Staff

Pastor Brandon

Rev. Brandon Austin is a graduate of the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia (Master of Divinity, 1990) and transferred from the Tennessee Conference to the California-Nevada Conference at the invitation of Bishop Melvin Talbert in June 1990. Since arriving he has served as pastor in Carmel, Lake County, Sacramento, Hayward, Manteca, Modesto, and now Davis UMC. Before coming to California, he served a four-congregation church circuit in rural Tennessee for one year, served 5 years as a youth director for various churches throughout college and seminary, and grew up in a United Methodist Church, where his mother was the church secretary for 12 years – she remains a lifelong member of the United Methodist Women.

His professional training includes studies at Martin Methodist College in Pulask, TN (A.A.), a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology (1985) from Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, AL, a Master of Divinity Degree (1990), ordination into the Order of Elders of the UMC in California-Nevada Conference (1997), an M.A. in Clinical Psychology (2008), and he is currently completing his dissertation for a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy. D.). He has training as a Victim-Witness Assistance in the area of Domestic Violence, a Spiritual Director (individual and group), a Labyrinth Facilitator, a Conflict Mediator, a Clergy/Church Transition Facilitator, and as an Interim Pastor.

For fun he likes to hike in Yosemite Valley, play guitar, sing, and teach salsa dancing.

Anna Wisehart

Office Manager
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Anna earned her B.S. in Biology from UC Davis in 2003 and went on to use that degree towards teaching high school biology for several years. Many of her experiences during that time, especially the two years she spent  as a department head, gave her the chance to develop and strengthen her organizational, interpersonal, and technological skills, which she now enjoys applying towards her current administrative assistant position.  While Anna does enjoy administrative tasks, what she enjoys most about working at Davis UMC is it’s inclusive and welcoming atmosphere. Additionally, she has been a Methodist most of her life and loves having the opportunity to promote social justice and share God’s love by coordinating and advertising the church’s many ongoing ministries.

Ashley Arroyo

Music Director
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Ashley was born in San Jose in 1985 and lived there all of her childhood except for ages 1-5 when her family lived in Japan.  During her childhood, she studied piano for 10 years and sang in the high school choir. These experiences led her to majoring in Music at UC Davis, and eventually graduating with her B.A. in 2008.

Ashley began working for Davis UMC as the accompanist in 2006.  She continues to fill that role but is now additionally the choir director and teaches private piano lessons. Although Ashley was raised Catholic, she left the church after high school and has found that she really likes the progressive theology and emphasis on social justice at Davis UMC.

When she isn’t working,  Ashley sings in the Sacramento Choral Society, and enjoys baking, cooking, running and spending time with her husband David and dog Willow.

Jeri Viera Dahlke

Coordinator of Children's Programs
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Jeri has worked at eight churches in some staff capacity focused on faith formation. In an additional congregation she served as their interim pastor. All were part of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Jeri is a graduate of the Free Methodist college Seattle Pacific University and of Claremont School of Theology, a Methodist seminary.

Megan Houpt

Worship Arts Ministry
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Megan developed a lifelong passion for church music and drama at her home church in Schenectady, NY where she sang in the children’s and adult choirs, played in the bell choir and performed with the Dramatic Players. Additional choir experience in high school included the District Youth Chorale and Madrigals. Her BA is in Theatre Arts and English Literature from Emmanuel College, Boston.

 

Ji Hyun Song

Youth Ministry Coordinator
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Ji Hyun first immigrated to the USA with her family when she was 4 years old and grew up in various areas of California. As a daughter of an ordained minister of the Korean United Methodist Church, most of her life has revolved around attending and assisting in church services and programs. She is currently studying at UC Davis in pursuit of her B.S. in Animal Science and Management and hopes to continue into the field of genetics and production in dairy animals.

Alice Harvey

Nursery Attendant
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Alice is  a retired nurse from the Air Force with lots of hobbies including reading (two book clubs), photo club, birding, travel, and cooking.  She and her family live in Dixon but have attended Davis United Methodist Church since 1997.  Alice is a Godly Play Sunday School Teacher as well as a Nursery Attendant.  In regards to the latter position she says that she desires ” to make the nursery a welcoming place for children and their parents or grandparents”.