Our Countryside Staff

  • Rev. Dr. Paul Wilke

    Senior Pastor

    wilke@countrysideumc.org

    Pastor Paul Wilke loves God - loves people! He is married with two grown children. He has served churches in England, Texas, and across Kansas. Paul earned his bachelor's of philosophy from Southwestern College, master's of divinity from Perkins School of Theology Southern Methodist University, and doctorate in ministry from United Theological Seminary. Before ministry, Paul played professional basketball in southern France. At 6'8" tall, he still plays hoops. New to Countryside in 2017, Paul has quickly found joy in fulfilling the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ in Topeka.

  • Rev. Phillip Clay

    associate pastor

    PHIL@COUNTRYSIDEUMC.ORG

    A musician from birth, Phil’s love for worship permeates into everything he does. He comes from a string of pastors and ministers in his family including both of his great-grandparents, great-great uncle, both grandparents, uncle, dad, and cousin. Phil was raised in Nebraska, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music focusing in organ from Hastings College (2016) and a Master’s of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology (SMU 2019). A foodie and a cat-dad, Phil can be found with his record player going, cooking something, sipping coffee, and making sure his cat, Faith, is happy and fed!

  • rev. nancy gammill

    congregational care Pastor

    Nancyg@countrysideumc.org

    Pastor Nancy was born and raised in Manhattan, Kansas. She attended Iowa State University where she earned her bachelor's degree in early childhood education. She also holds a master's degree in special education from the University of Minnesota, and later earned her divinity degree from St. Paul School of Theology. Nancy has served churches in Missouri, Louisiana, and Kansas. She served as District Superintendent in the Five Rivers and Flint Hills districts in what was at the time, Kansas East Conference. Widowed (her husband was a pastor also), Nancy has two children, Mark and Matthew, and two grandchildren.

  • heather hoffmans

    office & facilities administrator

    Heather@countrysideumc.org

    Heather holds a degree in business administration from Baker University and is a Topeka native. She has worked in the field of dentistry assisting chair side and office management, as well as in health and life insurance sales. She began working at Countryside as a temporary hire and became a full-time employee in 2013. She is married with four children and one grandchild. Heather enjoys time with family and pets, bird watching, flower gardening,  keeping up with technology and binge watching documentary series.

  • robin love

    bookkeeper

    robin@countrysideumc.org

    Robin began as a volunteer entering the entire membership into the church's original computer system. Once that project was complete, the bookkeeper position became available and she has held that position for 30+ years. Robin holds a degree in early childhood education from Kansas State University. She is married to Keith with two children and two grandchildren. Robin enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, sewing, reading, and working jigsaw puzzles. In the summertime she can be found relaxing at the Lake of the Ozarks.

  • kimberly cervantes

    Director of Countryside  child development center

    KIMberly@COUNTRYSIDEUMC.ORG

    Kimberly is excited to be a part of this amazing renovation project and a solid child care program that the church, children, families and the community can count on to educate young children. Kim has a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from Washburn University. She has worked in the education field for 23 years as a teacher, coach, and director. She has three amazing children of her own; Christian-11, Julian-7, and Gabriella-4. Her family enjoys playing games, fishing, football and movie nights. 

  • becky ericson

    children's ministry coordinator

    becky@countrysideumc.org

    Becky earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education with an emphasis in middle school education & mathematics, and a master's degree in education. She taught fourth and seventh grades in the Kansas City area before moving to Topeka. She enjoyed being home with her 2 children through their preschool years and continues to treasure time with family. In her spare time, Becky loves hiking & running, all things Disney, Einstein (family dog), coffee, and just about anything related the the arts..

  • rebecca bowles

    Youth ministry Coordinator

    rebecca@countrysideumc.org

    Rebecca is Youth Ministry Coordinator for Countryside, and has served our youth in this position for several years now. She has her bachelor's degree from Baker University in communication and social justice. She recently attained her master's in education from Kansas State University. Rebecca lives in Lawrence with her husband Alek, their two sons Beckett and Cutler, and their two dogs. Rebecca loves what she does and says that she sees God constantly when working with youth.

