Our Ministry Team

Tim O’Brien     Lead Pastor

Tim is a lifelong resident of Wisconsin, born and raised in East Troy and graduated from UW-Madison. He and his wife, Audra, are blessed with three children Alyssa, Connor and Madelyn.  Tim has been in professional ministry since 2001 serving at Bristol and Wesley Chapel in Kenosha County and then at the Mequon United Methodist Church and in 2018, serving The United Methodist Church in Plover and Stevens Point.

Tim’s hobbies include reading, watching movies and researching family geneology.


Yvonne Chojnacki     Director of Administration and Missions, N’Joy Director

Yvonne has been on staff since 1997, and a member since 1987. During that time she has served the congregation and in church ministries in various capacities. She enjoys being a representative for the Wisconsin Annual Conference and being a part of the Circuit Laity Team. Yvonne has a passion for church camp and enjoys staffing The United Methodist Church – Stevens Point and Plover Church Camp.

Yvonne also directs The United Methodist Church praise band N’Joy. Attending Lifest, which is a Christian artists’ event held in Oshkosh each July is a family must. She and husband Ed have two children, Stephanie (son-in-law Josh) and Ben (daughter-in-law Kelsey). Contact Yvonne.


Laura Courtright Burns     Director of Family Ministries Youth Ministry, Campus Minister

Laura joined the staff of the United Methodist Church in 2008. Before joining, she served in both the children’s and adult faith formation ministries of the church and was self-employed as a Realtor in the Central Wisconsin area for many years. She holds an Art degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Laura has two adult sons and cherishes her new role as Grandma. She enjoys hiking, cooking, and is active in the local food movement.

Laura is passionate about finding creative ways to equip children, youth, and families to incorporate faith into everyday life. Contact Laura.


Joy Pennell     Director of Finance

Joy has been on staff since 2011 watching over the finances and has been a member of The United Methodist Church for over 20 years. Joy is also Finance Chair and is active with the Prayer Chain. She has a strong passion for Stewardship – “it isn’t necessarily all about money, we need to keep our focus on our mission – To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. If we do that, the rest will fall in place.”

Joy has 3 children and 6 grandchildren and they enjoy spending time together with various activities from cookouts & bonfires to family meals & game nights. Most of her adult life, Joy worked as a Controller for hotels. She currently works for CAP Services as a Loan Accountant. Contact Joy.


Dave Patterson     Custodian/Groundskeeper

Dave joined The United Methodist Church – Stevens Point and Plover staff in 2008. He is responsible for keeping the church and its ground in clean and good condition. Dave enjoys helping the staff and church members in all their endeavors. He strives to make sure you’ll always find a smile and helping hand. Dave also loves the classics… old cars and rock music of the later 60’s and early 70’s.


Patricia “Pat” Laabs     Chancel Choir Director

Pat is the director of the Chancel choir at The United Methodist Church – Stevens Point and Plover and has found it to be a very rewarding experience.  Previously she directed the Good News Singers youth choir. She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point with a double major in voice and piano.  She has taught elementary music in the public schools – first grade through Junior High, and has given private piano lessons.  She is presently employed with Jim Laabs Music.  Pat loves playing the piano, making crafts, sewing, dabbling in some art, writing children’s compositions & yard work. Contact Pat.


Caryn Hurst     Bell Choir Director

Caryn Carlson Hurst has been a member of The United Methodist Church – Stevens Point and Plover since she moved to Stevens Point with her family in 1983. She has been ringing with the hand bell choir since its inception in 1985. She began to direct the Gospel Ringers (our beginning choir) in 2000 and took over the reins of the Touch of Brass in 2008. She is married to Michael (also in the bell choir) and has three adult children. She is also a devoted quilter. Contact Caryn.


Ryan Koelemay     Lead Church Musician

Ryan was born in Stevens Point, WI, in 1982.  He was born into a United Methodist family.  His grandfather, Ralph Koelemey, was pastor at The Springs UMC (formerly the Plover UMC) for a number of years.  Ryan started studying music at the age of 5, and has played a variety of instruments including piano, trumpet and tuba.  He previously served as pianist at The Springs UMC.

Ryan currently works full-time as an actuarial analyst at Sentry Insurance, and also plays tuba and piano as a Staff Sergeant in the 132d Army Band of Wisconsin Army National Guard.  Ryan and his wife Amy have three sons, Austin, Evan and Ian, and daughter Adeline. Contact Ryan.


Melanie Wiltse     Accompanist

Melanie is the piano accompanist for the N’Joy praise choir and fills in worship services as needed. She lives in a rural area about 20 minutes west of Stevens Point. She has been involved in church music ministry for almost 50 years, accepting her first position as an organist at the age of 12. Melanie has served in a variety of denominations from charismatic to catholic and thinks those experiences have fostered a broad and unique personal perspective about diversity of corporate worship.

Melanie is married to John, a liturgist at the Stevens Point location. They have 3 children and 10 grandchildren. Melanie has a teaching studio in her home for piano and harp lessons.


Mary McComb     Accompanist

Mary has been the Church Pianist at The Springs Church since Sept. 2007, playing the piano at regular worship, weddings, and funerals.  Accompany soloists and choir.

She is the District 9 Alder since Apr 2015  for the Stevens Point City Council.