also working full-time as Performing Arts Director at Augustine Classical Academy where her duties include directing the musical ensembles, dramatic productions and the Grammar school music courses.
Mary Ann Cortese
Mary Ann and her husband and two children live in Clifton Park, and she has been a member of SUMC for over 20 years. She started with us in September, 201 after having spent 16 years as an Office Manager with The Ayco Company, L.P. Mary Ann adds professionalism, organization and compassion to this position and is a proud representative of SUMC.
Jermaine has a heart for helping. He and his wife Azeb moved to the Clifton Park area in 2019 with their 4 year old daughter, Senai. Jermaine is an alumni graduate of the New School Of Radio and Television in Albany where he earned a degree in Digital Recording Arts. He then became a Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) through the Audio Video and Integrated Experience Association. Since then, Jermaine has traveled throughout the state designing, engineering, programming, installing and servicing A/V Systems. One of Jermaine's favorite quotes is- "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." (Jimmy Hendricks). One God, One Love.