  • paul swank

    young adult, college & sport ministry coordinator

    Paul@countrysideumc.org

    Paul is a member of Countryside, as well as coordinator of College, Young Adult & Sport Ministries. Please contact Paul to find out how you can get involved in one of these fun groups!

  • brenda bauman swank

    member development & missions coordinator

    brenda@countrysideumc.org

    Brenda grew up on a farm in northeast Kansas, graduated from Bern High School and received her bachelor's degree from Washburn University. In addition to years of farm chores, work experience is drawn from working as a nursing home administrator and in medical records and billing. She also worked as piano accompanist for high school choirs. Her favorite "job" has been a mom of four (now lovely young adult) children. In spite of anything shared by her spouse, Paul, or those beautiful children, she is a fun mom! In any spare time, Brenda loves to hang out and play games with family, go outside to garden and walk, and loves music, reading, sewing and travel.

  • jamie meyer

    worship & arts director

    jamie@countrysideumc.org

    Jamie began her career in music as a music education teacher. She taught elementary music in Ponca City, OK; Chalmette, LA; and overseas in West Papua, Indonesia. Upon her return to the US, she began working at Countryside UMC first with the children's music, then orchestra and Soul-Full Singers until she was moved into the role of Worship and Arts Director in 2007. In addition to directing several music groups, she oversees the worship services including volunteer personnel, music and decorations.

  • jane anderson

    organist & handbell Director

    Jane is Countryside's organist and also director of bell choirs, including the Laudate Ringers. In addition to her commitment to Countryside, she directs workshops and festivals throughout the U.S. and has directed three national handbell festivals of the Bahamas. Jane is a graduate of the University of Kansas and taught handbells as part of the master in church music program at KU. She is published in Creator magazine, and also written for Overtones (of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers). She and her husband Bill have two children and six beautiful grandchildren.

  • dr. bill anderson

    sanctuary choir & "hands in praise" puppet ministry director

    Bill received his doctorate of fine arts degree from the University of Kansas in 1981. He has directed choral ensembles and taught music at Kansas Wesleyan University and the University of Kansas. In addition, he directed the Chancel Choir at Topeka First Baptist Church for 25 years and has directed the Sanctuary Choir and "Hands in Praise" puppet ministry at Countryside United Methodist Church since 2008. Bill has composed and published six children's sacred musicals.He and his wife Jane have two children and six beautiful grandchildren.

  • jenna meyer

    child care coordinator

    Jenna is a recent graduate of Washburn University with a degree in criminal justice and legal studies. She is a full-time employee at Southwest Publishing & Mailing Corp. in Topeka. She has worked many years in Countryside's Child Care and is now coordinating the program part-time. She grew up dancing at Barbara's Conservatory of Dance learning ballet, jazz, liturgical, lyrical, modern and hip-hop; later becoming a member of Washburn University's dance team.  Jenna loves to scuba dive in the ocean and hopes to one day live close to a beach!

  • vacant position

    director of facilities



  • scott ives

    facilities assistant

    Scott works full-time in management for the City of Topeka with a degree in communications from Washburn University. Part-time, he cares for the maintenance of Countryside's Preschool, as well as helping out with all church facilities. Scott is married with two children. He enjoys traveling with his wife to her choral performances around the country.

  • christi steward

    wedding liaison

    Christi is a member of Countryside and involved in UMW Embrace Circle, Soul-full Singers, Families Sunday School, and Youth Group as a sponsor, as well as Wedding Liaison for couples planning their special day. She has worked professionally in phlebotomy and medical assisting for 30 years. She is a mother of two young adult daughters. In her free time, Christi enjoys reading and spending time with friends and family. Please contact Christi if you are ready to begin planning your wedding!

Employment Opportunities

Thank you for your interest in careers at Countryside!

Now Hiring!
Looking for energetic, open-minded, kind-hearted individuals to work with young children in our newly renovated Child Development Center. Positions hiring for include: Lead Teacher, Assistant Teacher, Cook, and Assistant Director. To apply send resume to kimberly@countrysideumc.org or email to request an application. We’re looking forward to meeting people who are passionate about working with young children.


We also have volunteer opportunities available.

Please take a look at our large variety of ministry areas to get connected or go to Group Finder

to join a small group, ministry area or other activity.

Please check back again soon!