Meet The Staff


Lead Pastor


 

Pastor Toni Carmer
Lead Pastor


Pastor Toni Carmer grew up in Fort Wayne, graduating from Northrop High School.  Her first call to ministry was as a registered nurse, working primarily in psychiatric/mental health nursing for nearly 15 years.  Upon hearing God's call to the ordained ministry, she went to Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary and has served both small and large congregations. 

As a Student Pastor, Toni served Mount Ayr in northwest Indiana.   She was Associate Pastor at First UMC-Valparaiso for four years and then Senior Associate at Trinity UMC-Elkhart for just over eight years. Toni was appointed Lead Pastor at Leo UMC in June of 2004 and served that suburban Fort Wayne congregation until her appointment to Warsaw First in July of 2009.   Her ministry in each place was characterized by her love for all kinds of people, joy in serving, and congregational outreach.  Pastor Toni has stressed a team approach to ministry -seeing it as a partnership between the church staff and the people of the congregation.

Pastor Toni has a passion to see the local congregation live out the grace and truth of Jesus, changing the world while transforming lives one by one.  She loves Jesus, is committed to loving and serving all kinds of people, and she has a heart for the lost.   Her greatest joy in ministry is inviting and serving alongside others, welcoming persons into a relationship with God through Jesus.  Toni also feels a calling to help the people of God find their own calling, their giftedness, and serve in ministry.

Pastor Toni has also served the larger church in various leadership positions.   She has been a long-time member of the Board of Ordained Ministry, with special responsibilities for the Conference Relations Committee (leaves, change of clergy status, etc.).    She is a member of General church's Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCOSROW).   She has been elected as an alternate to the North Central Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Pastor Toni is married to Scott, who is also a UMC pastor.  They are the parents of three adult children, and grandparents of a beautiful baby girl.  She loves art, music, gardening, movies, Mexican food, books and dreaming up and working on creative projects that never seem to get finished.

For those who are curious about the academic side of things, our Lead Pastor's educational background includes a Diploma in Nursing (Parkview-Methodist School of Nursing, Fort Wayne, 1976), a BSN (Metropolitan State College, Denver, CO, 1981), an MS in Counseling (Saint Francis College, Fort Wayne, IN, 1986), as well as an MDiv from Garrett-Evangelical (1991).



Pastor of Connecting Ministries


 

Pastor Scott Carmer
Pastor of Connecting Ministries


 

As Pastor of Connecting Ministries, Scott Carmer resources numerous program areas at First United Methodist Church: Christian Education, Missions, Church Growth and Assimilation, Higher Education, youth and young adult ministries, and Fellowship and Recreation. As part of the task of connecting people to God and one another, he also shares in pastoral duties of preaching, worship leadership, leading Bible studies, hospital visitation, pastoral care, and administering the sacraments. Scott was born in Fort Wayne and grew up as a member of Forest Park Methodist Church where the call to full time Christian ministry was heard and answered. Graduating from North Side High School, he went on to Purdue University to earn an A.A.S. in Mental Health Technology. He was awarded a B.A. in Sociology from Indiana University and an M.Div from The Iliff School of Theology at the University of Denver. His D. Min was earned at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio. In over three decades of active ministry, he has served churches in rural, small town, and urban settings. For five years, he was Mission Secretary for the North Indiana Conference during which time he led a 1994 work team to Mozhaysk, Russia, participated in a 1995 Mission Discovery team to Mexico City, and served as a delegate to the 1996 World Methodist Conference in Rio de Janeiro. His family includes his wife Toni; adult children Matthew, Christopher, and Dominique; and Olivia, the most beautiful granddaughter in the world. Rounding out the family are the dogs Bailey and Gabby.



Business Manager


 

Ann Baker
Business/Office Manager


Ann Baker was born and raised in Etna Green and Bourbon, Indiana. She moved to Fort Wayne to attend International Business College and to begin her career in the administrative professional field. She worked 25 years for Lincoln National Corporation followed by a few years as office manager for a small, private investment company. Her most recent position was with a private non-profit organization that works with children with learning disorders. Ann was very active with Fort Wayne Bethel UMC as their financial secretary and as chorister for their traditional service. She was also a member of the Chancel Choir and Bells of Praise. Before moving back to the Warsaw area, she served in many leadership roles with the Fort Wayne Central Lions Club and the District Lions. Ann spends her free time reading, gardening, and spending time with her family.



Secretary


Linda Tinkey
Secretary


Linda Tinkey is our church secretary. She comes to us from the position of Public Relations Director for Kosciusko Literacy Services. Along with extensive experience in Early Childhood Education, she is a person of deep faith. She adds an extra layer of smiles and warmth to the church office.



Co -Counseling Director


Axa Troncoso, LCSW


Axa Troncoso, LCSW is one of two counsellors at our Counseling Connection. She earned a BA in Psychology from Grace College and a MSW from Indiana University. Her areas of expertise include: children, adolescents, and family related issues, individual and group counseling, adjustment disorders, grief counseling, substance abuse, and ADHD and ED. An adjunct faculty member of St. Francis, she also is a former family case manager for the Indiana Department of Child Services and a family therapist for Lifeline Youth and Family Services in Ft. Wayne.



Co -Counseling Director


Mark Steinmetz, LCSW


Mark Steinmetz, LCSW, is a graduate of Indiana University with both a BS in Psychology and an MSW. A member of the faculty at Ivy Tech, he is also a Clinical Case Manager at Woodlands Behavior Health Network. He joined the Counseling Connection with certification as a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Clinician and experience in individual, group, and family therapy, marital therapy, and substance abuse. He is also skilled in providing assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning.



Organist & Director of Music Ministry


Alan Chambers
Organist & Director of Music Ministry


Alan Chambers has been on the music staff at First United Methodist Church since August 1993.  He began as a choir accompanist (4 years), then added directing the chancel choir (3 years) and handbells (10 years).  Alan was instrumental in developing and launching Contemporary Worship at First U.M.C. and has directed the praise team, On a Wing and a Prayer, since its inception in the Fall of 1997.  In Fall 2004 be became the church's principal organist as well.  Alan holds a Bachelor of Music degree from DePauw University (1982) and a Master of Arts from Ball State University (1986), and has professional experience as a conductor, musical director, singer, keyboardist, actor, arranger and teacher.  He has sung in several professional groups in Chicago, and has worked for many theatre companies in Indiana and Illinois including the Wagon Wheel, Enchanted Hills, Round Barn, Canterbury and as Assistant Conductor and Accompanist, and was Co-Director of the Warsaw Community Choir for 3 years.  Alan has taught music at Manchester College since 2003 including applied voice piano, music theory, Manchester Choral Society, Chamber Singers and Cantabile Women's Choir, and frequently accompanies the A Cappella Choir.



Choir Director


 

Scott Avery
Director - Sanctuary Choir/Ginn Handbells


Scott Avery has been a member at First United Methodist Church since 1986, and began directing the Sanctuary Choir at the church iin 1994.  In 2004 he added directing the Ginn Handbells to his list and also regularly on the praise team.  Scott earned his degrees in music from Northern Michigan (BMusEd 1978) and Ball State Universities (MM in Choral Conducting 1985), studying with the distinguished Dr. Douglas Amman in both locations.  With 30 years of choral music experience, he recently completing a 2 year term as President of the Indiana Choral Directors Association.  With Scott as the head of the Warsaw Community High School Choral Department for the last 19 years, his choirs have toured Canada and New York City, where they sang in St. Patrick's Cathedral.  They have also sung with The Lettermen and placed among Indiana's Top 10 high school choirs (I.S.S.M.A.).  Scott served as Co-Director of the Warsaw Community Choir for 3 years, and as Choral Conductor for the Indiana Ambassadors of Music for 6 years.  He has enjoyed being baritone soloist for the Bay de Noc Choral Society, Marquette Choral Society, Muncie Symphony Orchestra, and Warsaw Community Choir, and is a frequent clinician at choral festivals.



Director of Children's Ministries


Cindy Thomas
Director of Children's Ministries


  Cindy Thomas is our Director of Children's Ministries. A 1982 graduate of Warsaw Community High School,she went on to earn a BS degree from Ball State University and an MS from Indiana University. An elementary teacher in the Warsaw Community School Corporation for 21 years, she brings a wealth of experience to our childern's programming.Active in her own church, she has served on Mission trips, in church camping, as superintendent of Sunday School as a Sunday School teacher, and as a member of the Praise Team.



Assistant Director of Children's Ministries


Mandy Bailey
Assistant Director of Children's Ministries


Mandy Bailey is our Assistant Director of Children's Ministries. She is a vital part of our mission to provide quality Christian education to the children of our church. She brings experience in teaching, directing Vacation Bible School, choosing Curriculum, recruiting teachers, and serving as a resource/consultant to teachers. She works hard to communicate a compelling and unified vision for children's ministries at both our downtown and Connection campuses.